Monday, January 26, 2009

My Latest Role Model...Kanye West

First off, let me say that I love Kanye West. I’ve always loved his music, production, his boldness and outspokenness, and his appreciation of the arts. Now, with his latest album, 808’s and Heartbreak and his latest persona he has become an all out inspiration to me.

Kanye’s attitude about life and the things he does is an attribute I want to model myself after. That’s not to say I agree with every single thing he says or does, but the essence of Kanye is something deep. He’s a man who’s been through the loss of the two most important women in his life; his mother passing away and his fiancé breaking up with him. Already a complex person, the trials and tribulations he went through nearly make him labyrinthine. Life’s sudden changes have given Kanye new inspiration and a new way for him to deliver his creative, message.

Kanye has changed the game of hip-hop – no, he’s changed the entire game of music. Many critics have bashed him for singing in Auto-Tune for nearly his entire 808’s album, which is causing some less die-hard fans to step away from the multi-grammy award winner. This is fine by him. In an interview with VIBE Kanye had this to say (among many other things).

“I’d rather have 20,000 die-hard fans that really understand and accept you as a person and a human being and an artist than to have 100,000 fly-by-night fans that only like you because you have a hit record out.”

After reading this article, my already great respect for Kanye has soared through the roof. His self-proclaimed love for his latest project jumps off of the pages only to be trumped by the boldness by which he so impeccably uses to his advantage in talking about his motivations and artistic prowess.

He’s a true artist and he makes no apologies for it. He does what he feels like doing artistically with the confidence that it’s the best thing out and that fans will love it. So far, he’s been right every time. True fans can see that. So what, he sang on this album. The man went through some tough times and I understand that sometimes when you feel so much emotion rapping just won’t do it. Sometimes all you can do is sing. So that’s what he did. It wasn’t perfect but it was raw and beautiful. There actually is some beauty in imperfection. If they would’ve given the songs to a “real” singer then the album might not have been as good. The way Kanye’s Auto-Tuned voice flowed along with the music was musical bliss. I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to hear R. Kelly singing on 808’s tracks.

When I first listened to 808’s I thought, “this is pure art, not hip-hop. It’s so much more than just beats and rhymes. It’s true passion, it’s something the world has never heard before.”

I feel 808’s is his best album to date, but it won’t be the best he ever does. He says this album is the blueprint for the future. If that’s true, the world of music is in for a wild, historic ride captained by none other than Kanye West.

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