Thursday, December 18, 2008
Kanye you BLOCKHEAD!!
"Charlie Brown, you BLOCKHEAD!" - Lucy Van Pelt
I was watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" the other night. If you don't remember the story, good ole Charlie Brown is down about Christmas becoming commercial. He seeks guidance and help from the other Peanut members and in turn they make him the director of their Christmas play. They ask him to get a tree, but they clown him, calling him blockhead as usual, until Linus steps up and explains to these jabronis what Christmas is about. In the end, they admit the tree wasn't that bad, spruce it up, and sing those classic Christmas songs.
I couldn't help but think of good ole Kanye West and all the flak he has caught for his recent album, 808s and Heartbreak. Substitute Christmas with Hip Hop, the tree with his album, the Peanut gang with the listeners, Charlie brown with Kanye, and the Honest Man with Linus (you got all that lol). Like Linus never thought the tree was all that bad, just needed a little love, I think Kanye's album isn't that bad, just needs a few more listens.
I'll do the negatives first since that won't take me long. Kanye can't sing. No ifs, ands or buts about it. And no autotuner does not hide his horrible singing skills. On this album he sings 75-80% of the time, only rapping for a few tracks. Does it tank the album? No. Should he do it in the future? Hell no, stick to the script, rapping and producing. Also a few tracks drew a what the fuck from me (Coldest Winter, Pinocchio Freestyle, Bad news). That's 2 beefs but not showstoppers.
For the positives, I can play the first 8 tracks nonstop with skipping. My personal favorites are "Heartless", "Paranoid", and "Robocop". Just great stuff right there. It has a vintage 80s sound with lyrics so cheesy you can't help but like. For example, note the first 4 bars in Robocop
Bout the baddest girl ive ever seen Straight up out of movie scenes Who knew she was a drama queen Who would turn my life to stephen king
Extremely cheesy but after a few spins, you find yourself singing it anywhere. But the point is he isn't afraid to challenge himself and see what's inside of him. He took a page from Andre 3000's The Love Below and ran with it. For the folks who are complaining about the Soulja Boys of the world, I don't understand how you can hate this. You need to shut your trap and embrace this. You don't get too many musical geniuses in hip hop anymore.
Now let me get on my Linus soapbox and explain what hip hop is all about. It is definitely not about just shaking asses, popping open champagne bottles, glorifying the drug game, quoting gangster movies, and fucking multiple hoes. It's about expressing yourself creatively to get across a message to the community. Always has been and always will be. The keyword is creative and I think that's been lost with certain rappers. Some choose to make safe records, following the current trend, and hoping they strike gold with a single or two. Problem is they end up selling themselves short and having a very short lifespan.
Kanye has NEVER been afraid to push his creative boundaries. Yea, I can do without some of his antics but for the most part, dude is a genius. If you don't think so, you belong on the short yellow bus with the rest of musically retarded. He has been refreshing for a genre that's missing it's mojo. You can call me hater if you want but check the record sales. Forget the economy bullshit b/c it was bad in 2002 but records still sold. It's call disposable. The public doesn't want disposable records anymore.
I'm right about Kanye and you're wrong. Class dismissed :-)