Yeezus Saves: Kanye West, Black Power & Consumerism

Contextually speaking, Kanye West's broad generalizations about race, wealth & power may be the best we can hope for from a Top 40 emcee signed to a major record label.

As a fan of Hip Hop, I’ve been at least casually interested in both the subject matter and presentation of Kanye West’s albums since his emergence as a soloist in 2004. With roughly a week before his debut was set to drop, my impatience and what was left of my college financial aid refund got the best of me. So my first experience with The College Dropout didn’t come from a Best Buy or some other retail spot, but from a neighborhood bootlegger in the Bankhead section of Atlanta who had a few cardboard boxes with burned CDs including black and white, Xeroxed liner notes. While I have the diminishing hairline and expanding waistline to mark the time between that initial debut and next week’s release of Yeezus, it’s interesting to look back at how West has presented each body of work during his tenure as a soloist.

These days, other than pure entertainment value, I’ve been gravitating toward Hip Hop that looks at common experiences through the larger lens of black culture. The fact that I don’t want or need much else from Hip Hop now is probably about as subtle a hint to move on from consuming and professionally writing about Top 40 Hip Hop as that baby screaming, “Message!” in Don’t Be A Menace. But my interest was slightly piqued when I heard Kanye West debuted songs entitled “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” on “SNL.” I guess for my own selfish reasons, I’ve always preferred an angry, slightly militant Kanye. As I look forward to whatever the hell Yeezus is going to be with cautious optimism, I can also look back like most fans on earlier interactions with West’s music.

Yeezus Walks: Kanye West & The Musical Tension Of Contradiction

“But I ain’t even gone act holier than thou / ‘Cause fuck it, I went to Jacob with 25 thou / Before I had a house, and I’ll do it again / ‘Cause I wanna be on 106 & Park pushin’ a Benz / I wanna act ballerific like it’s all terrific / I got a couple past due bills, I won’t get specific…” –Kanye West, “All Falls Down”

Kanye West, like 99% of the population, is a walking contradiction. I think the fact that he generally embraces the inconsistencies in his ideology makes for some interesting tension within his music. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I originally viewed him as a hybrid. For those of us that grew up on Diamond D, Pete Rock and later RZA and J Dilla, the idea of a producer that also played with the tempo of Soul samples and sometimes purposely rhymed offbeat wasn’t exactly new territory. But time and context can be hugely important.

Comparatively speaking, and when framed within the context of the 2003 Roc-A-Fella Records roster, I thought West was an outlier of sorts. The main acts on that iteration of The Roc were The Diplomats, State Property and co-founder Jay-Z, who was telling anyone within earshot that he was about to retire. Beanie Sigel, Freeway and the rest of State Property offered a brand of hardcore Hip Hop tempered with the self-discipline of Islam. Conversely, Dipset was a slightly more playful brand of the same hustling and pandering that the Chain Gang offered. So essentially—if we’re going to broadly generalize the roster for brevity’s sake—the label was headlined by a couple different variations on the poor drug dealer turned rapper archetype.

Aside from co-founder Dame Dash, who put himself through prep school, I never thought there were any representations of middle class, upwardly mobile black men on Roc-A-Fella Records. From The Blueprint forward, I thought Jay would pick his spots (“22 Two’s,” “You Must Love Me” and “Come And Get Me”), but prior to his retirement, he never went out of his way to incorporate social consciousness in his rhymes. All of the main acts presented themselves as men who made an entry into Hip Hop courtesy of the dope game. As far as Roc-A-Fella was concerned, West changed that perception. He wasn’t a hustler, nor did he denounce hustling or the conditions that made it an appealing career choice. Kanye touted the ethos of De La Soul and Hieroglyphics, but he also extolled the virtues of getting some good head. And just for good measure, he threw Mos Def on a song with Freeway (“Two Words”) to blur the lines between the perception of “gangsta” and “conscious.” Add in the undercurrent of West thumbing his nose at higher education (while making a deceptively smart album), trying to reconcile his hedonism with his faith, and I chalk up Kanye’s debut to a near-classic listen that is only diminished by my personal distaste for “Chipmunk Soul.”

Black And White: Kanye West And The Politics Of Race

“Now we ooze it through they nooks and crannies / So our mommas ain’t gotta be they cooks and nannies / And we gone repo everything they ever took from granny / Now the former slaves trade hooks for Grammys / This dark diction has become America’s addiction / Those who ain’t even black use it / We gone keep bagging up this here crack music…” –Malik Yusef, “Crack Music.”

Any hopes I have for Yeezus are at least partially informed by my favorite Kanye West albums, Late Registration and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Two songs aren’t much to go off of, but I get the feeling Yeezus will be somewhat militant and dark the way those albums were. I enjoy how West’s sophomore album lacked the sales battle fanfare of Graduation, the back-story and dramatic genre and tonal shift of 808’s & Heartbreak and the outright opulence of Watch The Throne. But you can also make the argument that the commercial success of Graduation and 808’s & Heartbreak created the perfect climate for the albums that followed it.

I’ve always felt things changed in 2005, when some of the staunchest conservatives begrudgingly joined the anti-Bush movement. West appeared on NBC’s “A Telethon For Hurricane Relief.” Among a few unintelligible remarks about FEMA’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina, West blurted out, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people!” For the casual fans that skipped Late Registration songs like “Crack Music,” “My Way Home,” and “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” I always thought West’s outburst was a jarring reminder that he wasn’t going to play nice. It was satisfying to see his tantrums and random outbursts weren’t just limited to being snubbed for awards. Of course, the larger problem was that West was painting in broad strokes and didn’t appear particularly informed about the inner workings of race and class warfare.

“I think Kanye’s comments on Katrina was a sexy thing to say,” Killer Mike told Mass Appeal in 2006. “Kanye is not going to say ‘poor,’ because Kanye wears couture Ralph Lauren suits. The minute Dr. King walk up and say, ‘This isn’t about race, this about po—’ Pop! Pop! Pop! He was laying there dead before ‘poverty’ even got out of his mouth, because what you’re doing there is fucking up a system of institutionalized servitude. When you start talking about issues of poverty, you go beyond race. Kanye polarized a whole community of poor whites that got killed in Alabama, the Gulf Coast and Mississippi.”

Maybe Kanye’s generalization is one of the reasons his Bush quote didn’t cause as much of an uproar as the Taylor Swift incident. Maybe not. I won’t say West is ignorant to the connection between capitalism and race. Poor whites and blacks under the same systematic oppression have been pitted against each other since the late 1700s. As such, maybe Mike’s quote speaks to ‘Ye winning over large segments of non-black listeners. I can’t help but wonder if that helped him when he geared up for his next two albums.

The minor fiasco surrounding Kanye’s unscripted rant died down. And, looking back, I thought the presentation of Graduation—with its Takashi Murakami-designed, Pop Art theme—was an indicator of where West was headed. The album would eventually sell over two million copies, powered by stadium anthems like the quintuple-platinum single “Stronger.” And as he shot to the top of the A-list, most of the talk about race, class and anything controversial disappeared from his studio albums. I pretty much felt the same way about the Comme de Garcons and KAWS-themed 808’s & Heartbreak. Much like Graduation, Kanye’s breakup-fueled fourth album boasted hit singles (the triple-platinum, “Love Lockdown” and the double platinum “Heartless”). The commercial success of those two albums moved West into the realm of an A-list celebrity; Kanye was no longer just rapper famous, he was “famous, famous.”  Maybe things would’ve stayed that way if it weren’t for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

A Swift Backlash: Kanye’s Beautiful, Dark P.R. Nightmare

“I keep that GOAT book on the ottoman / And wrote hooks about slaves that was slaughtered in, the 1800s / Y’all forget that I got called nigger / On Twitter, so many times / Yo, I lived that / Now I’m just tryna find where to raise my kids at / ‘Cause they don’t want niggas next to where they crib at / Hey realtor, I’m lookin’ for a nice park / Twelve noon, she said my family gone make it too dark…” –Kanye West, “Chain Heavy.”

I felt the 2009 Taylor Swift incident—intentionally or not—shifted the focus right back on race. Some of this was self-inflicted on Kanye’s part, since I think the act of a grown, (and presumably drunk) black man publicly embarrassing a young, white woman is a loaded, racial image in and of itself. But then there was the backlash and the ensuing public relations nightmare.

“When a black man speaks rudely in the presence of a younger white woman—and that’s all Kanye really did—and it gets described as an ‘attack’ or a ‘violation’ or an ‘assault,’ you bet that’s playing into centuries of racist tropes,” wrote Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly. “When a black man does something impolite, making no reference whatsoever to race, and he immediately gets crucified for ‘hating white people’ or ‘reverse racism,’ that itself is a form of racism.”

Blackout: Kanye West Courts & Abandons Traditional Media

“They throwin’ hate at me / Want me to stay at ease / Fuck you and your corporation / Y’all niggas can’t control me / I know that we the new slaves / I know that we the new slaves / I’m ‘bout to wild the hell out / I’m going Bobby Bouchet…” –Kanye West, “New Slaves”

West took a public relations beating, got called racial epithets on Twitter and essentially gave up on trying to have a traditional exchange with the media. I think that’s a huge part of why we began to see “G.O.O.D. Fridays” and events like Kanye projecting his video performances on skyscrapers. These are promotional tools that allow West to directly interact with fans and bypass the traditional media, promotional cycle. The way we as fans have been introduced to these albums has definitely shaped my experience as a listener. But I also wonder how much West’s poor impulse control factors into the decision to bypass traditional media.

During the 2010 edition of “G.O.O.D. Fridays,” It seemed like Kanye was hell bent on the idea that he could piecemeal his next album to fans for free, track-by-track every Friday. Maybe this was some stroke of marketing genius (since the full product was bound to leak on peer-to-peer sites weeks ahead of schedule). If we’re to believe the tweets that have long since been deleted, then maybe “G.O.O.D. Fridays” was at least partially one long mea culpa both to Taylor Swift but more likely to West’s fans.

“Dark Fantasy” was my long, backhanded apology,” West recently told Jon Caramanica in a New York Times profile. “You know how people give a backhanded compliment? It was a backhanded apology. It was like, all these raps, all these sonic acrobatics. I was like: “Let me show you guys what I can do, and please accept me back. You want to have me on your shelves.”

Through some revisionist history, it’s almost as if West has been taking back the Swift apology. The two subsequent projects weren’t apologetic, but I can’t help but wonder if they were efforts to recapture West’s commercial dominance from the Graduation days. While they produced hit singles such as “Ni**as In Paris,” and “Clique,” I don’t think too many Kanye West fans were completely satisfied with Watch The Throne or Cruel Summer. The former saw Kanye and Jay offering commentary on their blackness through the lens of consumerism and capitalism. And I thought Nitsuh Abebe of New York magazine’s Vulture blog was spot on in calling it an album “about the relationship of black American men to wealth, power, and success.” I’m not sure if West was trying to recapture the communal vibe from those Hawaiian Dark Fantasy sessions, but Cruel Summer was both underwhelming and unfocused. All of which brings things back to June 18 and the release of Yeezus.

Kanye’s Renewed Interest In The Black Agenda

In some ways, I think West hasn’t really solved the internal conflicts he presented on The College Dropout. He performed “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” in front of a glowing, “Not For Sale” sign. Yet he’s still endorsing $300 Air Yeezy’s that are most likely made in sweatshops for pennies. Of course, I’m typing this with a pair of Air Max 95s on and an iPhone in my pocket. The latter was made in conditions so deplorable they install safety nets to keep the Foxconn employees from leaping to their deaths. So who am I to talk? On “Murder To Excellence,” Ye’ laments, “509 died in Chicago,” but he apparently has no qualms about recording with Chief Keef—who is either one of the victims or sources of Chicago’s articulated black, male rage (and the violence it sometimes spawns). In the aforementioned New York Times profile, West compares himself to late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. But based on Apple’s tyrannical business practices, Jobs was more of a new plantation owner than a new slave. So, again the conflict arises. Is West uninformed, or is he trying to reconcile the dichotomy between Jobs as a technical innovator and an aggressive, exploitive uber capitalist?
I don’t think Kanye West is some revolutionary. And I think Hip Hop has evolved (or devolved) to the point where we’ll never get Public Enemy or Amerikkka’s Most Wanted-style commentary from an emcee within the Top 40. So if we’re judging West within that paradigm shift, then the broad generalizations he makes about race, wealth and power in America are about the best you can hope for.

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @OmarBurgess.


RELATED: What If Rawkus Records Would Have Signed Kanye West? [2011 EDITORIAL]


  • OsaGz

    "Kanye touted the ethos of De La Soul and Hieroglyphics, but he also extolled the virtues of getting some good head". That made me laugh!

  • firetongue


  • Kareem Joseph

    Check out allnthese comments. Look at the dialogue Kanye West provoked. Nuff' said.


    whoever wrote this article is a bitch ass nigga. how you gon write a headline says black power just to get the white boys riled up and kanye didnt even say no crazy shit like that. you bitch niggas cant get ppl in with your journalism so you gotta resort to racist headlines to get looks and comments..faggots

  • Lorraine P. Cole

    what Arthur implied Im taken by surprise that any body can earn ($)5698 in one month on the computer. have you seen this web site...

  • Nasstill@it

    Kanye West is just looking for attention, he is definitely not what he used to be. The wack music proves it period.

  • Prince Kareem

    The very same people who called him nigger, he still continues to cater to, he still continues to be a slave for them...heck he even got with one of their women.

    • Anonymous

      Marcus Garvey bitch

    • Anonymous

      Kanye is a white man trapped in a black mans body...he can't help it. Blacks like you are also the issue, stop talking about Malcolm X...Live your life and you'll realize one day that people who see you as criminal for no reason aren't worth the time. Their are idiots on all sides.

  • Prince Kareem

    "Kanye West doesn't care about Black People either" ^ Put a stamp on that. As a Black Man these ignorant negroes disgust me, they will happily sell out themselves, their culture, their race, and their people for a quick buck. Hey, at least Trinidad James had the audacity to admit it!...something which these sell out cowards would never do. It's funny, cause Kanye said himself he repeatdly got called a 'nigger' in the aftermath of the taylor swift drama...yet who did he go running to? a white woman? what is happening to black america?. Everything Malcolm taught us has been lost. These Black Men like the good little coons they are as another user said are just happy to have "made it in a white mans establishment". they think it makes them slaves is certainly the correct title for these coons.

  • Truth to Power

    Also, people who ARE satisfied with artist's like Kanye who moderately challenge the system while at the same time empower it, are flat out lost as well. I like Kanye's music, but I will never support him as a socially conscious rebel, because he in no way represents anything close to what Huey, Malcolm, MLK, Fredrick... did. And he never will. Guys like Dead Prez, Immortal Technique and Malik Yusef are the ones who carry that tradition on, at least in terms of HipHop. All this, "I'm happy a Black man made it in the White man's establishment" is pure coonery... unless these men are infiltrating it to tear it down, which none of them are. Performing a rap song at Rocafeller Plaza, that complains about the establishment, is no where comparable to Malcolm X articulately pounding on the racist establishment at Oxford, or Fredrick Douglas beautifully shunning a crowd made up entirely of White people at a 4th of July celebration. Call it like it is... go further than this weak critique... Kanye is just another lost nigga.

    • They always forget about Marcus...

      ^^ agreed. Read Marcus Garvey bro, U an't mention any of those guys without mentioning Garvey....!!! It was a poor critique.... Ye about as concious as my backpack.

  • Truth to Power

    The author did a alright job, though, I'm still unsatisfied. It's like, even the critics, that attempt to speak truth to power, are themselves (self-described in this case) hypocrites. Which is why they go so light in their critiques and gloss it over in passive aggressive stabs. They don't want to give up their own chains, yet they want to shun others for their self-induced enslavement. And no, 99% of the world aren't in this same boat, as the author states. Most people, especially outside the "mega-industrialized" world, are not bathing in their materialistic desires. The problem is, the so-called "revolutionaries" today, in the West, are for the most part lost, with no guidance or real life examples to mimic. Hip Hop originated as a revolutionary force, but all it is today is a commodity used by the very people it once challenged to further enslave the very people it once represented. THROW AWAY YOUR iPHONE! TAKE OFF YOUR JORDAN'S AND GIVE THEM TO THE HOMELESS! LIVE WITH THE BARE ESSENTIALS YOU NEED TO SURVIVE IN THIS SOCIETY AND BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!

    • trp

      you do realize the fact that your posting a comment like this on the internet is a practice in hypocrisy?

  • Anonymous

    arab is the new black lol...arabs can practically blend in with white america or separate from it all together through the use of their own language ... and are not affected as much by poverty and mindcontrol of white america.. its a statistical fact

    • stop it

      when you see an arab you know hes arab you dont think oh maybe hes white-- no the MF is arab and you can tell.

  • d

    Your reaching if your trying to portray Kanye as having any conscious militant elements. 1 bar an album does not a conscious artist make.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article that has a pretty good sum up of Kanye West. He's far from perfect or the role model but honestly he's one of the few mainstream conscious artists we have. Kanye has good intentions but he's built up a bad track record from the Taylor Swift incident, egotistical interviews & now marrying the media whore named Kim Kardashian. His image is bad right now but that dnt mean his music has to be. Ofcourse, every hip-hop will give this album a listen even if they lie and say they wont.

  • Anonymous

    Omar is definitely one of, if not the only, competent writers for this site. While I don't agree with all of his points, he does makes good points for his case. For those who didn't bother reading, why even click on the article?

  • blitzlegga

    I wish i could get back the 2min it took me to read this article. Maybe you should write another long boring article so that you can get to the point that you were trying to make in this long boring article....

  • lol

    when will black people realize they made it? now its up to you do depend on how your life turns out. arabs and hispanics get treated 10 times worse. arab is the new black in america

    • Anonymous

      With the times... ?? where you re-write history... and ignore the fact the black man is besieged and raped abbroad so the western empire can feed?? Sure.. when hell freezes over!

    • lol

      @ u dont know- two things- 1) if even black ppl see black ppl do stupid shit- id think its a black ppl issue not a white man is fuckin w us issue- you got opps like your ansestors never had before- take them 2)japanese people didnt consistantly bomb places all over the world for decades and decades. and they live in peace- arabs are just reckless blow themselves up n shit

    • lol

      @anon- shut up fag. its 2013 get with the times or get ran over

    • Anonymous

      Arabs & Hispanics wnet through 600 years of slavery.....??? GTFOh

    • u dont kno

      Man dont say black people made it when i have to hussle every day to make sure i have some where to lay my head. There is not a race in america that gets discriminated against as much as blacks. Asians, Arabs, Whites and even blacks always see a black men to be up to no good. the way americans look at arabs today the same as they looked at japanesse people during WW2, as the enemy. We no longer look at japanesse people in that light and eventually we want see arabs that way, but i can promise you that blacks will always be criminal

  • Anonymous

    didnt read the article, but watched that last SNL performance. I give Kanye G status. G for Gay

  • Anonymous

    Loveley Article Omar This is exactly What's been on my mind about the artist and Im glad Someone has the actual guts to speak some truth

  • ziggiy

    "I think Hip Hop has evolved (or devolved) to the point where well never get Public Enemy or Amerikkkas Most Wanted-style commentary from an emcee within the Top 40." Nas's Untitled from 2008 says hello

  • Pegasus Flow

    I'll be honest, I didnt get through the ENTIRE thing because I'm trying to work and read at the same time but I certainly liked what I did read . Anyway, something I took away from this and the comments in addition to what I observe on a regular basis is that me being a white dude, certainly dont know what it is to have black problems or black struggles, but at the same time have had some of my own and have had some that are universal regardless of race. Point is, society is constantly trying to polarize us against each other using all these distractions, ensuring racism stays alive to keep us fighting and lose focus. And that in turn keeps us from coming together to fight an enemy of us both, that fucks us all. The fat, rich, white assholes that run this world who continue to make money off of u and me by pumping out their bullshit for us to consume. So yes we are different and I do not know what its like to walk in a black mans shoes, but we still have our similarities which we COULD come together with. But that would be bad business for those rich assholes. Just a thought.

    • Marcus Garvey

      " certainly dont know what it is to have black problems or black struggles, but ..." Okay....this is where I stop. Google my name. learn something.

    • lol

      sorry i meant 'fat rich white assholes' smh

    • lol

      at this guy not knowing that asians populate corporations. as well as blacks having a strong come up in the business world theres more black ceos and owners than ever before.. so your logic about the 'fat old white man' is no longer relevant in 2013 the president is black

    • Anon

      Respect.. that's real talk. It's just that human beings are very easy to manipulate, especially through things that bring up negative emotions like race. Add to that the media owned by those same fat cats, that spread divisive propaganda and it's a real uphill struggle to unite people around freedom, justice, and true equality.

    • Pegasus Flow

      I also realize some of you might thank me for pointing out some obvious shit BUT it was sort of meant to sound that way. There isn't much changing with this current paradigm so I figure it can't hurt to remind those that already did know this. And trust me, there's a lot of ignorant people out there that still don't even see it that way.

  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that.! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support

  • SL

    Why the fuck you gotta brag about your air max 95s!

  • Dick B

    *pretty good

  • Dick B

    This is a pretty article.

  • COCA


  • Anonymous

    I like Yeezus, i got my copy from www. hiphopgood. com. They have all the shit on it, i got that born sinner and mac miller from HipHopGood Too. I think Ye got the best Cd out of the June 18th lineup.

  • steve hopkins

    It's always been a mystery to me why more black people don't reject Capitalism. Capitalism might not be inherently racist, but it's a pretty good means for the haves to keep the have-nots squirming beneath their jackboots while coughing up most of what they make each pitiful day. Capitalism and all its attendant ripoff scams (taxes, insurance, privatized medicine, price-fixing, usury, bundling derivatives, the war on drugs, whatever) are pretty much the brainchild of white people. Black people in particular didn't ask to be dealt this stacked deck of cards. So that, in effect, could be considered "racist." Anyway, here's a song about that to explain it better than I can. Ironically, it's by a white guy. Maybe some vocally talented black person might want to sing it on American Idol. THAT would be really ironic:

    • ButteryNugget

      Capitalism isnt racist, but it is classist. Now, how black folk got pigeonholed into ghettos, that was the result of racism. I think a lot of it is bullshit, but some taxes are necessary. Most folks, without the ever present threat of jail and going to hell, wouldnt act right. Taxes keep people in check: they fund education and law enforcement. True, the funding for those is probably backwards, but again, I think that is a testament to the inability of people to not be fucking nutty when opportunity arises.

  • The Ruler

    I agree with alot of these comments, but also the fans need to stop buying into all the bullshit that they put on the radio. Even as famous as Kanye is, his music will not be considered mainstream. I keep hearing people talking shit about his music being weird, when it is only different from what we are used to hearing. I'll take this "weird" music over a damn mike will club beat with a future hook any day.

  • Kareem Joseph

    Kanye West hung out with Dead Prez, Mos Def, and Taliban Kweli. He was groomed under RocAFella. Do you see the glaring contrast? His mother, Dr. Donda West was a brilliant and had a wealth of history and knowledge. His coming of age until now reaches a multitude of perspectives and eras in time. He spent a part of his life overseas in Japan with his mother. What he's had access to is an anomaly compared to other poor kids (not mentioning black kids). So what you're seeing from Kanye west isn't him trying to be ANYTHING. He's simply, or conflictingly being himself. Stop trying to force him to choose a side. His upbringing and the era in which he's being productive isn't one sided. It's deeply complex and troubled. And what I can say about Kanye's music is that it always explores social issues that are connected to him and in turn the world. What more do you want from him? No matter how contradictory it is, Kanye is being pure with his expression of artistry. Let him continue to be a mosaic to the culture of hip hop and the art form of rap. The hiphop aesthetic is multi faceted and layered. And Kanye West is the perfect example of what that aesthetic looks and sounds like in 2013. He said in "New Slaves" you guys can't control him- SO STOP!!!!

    • VoiceofReason

      Well said. People don't need to like Yeezus. In fact, I predict they'll either love it or hate it. But at the end of the day people should be able to appreciate Kanye for what he really is, an artist.

  • We are at War

    This is the proverbial fork in the road black middle class males must quander. Those fans who are white male do it too. Both shedding their backpacks for diaper knapsacks. As an artist, "reality celeb" and soon to be father..Jay's t shirt says it all Blame Society!!!

  • Anonymous

    you should see how white people ridiculing this guy on yahoo music. too bad he still makes music 4 them.

  • Anonymous

    honestly, yae represents whats going on "Contradiction" he isnt the first nor the last to do it

  • Anonymous

    what i can say is kayne gives more content than most of his peers without sacrificing his potential to make profit. at the end of the day its a business.. corperations break whistle blowers... its not smart to marytr yourself for political causes especially when your not a political figure.. hell, they wont even do it

  • M

    yooo so can someone recommend me a website to get this album on the illegal? I decided Kanye won't ever get any of my money, but for some reason still want to hear what he puts out. Thanks.

  • mando

    Good to see someone is pointing out that Kanye is no Steve Jobs... and contradictory.. if he continues that way... it simply wont happen... Like Drake said, all he is got is few years.. fuck the time difference. Your Ego will be the first thing to crucify your art.. if u can't handle it. There are tonns of middle class raps on soundcloud and spotify... for those of u looking...not just appealing to america, but the world. He should be kissing the media's ass, coz they are the ones putting him out there...

    • Kareem Joseph

      Stop taking his words out of context. That's why he doesn't do press today. He never said he was Steve Jobs. When he compared himself to the likes of Steve Jobs he was making the comparison solely on the aspect of innovation, creativity and impact on the culture of his profession. Kanye has been connected and directly responsible for a multitude of things that redefined hip-hop and rap for the last 10 years, whether it was fashion, production, or him dropping an album. His impact can't be ignored. And he doesn't have to kiss no media's ass. He garnered that attention on his own merit. He didn't ask for shit. Only thing he asked and plead for was for the media to take his art seriously

  • Thinker

    Some interesting viewpoints, very well written, one of the first well written editorials on this site that I've read, in a while. Kanye is attempting to be many things at once, as well as popular, in demand, and still have a voice. In the article with the NY times, he said he compromises 20 percent always, 80 percent what he wants 20 percent compromising. I think that this next album is probably a bit less compromising, just because he can. Unlike most rappers, he doesn't have to worry about it selling well, it will no matter what, at this point in time. Thusly he can focus more on creating the art he wishes to make instead of fulfilling some made up demands like a lot of rappers. He fulfills the demands just purely through creating. If only EVERYONE in hiphop could do this, then we could get back to "real hiphop". Real meaning original, creative, innovative, not continually shoving the same marketing schemes down our throats and hoping we buy it.

  • Anonymous

    Black agenda? Really, Kim is black now right? Black is a state of mind right?

  • Anonymous

    Well put. Until consumers bother to put hip-hop that will make them think into the mainstream, Kanye is the best we can hope for.