Thursday, December 09, 2004

Kayne West

Golly, more of that bull** rap
I got to 'pologize to Mos and Kweli (probably)
But is it cool to rap about gold
If I told the world I copped it from Ghana and Mali? (Mali!)
First n** with a Benz and a backpack
Ice chain, Cardi lens, and a knapsack
Always said if I rapped I'd say somethin' significant
But now I'm rappin' 'bout money, ***, and rims again

Kayne West - Breathe in

So Kayne West copped 10 Grammy nominations apparently (think I only counted 8). Congratulations! But it seems like some of my blog bredren and sistren and some of my other friends think that his accolades are undeserved. Never fear I got this one Kayne. I'll defend you but realize you're going to get a fair share of the lashes that sharing. Oh the views expressed herein are my own personal views on Kayne. I don't expect anyone to actually agree.

Ok how do I present this. hmmm. The College Dropout was the best hip hop album this year. Maybe that's not saying anything for this year's batch but still. Actually if I think about it Kayne's total album is probably one of the best I've heard in a few years.

Yes I have lots of issues with the concept that West seemed to be pushing with this whole "you can get ahead without school" agenda. Why because too many of my black brothers already disregard education. So pushing that agenda is definitely not cool with me. Not saying you have to go to College to be a success or rather that you cant be successful without higher education or you cant fail when in possession of one but when the kids hear that line being pushed its going to put more negative feelings in them regarding school. Let them keep all their options open. Lets face it school isn't for everyone but at the same time pushing that line on your album was just plain dumb-ass Kayne. Sure dropping out of College worked for you but realize that some folk do need to just suck it up at times, buckle down and hit the books and not drop out.

Anyway if you regard the body of work on the album ignoring the College Dropout theme this album is way ahead of the pack. All Falls Down, Never Let you down and Spaceship are my favorite tracks. Please ignore the terrible, terrible video for All Falls Down with the Clueless eye candy which probably killed most of its likability.

Jesus walks was amazing. I mean who would have thought a song about Jesus would be played in the club right? Of course its just one song so all the church groups and others who have acted like Kayne is a gospel singer ummm think again.

What were your first thoughts on hearing the album? Mine were whoa we have a winner here. In a field of gangsters, pimps and I'm really really catering to the radio pop artists the album stood out. It was a step in the right direction. Let me put it this way. I actually started breaking out the discman with Kayne for my walk to work. This album along with Ghostface's Pretty Tony Album and Masta Ace Long Hot Summer got the most play in my deck this year.

I think what really grabbed me was that he for all intents and purposes appeared to be to use an overused cliche "keeping it real". Not real as in street real which is rapper b.s for I'm chatting about drug deals and shooting up folk. Real as in it appeared to contain some honesty. (whether it is actually honest or not can be debated but I'm talking about the appearance). He was at times preaching but not being overly pretentious. At other times he appeared to be opening up to the public. Not to say that this truly reflects who he is or what he stands for but that was the image that he projected in the music. Like the line I quoted above and elsewhere on the album to me he was admitting that hey I know I could be doing something more black or more conscious but hey I'm just doing me. Yes I have issues just like all y'all. Yes I could be the super black role-model and not do my dirt or not spend too much on bling bling but like everyone else I get urges to spend frivolously and act a fool. Please realize I'm talking about his music here not the actual man ok.

I mean hey I can sit here and pick his lyrics apart and say that he's just showing off and he's rich and wasting his money and at times glorifying materialism and that would be true too but still brother admits hey I'm just doing what I'm doing and at some points I do realize maybe I shouldn't be doing this but I'll admit that I still am. Lots of folk out there are like that. We know right from wrong but sometimes we do wrong. It just happens. So that's why I like the album.

Ok now one of the reasons I think people diss Kayne is because they don't like him as a person. His showbiz persona (can only speak on this since we aint exactly boyz) radiates with arrogance. His comments after the American Music Awards sounded like so much bitter bile from a diva artist accustomed to having their own way and expecting everyone to cater to their whimsical fancies.

Way too much arrogance in my opinion. Dude comes off as an ass at times. Still lets realize hey this is what? Show Business? Its all about image. Don't think that the guys who are nice in front of the cameras are actually really that nice when they are turned off now. We don't know Kayne personally. Could be a great guy could be a idiot. I cant truly judge from my perspective. But why cant we separate him from his music? Music good, Kayne bad. Hey we do it with Michael Jackson and R Kelly why not Kayne. Being talented does not always lend itself to being humble......or having common sense in Mike's case .........or having morals in R Kelly's case so just realize that. There are certain writers that I love but I've had the chance to talk to them one on one and their personality just turned me off. They were pricks! Does that mean their body of work is somewhat less than it is? Does this mean they are not talented. No.

Yep, myself and the public in general will probably support the humble yout with the talent more than the one who thinks he's God's gift but that doesn't mean we cant accept that the proud, cocky, arrogant yout is still talented too.

Anyway that's about all I wanted to say on Kayne for the moment. Kayne talented yes, music good yes, personality crappy. Tomorrow the long awaited Santa Clause story, sorry doc lol, story too hype now and its not even that funny. :-)

In finishing, another note I see that Jay Z has become President of Def Jam records. Congrats. Since Def Jam hasnt been that great a label in recent years Jay is going to have his work cut out for him. Now since Jay is so fond of comparing himself to Michael Jordan (Every fourth quarter, I like to Mike Jordan em) in his rhymes I just hope he examines what happened with MJ and the Wizards. Being the big boss is different from being the star player (although truth be told Jay has some prior experience with being one of the Big men at Rockafella). So Jay make some decent picks (no Kwame Browne's or in this case Foxxy Brown's) and please don't think you need to come back as a rapper in order to save the franchise. If you're the Boss, run tings rudebwoy! don't be running the floor with dem youn uns. Handle ya business. Oh yea an about that vp spot, brothers be still waiting for an interview. You got the resume right? Yo, holla at ya boy, What? It could happen you know. :-)


Anonymous said...

Bwoy, JDid, I don't think I qualified to comment here....scarcely follow dem kinda music....Kayne who???

But, I think you made your points well. Agree with you about showbiz being hype and image. Plenty of who 'popular' today, would be nutten IMHO were it not for media hype.....I won't bother to call names.

Mek sure seh de Santa story post tomorrow or nuff shot a go fire...remember, is JAMDOWN me born and grow. Awoah! ;-) Dr. D.

Melody said...

Jdid, ah don't really know that guy, but De Piggy don't like the idea of "role models" encouragin impressionable youngsters to drop out of school or to avoid college. That's dangerous for a people who're already under-represented in school.

Scratchie said...

Bwoy, I have not a clue as to who you are talking about so I best keep quiet. Like Doc and Piggy said. I see your point though about media hype. I do think that the artistes bear a responsibility to showcase a positive image. He may have gotten away with dropping out of school but how many of us can survive like that in today's world?

o said...

Did you spell his name wrong for a reason?
look yeh, the place where I was interning couldn't pronounce the brother's name right. I had to keep correcting them. And then they looked at me like "Oh, the Black girl...we should have asked her first." I heard the most ABSURD pronunciations of his name. It's sickening.

o said...

Oh ya, and Spaceship was my favourite track, along with School Spirit.
My sistas and I would blast Spaceship when I worked retail, hoping our duppy of a boss would hear. Cussid eediot.

Jdid said...

solitaire you noticed that lol great work! it's basically a slip on my part. for the longest time before when he was just producing i'd see the name and hear the pronounciation and think why isnt it pronounced cain. then i finally realized the n came before the y. oh well my bad but yall know who i'm talking about...i think :-)

JustMe said...

Hi Jdid!

Hey...great blog. This is the first of many visits for me. I've always thought that Kanye West was a little arrogant to say the least, but I like his music overall. I saw his comments at the AMAs, but he apologized for them...even to the artist he dissed (she said he was very humble when he approached her).

How old is the guy. That could be the most significant factor in his arrogance. He did blow up rather quickly from a public eye standpoint (although it seems he's been producing hits for years).

I say, he earned all of his kudos...and he's got some big balls for the Jesus Walks song.

The only thing I'm sick of is the extremely accellerated background vocals that make too many of his songs sound like they're being backed by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

By the way...when do I get to move to the favorite blogs list? What's a sista got ta do?

Are you from Jamaica originally? I swear, I'm going to retire there.

Jdid said...

just me, my bad forgot to add you to the favorites. you'll be on in a bit.

nope not jamaican. born and raised in Barbados.

JustMe said...

My sister once told me I'd love Barbados as much as I love Jamaica. I'm going to try and see for myself in 2005. I'll keep you posted...

Abeni said...

I think he somewhere in the mid twenties.

o said...

Oh ya and mi was one dat did raise ire when mi did hear seh 'im nominated for Dove awards (those are Gospel Grammys). Lawd mi VEX till mi BEX, iyah! Shims! Di song called "Jesus Walks" wasn't a gospel song. He was just pointing out that Jesus wouldn't get played in a club (and he proved them wrong). Nuh preach bout di Gospel a Christ.

What a ting.