I didn’t know how to describe Ye’s new album when it dropped and I don’t think he could have either. First of all, comparing yourself to Jesus or God would fundamentally imply that you’re above worldly things, which he clearly contradicts throughout the entire project. I get it though. Rappers like to make ambiguous comparisons to religious and Greco-Roman figures now. Look at everything that Def Jam artists do now. Enough already, find a new angle.
Title aside, “On Sight” is the worst song he has ever made and it’s the first fucking record on the whole project. I refuse to do a track-by-track analysis of the whole album but for the most part it’s filled with choppy, confusing transitions and over-produced broken airplane engine sounds. A few meaningful joints stood out like “Black Skinhead,” “New Slaves, "Hold My Liquor” and “Blood On The Leaves” but homie, wuda fuck is up with the autotune still? I understand that he’s trying to do something new, something that people can’t place in a category, and everyone should appreciate that. But the same time, this just ain’t GOOD music Ye. Maybe next time give Rubin more than 15 days to work on it before it drops.
Jay’s album is more hip-hop than Kanye’s latest in that it has a lot more lyrical content. One thing is a lock: Jay-Z can still flow as clean if not cleaner than almost everyone in the game. You don’t see him taking too many flows from other artists, which is uncommon in rap today. Unfortunately all he can speak to now is his massive fortune that he accumulated being a “real nigga.” To him the world is perfect because he is rich and everybody else is not. One would think that a person that has come so far would have more to say, but since we don’t get anything but albums from him, his major label projects are all a listener has to go on.
“Holy Grail” and “On The Run” are the collabs to listen to and “Somewhereinamerica” is my favorite record – Hit Boy kills the beat too. I’m still trying to figure out if Jay-Z was originally dissing Miley Cyrus though? I don’t think mufas realize that sarcasm and sub-tweeting over the internet is not helpful to anyone but themselves. He does say in this interview that he likes her twerking. Regardless, to me, this album was aimless but altogether decent.
Magna Carta… Holy Grail
Hip-hop in 2013 is, for the most part, shit. At the same time, so is every other genre. People as a whole are so easily distracted by what is coming next that they can’t take the time to fully experience a work of art. Music is based on the artist’s life experiences: where they are from, what they do and what they believe. The internet is taking the culture of music and smashing it all into a faceless two-and-a-half minute synthetic combination of sounds with a looped, mind numbing empty chorus.
Another part of the problem is how single minded most artists are. They are trying to be the best at one thing that has predetermined boundaries. For example, a rapper can only provide vocals for a record. He or she can’t go outside of that realm. Me, I’m an athlete, student, professional speaker, emcee, record producer, audio engineer, radio DJ, promoter, clothing designer, video director and writer, among many other things. Unless an artist is matched perfectly to a support system for his or her one skill, they will fail. There are fewer opportunities in Wisconsin than most other states so it’s more of a necessity for me. At the same time though, I think it’s made me more dynamic altogether.
The other part of this diversification idea is that artists need to be as creative as they can, within themselves. Ok, so you’re a producer, but you can only make one style of beat? You’re a singer but you can’t write your own lyrics? Nobody should pretend to be anything they’re not but they shouldn’t be scared to be everything they are either.