The honey badger doesn’t care. The honey badger just does what it wants.
Now substitute “Kanye West” in place of “honey badger” and you have a pretty good summary of the crazed rapper’s latest artistic effort, “Yeezus.” Yeah, just because he had a baby with Kim Kardashian doesn’t mean he has sold-out musically.
In fact, it’s difficult for me to review this album, because I can’t really pinpoint West’s influences exactly. Usually, I know enough about different styles of music to comment on them, but all I can say about this album is it is industrial and dark. Even by West’s standards.
That said, this isn’t a “Wall of Sound” style of production. Apparently, Rick Rubin was brought in, as the album was nearing completion, to strip down its sound to the bare essentials. And frankly, the extra space that comes with Rubin’s production is what makes the album so incredibly dark.
Also in abundance is West’s use of completely uncongenial samples. This is the reason why I truly respect Kanye West and have no qualms about his sampling methods. He is a master at taking multiple samples from songs of completely different genres and blending them together, creating a new song that sounds completely natural.
So basically, the music on this album is top quality and, next to Macklemore, probably the most interestingly produced rap you will hear this year.
And then there are the lyrics.
Now, Kanye West isn’t typically known for having the most insightful lyrics. His verses usually discuss how blacks should be better represented and how he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. He also writes about his wealth, women and his … you know. And believe me, all of those are abundant here.
Yet somehow, West seems less full of himself talking about these themes. Maybe it’s the way he almost screams his lines out of anger. It’s not just that Kanye West thinks that he is a god — he’s going to make you believe it, too.
So, in conclusion, half of you reading this review will hate “Yeezus.” Others will just be plain confused by it. Those remaining might have a standing chance of liking this album. And Kanye West really couldn’t care less.
West knows he produced a masterpiece, and he didn’t produce it out of a desire for fame or money. He made this album because it was the album he wanted to make. And he doesn’t care if the mainstream ever gets it. And that is what true art is all about.