Monday, September 17, 2007

Graduation










Kanye West
Graduation

When I was a teen growing up in NJ, I consumed massive amounts of hip-hop, most of which came out of NYC. There were bands like A Tribe Called Quest, Naughty By Nature, Das EFX, Black Sheep, Redman, Wu Tang Clan, Nas, and countless others. I had a hunger for hot beats and great rhymes. It used to be that you could only get your hands on mixtapes by guys like DJ Clue if you went to NYC yourself, or if you knew anyone who had a copy. Those days are long gone. Artists now in the hip-hop scene have more potential to reach a larger audience other than those in "the hood". Not only that, but we are seeing many artists cross genres to make songs with musicians in other scenes. And what better example of that than Kanye West. You gotta admit, the man knows how to promote himself. From public rants to a confidence that's mixed with a narcicisstic complex, he draws attention. So naturally you had to assume there would be much publicity surrounding his latest album Graduation.

The guy's not a drug dealer, didn't grow up in the hood, and doesn't have much street cred. But he's a slick musician. And that's evident all throughout the album. Whether he's doing a collaboration with Coldplay's Chris Martin on the song Homecoming, or banging out a radio hit like Stronger, his capability to cross musical genres puts him at the top of his game. You'd find more lyrical depth in his songs more than you would other rappers as he sings about persistance in reaching for your dreams and the flesh and blood of striving for a better life. Sometimes I think the guy bitches too much and tries to make a scene all to promote himself. But listening to his music, I realize it's not all hype and he is talented in his craft.

3 comments:

Danny said...

Just picked up the album, and when Homecoming came on i was like, " wtf that voice sounds familiar." I do have to give Kayne props for keeping the hip-hop scene fresh. Its a great album.

Society's Elite said...

hey danny,
that was a nice surprise, having chris martin on there... and a wise move by kanye... i also dig "the glory" too...

Society's Elite said...

wow, it's funny, when you google the lyrics for "the glory" it comes up with CCM band avalon's song too... hahah... now that would make a nice combo, kanye and avalon... anyway back to "the glory", the best part for me is when he said:

"what am i supposed to do now
man the game all messed up

how i suppose to stand out when everyone get dressed up

so yeah at the grammies i went ultra travolta

yeah that tuxedo mighta been a little guido

but with my ego, i can stand there with a speedo

and still be looked at like a fuckin hero
"