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I am growing exhausted pretending Kanye West is a genius. It is tiring having to pretend that the reason I don’t like the things he’s doing is because I don’t “get” it. I genuinely like Yeezus a lot and just that fact alone is weighs heavy on my spirit because as interesting and purposefully off-putting as it is, it is drenched in bullshit. Most of it is a temper tantrum performed over a noisy, Eyes Wide Shut-style robot orgy and yet I stand by it as better than at least two other Ye albums.

But now this nigga is going too far. You wanna sell Mad Max outfits that cost an entire year’s pay to people that are dumb enough to max out credit cards for it then that’s your right, but let’s not pretend you’re revolutionizing anything in fashion. I get that you feel like the fashion world won’t take you serious because you’re a loudmouth nigga that comes from rap and I can also understand how frustrating it is to be pigeonholed and I know that Yeezus was partially a backlash for people constantly telling you to stick to music, but your campaign to get people on your side is contrived.

You wanna start of revolution only to advance your own interests. You say classism is bigger than racism but, ignoring the fact that that’s wrong, your thesis seems entirely based on the fact that you personally are being kicked out of a club you feel like you deserve to be in. For what it’s worth, I don’t even think your Bane takes over Gotham City fashion line is that bad. I know people are getting their jokes off about it right now and I know that it’s not even that original of an aesthetic but it’s decent. If I had some a couple gold bricks, I’d buy one or two pieces up off you, and if you want to make clothes full-time I would support you –mostly because I don’t think you know what you are even doing anymore outside of the fashion world.

That VMA speech you gave was entertaining and, at some points, even truly captivating, but it was also mostly nonsense. You hate the idea behind award shows yet your entire career has been based around promoting yourself and those you deem worthy as the only true winner of every award? You built your brand off of being the vocal supporter of yourself when you felt like he didn’t get the awards you deserved; that is, until you decided to bring your services over to the Beygency™. Now you wanna back away from that and instead argue a pseudo-existential diatribe against awards and the point of these shows. First of all, the point of award shows is to celebrate mediocrity and gather a large number of stars together in order to bring in a large audience of people who are willing to sit through liquor and acne scrub ads just for the sake of firing off tweets. Secondly, this again feels like you thinking about how something affects you and then reacting. Only when you’re at the point of your career where MTV can give you a mostly meaningless honor for everything you’ve done that you can decide “eh, I don’t really get the point”.

Acceptance has never worked for Kanye West. He thrives most when he’s being dismissed or unacknowledged. Being treated like he belongs or like the genius he considers himself in his brain gets boring to him; he wants to be in those areas where he’s hated or ignored. It’s his best quality and also something that is aggravating to witness. It’s clear that he’s been bored with music for a long time: this was obvious on Yeezus when he tried to give himself the challenge of making purposefully alienating music (easily his most Lou Reed move), it’s apparent in how dismissive he’s grown of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy despite it being his most praised work to date and it’s especially apparent in the manner with which this new album cycle is going.

And that gets us to what’s really bugging me about Kanye lately. I honestly believe SWISH is a false flag operation; something to keep his brand afloat while he goes deeper into realizing his dream of being Steve Jobs. There is no album and honestly it’s better that way because what we’ve heard so far is mostly bullshit. The whole working with Paul McCartney thing was interesting and when “Only One” dropped, I thought: fine, I can get with The Freewheelin’ Kanye West if that’s what he wants. Then he performed “Wolves” in full on SNL with SIA and Vic Mensa who now looks like one of Akasha’s slaves from Queen Of The Damned since he linked with Ye, which was fine I guess but we never got the CDQ and it took forever to get the CDQ of “All Day” and now it’s been out so long that the people who were excited about it don’t even bother pretending to still like it anymore.

This brings us to today where during Kanye’s latest show at New York Fashion Week where, in the midst of the remake of Dawn Of The Dead that seemed to be happening on the runway, Kanye premiered a new song titled “Fade” featuring Ty dolla $ign and Post Malone. That’s right, Lyor Cohen’s latest lab experiment indistinguishable soundcloud rapper, Post Malone is the latest to get the Kanye co-sign. A co-sign which, let’s be honest, doesn’t mean anything anymore –not in a world where Travi$ Scott gets to thrive; a co-sign nonetheless, which is annoying mostly because we were all doing so well at not pretending Post Malone was a real thing and allowing his 15 minutes to expire.

This reeks of a desperation to keep up with whatever you think the kids are into. The only silver lining is that maybe when Kanye sticks his fangs in his neck to drain him of everything he’s got, we’ll never hear from him again like Mr. Hudson. It shouldn’t be too hard since he’s not actually talented –just like, well, Mr. Hudson. More than this egregiousness is just the fact that this song isn’t very good. I get that it was part of a show and maybe that’s not the best context to judge it in but this is really bad Abercrombie & Fitch store music put over a slightly better drum kit. It’s also a boilerplate 2015 Kanye record and it feels like he’s not even trying anymore, and I mean if you don’t wanna make music, you shouldn’t feel like you have to and if you do, you could try a little harder than this.

I genuinely want you to be happy Kanye and if fashion does that great; and if you wanna lure Vic and Travi$ out of their doghouses or caves with Hood By Air clothes in order to get them to make the music you don’t feel like doing yourself, then you know what, go for it. Just do what makes you happy Kanye or really do anything that will spare us from making more industry plant white dudes a thing.

In the midst of nearly dying or wondering when I’m actually going to die, I never got around to talking about Yeezus. In what is Kanye’s latest cry for help album, Yeezus seems to be a testimony of a celebrity who’s self aware enough to recognize how stupid, meaningless and full of shit fame and status is, but also still egotistical and shallow enough to enjoy the perks. It’s organized chaos; it’s a record that purely baits people into hating it and him forever and it’s way better than it really has any right to be. so real quickly, let’s go ahead and go bobby boucher on this record and somebody please get me some fucking croissants.

1. Send It Up

The albums starts of with what is, I assume, a tape of potential theme music for Space Invaders and Galaga. All it really needs is a bunch of kids yelling like little assholes and the sound of miserable disdain coming from shitty 16 year old employees to fully capture the sound of an arcade. There’s a neat sample of “Sermon” in it, which is neat. It contains the lines “got this bitch shakin’ like Parkinson’s  “Indian hair no moccasins” “she got more niggas off than Cocharan” and “don’t judge em Joe Brown”, so you know… there’s that.

2. Black Skinhead

It kind of sounds like a pack of black vampire wolfs attacking a small town during a full moon on Halloween in musical form. Kanye does that thing where he pretends to be a revolutionary despite that being really hilariously ridiculous. Also I heard this song in the trailer for Wolf Of Wall Street so now all I can think of when I hear it is Leonardo DiCaprio throwing mimosas at shrubbery… also I really wanna throw mimosas at shrubbery.

3. I Am A God

This one sounds like Jack Nicholson murdering Shelly Duval and Danny Lloyd and making splash puddles in their blood (no mention of this interpretation of the film in Room 237 btw). There’s a lot of jamaican-rasta noisewords at the beginning that sounds like Dave Chappelle speaking spanish into a megaphone when he was rocking out with John Mayer, ?uestlove and Sanchez. I imagine when God came into the studio to record this he didn’t actually get a chance to hear the final product but just figured it’d be a song about rolling up, smoking a pound and fucking some angelic bitches up in heaven. Kanye really wants croissants.

4. New Slaves

If a xylophone could be possessed by the devil and then got a chance to make a song with Kanye this is the beat it would make. Frank does a good job making people go “was that Frank? Are you sure? Nah I don’t think so but I don’t know it was way too quick to tell.” Kanye would like you to know that he’ll take your money and spend it on Alexander Wang but he’s not gonna like it. That’ll show ’em Yeezus.

5. Hold My Liquor

This is exactly what drunk driving sounds like. These are the actual sounds that are taking place while a drunk driving event occurs: Bon Iver slurs, Chief Keef doing that Master P meets drunk Frankenstein sing-rap, horns, autotune whimpering and lots and lots of loud noises. It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that before this record ends, Kanye will host a seance, sacrifice someone, eat their flesh and drink their blood to absorb their energy and become even more powerful than imaginable in order to appease the illuminati grand wizards. My guess is: it’ll probably by Cyhi Da Prynce. I mean, that’s his purpose right?

6. I’m in it

This sounds like a vampire orgy taking place in that blacklight club from the movie Belly (I realize this doesn’t narrow anything because the entire movie looks like it takes place in a blacklight club but bear with me). In fact, being perfectly honest, this whole album sounds like Belly if Belly had been about vampires fucking each other the whole time. There’s a Beenie Man sample to make the song feel like a cross between the Zion partyorgy sweatporn in The Matrix Revolutions and a juice party thrown by a black greek fraternity. Kanye needs a nightlight and so do I now. I’m not fluent in swaghili… that Rosetta Stone hasn’t come in the mail yet.

7. Blood On The Leaves

Best song on the album truthfully. It’s all power, what with that marching band from hell and Kanye in full on My Chemical Romance mode. The song contains a sample of “Strange Fruit”, the Nina Simone version, which is a song about the gruesome lynchings of blacks. Kanye uses it for another song about groupies who should get abortions but now with more C-Murder references. It also sounds like he’s either murdering a puppy at the end or mourning the groupies aborted fetus in a storage closet somewhere; it’s unsettling and kinda sounds like it could be used for those sad abused puppies commercials that come on at 4 am.

8. Guilt Trip

Kanye does that thing where he’s “singing” or, more accurately, just droning and making noises out of his mouth and autotuning them while playing Sonic 2 bonus stages in the background. Kid Cudi does that “emo kid turning his notebook poems into a song for his shitty band” thing for a second. There’s a lot of loud noises meant to scare small children and grown men who write on blogs that nobody reads here too which is always fun. I’m pretty sure the devil is asking for my soul in this song but I’m not all the way sure–either way just tell him I’m using it right now–and also Kanye does that thing where he sounds really bummed guys.

9. Send it Up

This kind of sounds like the scene in Blade where Blade shows up to that club with all those strobe lights and then makes eye contact and death stares Tywin Lannister, who’s sitting on the King’s throne in the center of the club. And yes I recognize that’s not a scene in the movie but that’s still what this song sounds like, I can’t think of another description for it. Kanye’s not into helping you get your friend into the club.

10. Bound 2

This is the light at the end of the tunnel. Like if this whole album was like being locked into a rave-meets death metal-meats acid house shed for 8 hours and then they opened the door to let you out and you find out it’s now the next day and you don’t know where you are and you can’t remember how you even got there or what your name is or where your underwear is or why you’re sucking on a lollipop or why you’re handcuffed to a fat guy in a bib and a diaper and why he’s sucking on the same lollipop as you or whatever, this would be the song for you. It’s Kanye’s love song but it’s not a “love song” love song; it’s like the equivalent of a guy who’s upset that he’s in love with someone and has feelings and shit like that. It’s the disheveled grimace of love songs. If nothing else, I’m glad that me and Yeezy both enjoy Martin references.

8.5/10

I’m not a fan of rap label compilations. There’s way too much going on and they really serve no purpose than as a marketing tool to advertise for the rappers on your label. However, because this was Yeezy and the G.O.O.D crew, I was willing to give it a shot and see if they could sell me on it. They couldn’t.

I have the same issue with Cruel Summer that I had with Watch The Throne, there’s no luster in it. It’s like these guys were on vacation and, I don’t know, I guess it rained one day so they were stuck in their  expensive ass hotel and thought, “Hey, fuck it, let’s make an album to kill time.” Frankly, by the time the record was done I was exhausted with it–also, I don’t have to remind you of my feelings on luxury rap.

The album starts off with R. Kelly doing that thing he does, only this time it’s not sexual. Essentially a pale imitation of “Lift Off” from WTT, it wasn’t exactly the strongest of openings. (Especially with ‘Ye phoning it in.) Luckily enough, after this is the album’s strongest streak of songs with the infectious bop of “Clique”–which features Jay-Z, Big Sean and Yeezy bragging about his girlfriend’s sextape that  doesn’t star him–to what was arguably the jam of the summer “Mercy” and the “church-in-the-ghetto meets a hip-hop dungeon”-like style of “New God Flow” (Now with Ghostface, being who he’s always been, the fucking best).

I wanna like songs like “The Morning”; it sounds good and the repetitiveness of the beat works in this kind of song, but it’s way too feature heavy for me to get into. Just as soon as I’m feeling a rapper’s verse, he’s gone. Also, Kid CuDi’s “verse” on this song is only slightly less lazy as the one he did for “All Of The Lights”. Also, as tempting as it is for me to want to like a song with Ma$e on it… I just can’t get with this “Higher” song, but we’ll always have Harlem World bruh. Honestly, the rest of the album is just a blur of features I can’t keep track of and mostly interchangeable beats. (Just thinking about it is tiring; the Kid CuDi one was good though.) Finally, the album ends with the remix to Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like” and I’m left wondering  a few things, namely: does this change my feelings for the G.O.O.D crew, and how is it Cyphi got to only be on two songs with like a half a verse on both,that seems like a pretty raw deal.

Like Watch The Throne, I feel like Cruel Summer is a decent mixtape pretending to be an album. It’s fun and sounds great, but that doesn’t mean it’s no less phoned in. That being said, it’ll probably sell well and I’ll hear it at the clubs when I’m drunk enough to enjoy it more.

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