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Entries in kanye west (3)


In Which She Meets Her Maker

Me And Mr. West


She finds pictures in my email/I sent this girl a picture of my dick/I don’t know what it is with females/but I’m not too good at that shit.

Kanye West has become an ingenious parody of himself. He is bigger than Kanye West. And this thrills me. I’ve never seen someone embrace their own legend the way Kanye has. Keith Richards, in a drunken mishap, get hits in the head with a coconut, then denies it. He says he snorted his father’s ashes, then denies that too. But Kanye continually interrupts award shows (“If I don’t win, this award show loses” from the EMA’s in 2007) and then parodies it on SNL. I hate even mentioning the infamous Swiftgate because I am disappointed that he apologized for it as many times as he did. I understand why he apologized but he shouldn’t have. Because he’s Kanye. Kanye is known for his love of all things designer, and “LOLs” to tweets on twitter poking fun of his Louis Vuitton obsessions. Because he’s Kanye. Yet even though he seems like one of us, he is in his own world. He claims to not own a cell phone. How does someone so famous and so connected not have a cell phone? Because he’s Kanye.

Kanye Omari West came from a middle-class background in Atlanta, Georgia. At age three his parents divorced, and he moved with his mom to Chicago. His mom, Dr. Donda West, was the former chairwoman of Chicago State University’s English department. Kanye was closest with his mom who unexpectedly died in 2007 after complications from cosmetic surgery. Jay Leno shamefully used Kanye’s love for his mother as leverage against him when he asked Kanye on his show, “How would your mom feel about what you did [to Taylor Swift]?”

In an interview with Rolling Stone in ’06, His dad, Ray West, sociology professor and former Black Panther Activist, criticized his son’s lyrics: “Fine, you're trying to get some street acceptance. Now that you got that, get back to your roots. You know that's not where you came from. You know that's not how you were raised.” During high school, Kanye worked at The Gap. (Imagined interaction: “Yo, why don’t you like these khakis? I was in the back room for hours looking for your size in these khakis!”) He attended college but left after one year to pursue a career in the music industry. And that was it. Boom.

Though Kanye says that when it comes to women he’s “not too good at that shit” he seems to do all right. He was in a long term relationship (about a year) with MTV assistant Brooke Crittendon that must have ended in around ’06. Not long after he became engaged to Alexis Phifer, a designer, over a lobster dinner in Capri. A year and a half later they were over. Kanye’s next serious relationship (depending on how you define serious) was with Amber Rose (so close to Almie Rose, Kanye, so close) who may or may not be a real person.

I’m not saying anything bad about her, I’m just not sure what she does or who she is or if she exists or if she is just some wonderful art project Kanye created. She may or may not be CGI. She may or may not be a hologram similar to the ones the Scooby Doo gang chased after in haunted mansions before finding the bad guys behind a curtain with a projector. I don’t know.

If everyone were like Kanye all the time, shit would get difficult, but if we can release our inner Kanye when we really need it, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. When I need confidence I used to think, “What would Faye Dunaway do?” Now I think, “What would Kanye do?” because if I need an answer, I usually find it on his twitter. It’s like how when Christians feel lost they open and point to a random page in the Bible and see what word they hit and find an answer in that.

To those who find this comparison ludicrous or ridiculous, insert Kanye shrug here. Faye Dunaway should really have a twitter. I’m sure it would contain illuminating updates like, “I don’t think today’s young actresses are worth a damn” and “When I worked with Steve McQueen I felt alive” and “I can’t talk about Jack Nicholson right now.”

What I love about Kanye’s lyrics are his open love of himself but also his ability to surprise. Kanye has a habit of rapping about one thing and then two lines later he’s rapping about something completely different and you’re like, “Wait, what” or delivers references that are hilarious in their randomness. In “All of the Lights” (from “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”) he raps “We met at Borders.” In “Run This Town” he laments the downsides of his own fame, then suddenly talks about a girl who “got a ass that’ll swallow up a g-string” and then apropos of nothing says, “Reebok, baby, you need to drop some new things/have you ever had shoes without shoe strings?” In “Gorgeous”, also from his new album, he references Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock and American Apparel tights.

I can relate more to Kanye’s songs than anything Gaga, Ke$ha or Taylor Swift puts out, and I’m part of their demographic. (Maybe not Swift’s. I’m still not sure who makes up Swift’s demographic.) Of course those references do not make up the depths or the meanings of his songs. I realize that some of his experiences and struggles I cannot and will never relate to. But some of his tracks are universal. Like “Heartless.”

Some other highlights of Kanye’s, in their original form:



 "This is the most offended I've ever been... this is the maddest I ever will be. I'm typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!"

"I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle and next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle." Tell me you can’t hear this in Larry David’s voice.

(on his favorite Grammy performance): “I liked when Train did ‘Drops of Jupiter.’ That was the first time I’d heard that song and I was like, ‘Oh shit, this is great!’ The performance was that good.”

If you hate Kanye West, then there’s nothing I can say that’s going to make you change your mind. He’s just one of those celebrities that you either hate or love. But I will suggest that you listen to his music. It’s possible to love the music without joining the church of Kanye.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She blogs here and twitters here.

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Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it/I guess every superhero need his theme music. 

Kanye West: A-



In Which It Is The Most Beautiful Obituary I Have Ever Written


The iTunes Playlist: Kanye West

There are many people nostalgic for just a few years ago, and all things considered events could have gone a lot worse for Kanye. He is still alive and he is still blogging, which is now ironically the thing he's best at. He can't really sing if he ever could; he's a studio artist who loves AutoTune more than the warm caresses of his collaborators. We have an obituary ready just in case and it includes the 2014 relationship between him and Michelle Williams that I really am crossing my fingers about.

Until then, we can be consoled by his amazing thoughts on Steve McQueen and this photo:

"A Thousand Miles" - Vanessa Carlton (mp3)

See I always liked this song until I saw the movie White Girls. This must be the white song that all black people like, you know every year there's a song that black people like and this is that. I love the string arrangements. Ron Fare is really up on the strings.

"Sleep to Dream" - Fiona Apple (mp3)

with prince harry and william"12:51" - The Strokes (mp3)

Ah man, I love this song so much that I almost fucked up the mix down on my album because you can barely hear their lyrics. I went in the mix on my computer trying to make the guitar louder, trying to make it sound like The Strokes, and Common was like, "Come on man, that don't sound like hip hop. Come on man, turn them drums up."

"The Scientist" - Natasha Bedingfield (mp3)

This is a song where the video really made me go back and look at it. 'The Scientist' is one of the dopest videos, it's one of my top five videos of all time, but I also like the song.

"Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia (mp3)

Once again another black people's favorite white song, because it's a really dope remake, and she had a couple of dope songs on that album.

"Lucifer" - Jay-Z (mp3)

Man, I love this beat right here. I was going to use it on my album but I felt like 'Jesus Walks' and 'Lucifer' needed their own space on different albums.

"Jesus Walks With Me" - Kanye West (mp3)

"Selfish" - Slum Village feat. Kanye West & John Legend (mp3)

This melody is just really infectious and mature, it's like that grown-man music.

"Distant Lover" - Martin Gaye (mp3)

You can't just explain why you like any Marvin Gaye song, but this one inspired the track for Spaceship.

"Am I High" - N.E.R.D. (mp3)

'Am I High' is mine and everybody else I know's favorite song on the N.E.R.D. classic album In Search Of...

"Scar Tissue" - Red Hot Chili Peppers (mp3)

Red Hot Chili Peppers are my favorite group of all times, he says 'broken jaw' on it too so you know I like that.

"The Reason" - Hoobastank (mp3)

Them my home boys I always see them we go to places like England and Canada. We always kicking it backstage you know just having a good time.

"99 Problems (Sam Ronson remix)" - Jay-Z (mp3)

Man, Jay-Z was just snapping on these raps so hard and the way he did the other voices in the middle, man he was killing that.

"Electric Relaxation" - A Tribe Called Quest (mp3)

OK, this is what takes me back to the reason that I wanted to do music or I wanted to bring back the game and I finally got a chance.


"How Many MCs" - Black Moon

Nigga, this is how you know I'm really hip-hop if I picked this. This is a classic.

"The Rain" - Missy Elliott (mp3)

This is actually my favorite. I remember we use to always have arguments about what's Missy's best song, well this is my favorite Missy song.

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feist & kanye


In Which We Plan To Advertise in Ebony

Wading Through The Fog of Mad Men


Don Draper is the Kanye West of the 1960s. They’re both creative man-children who get pissy when they don’t get their way. They also look great in shades.

Last night’s episode of Mad Men, aptly titled "The Fog" because the whole thing was a foggy mess, began with The Drapers at a parent-teacher conference in which Don takes the only available chair, leaving his pregnant wife to find her own goddamn chair. Don Draper is not a butler; he does not need to offer his chair to anyone. That’s such a slick Kanye thing to do.

Oh yeah so Sally is acting up in school and Betty has to pee. While she leaves the teacher gets all flirty with Don saying, “It’s going to be a beautiful summer.” Don gives her a look that says, “Yeah, for me to do you in.” Betty comes back in what has to be the shortest pee break in human history.

Back at Sterling Cooper Don gets pissy at a meeting and leaves, like Kanye at an awards show. The British dude tries to talk to Don and Don gets all pissy. Then Don goes home and no one is there to answer the phone and Don gets all pissy.

Don is so angry he could break his Mac Book Air!!!!

Then all of a sudden Duck Phillips appears on the screen and I gasp and do a Snoopy dance of joy. My God how I’ve missed Duck Phillips. But Pete Campbell’s being a total downer about it. If Don is the Kanye of the 60s then Pete is definitely the Pete Wentz of the 60s. Though Pete does have his share of Kanye moments, like when he threw his chicken dinner out the window. Gosh those were great times.

The teacher calls Don and tries to get him to reveal his soul or something and Don’s basically all like, “I got to return some video tapes” and shoots her down. For now, at least.

Then Betty goes into labor. God, it’s always got to be about you, Betty, doesn’t it? At the hospital the nurse is acting all Twilight Zone, being aloof and cold, but does offer Betty a complimentary enema.

Don, who looks a lot like Cary Grant in this episode, waits in the waiting room and starts talking to another expectant father. They reveal things about their lives, or something. I think this guy is a prison warden but I’m not really sure, because Dick Whitman’s Old Timey Tales are kind of dull.

In the delivery room, Betty has a drug induced Technicolor dream. Her acting is not that different from when she’s not supposed to be in a zombified dream state. Upon waking from the dream, Betty asks the nurses to leave her alone saying, "I’m just a housewife." It’s times like these when Mad Men really misses the mark on subtlety.

Then Lady Gaga won best new artist and accepted the award with her face covered in red lace. Then when I came back to Mad Men, Don Draper looked sad. I think I missed something.

This episode is more Lynchian than usual.

Betty gives birth without a hitch and wants to name their baby boy after her dead dad. Don is a dick about it but does not break his Mac Book Air!!!

Duck, meanwhile, borrows a plotline from Friends or Three’s Company in which he invites both Pete and Peggy to a business lunch without telling either one that the other one will be there. That’s so Duck Phillips!!! He’s such a rascal! Pete gets all weird and leaves. That’s so emo!

Duck tries to court Peggy into leaving Sterling Cooper for his agency and Peggy has her doubts. But Duck is wearing a slick turtleneck so it’s going to be really hard for her to turn him down. Peggy asks Don for a raise and Don gets all Kanye about it. Duck Phillips looks pretty awesome now, doesn’t he, Peggy?

Meanwhile Pete talks about "negroes" and makes an ass of himself with Hollis, the elevator operator. Pete thinks it would be a good idea to exploit the black demographic for an ad campaign, but the clients are appalled, because it’s 1963 and no one cares about black people. Roger does another blackface routine to smooth things over.

No, he doesn’t, but he does get angry at Pete and yells, "Are you aware of the number of handjobs I’m going to have to give?"! Seriously, he really says that! After that I kind of tuned out because all I could think about was Roger’s handjobs. I really wish he had gone into detail. Exactly whom would you need to give these handjobs to, Roger? And how? Could you describe it?

The episode ends with the baby waking up Betty from her sleep and she seems kind of bummed out by it. Don of course does not wake up. Don, how could you be so heartless?

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She writes here, and twitters here. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She last wrote in these pages about hot places in L.A.

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"Kitchen Stove" — Henri Almond (mp3)

"Wolves and Laundry" — Henri Almond (mp3)

"Trois Ans Avec" — Henri Almond (mp3)