Saturday, September 25, 2010

So Appalled

So while I've been trying to not just write about every single G.O.O.D Friday track that comes out, its been getting harder and harder till finally, this Saturday morning, I couldn't help myself. Jesus tittyfucking Christ, its getting insane. I mean, Lord Lord Lord was crazy, I love that track except maybe the Swizz verse. Good Fridays, I didn't really rate, but then Devil in a New Dress was fantastic, vintage Kanye.

Now we come to the long anticipated So Appalled. Its simply crazy good. Jay-Z has a fantastic verse featuring some of his cold vicious logic ("What you rather be, underpaid or overrated?"). Kanye keeps his form on this with some amazing assonance along with good verses from Pusha T and CyHi The Prince. But the best moment for me comes at the very end with the RZA getting on his hype thing again. It comes as such a rush, that with the sheer multitude of verses, the dark and ominous beat and the cold aggression of the rappers, when RZA starts doing the chorus, its like being back in the 36 Chambers, without it ever seeming forced or hackneyed. Another good song from a G.O.O.D. series.

But what of G.O.O.D. Fridays themselves? Rappers have done stuff like this before, whether its a relatively constant stream of mixtape tracks or freestyles, a weekly thing, or even daily (like Freeways Month of Madness). Yet what we have here with Kanye is of a different breed. These aren't throwaway mixtape freestyles over the hot beat of the day. These are songs! These are originals with A List features. They're curated with dream lineups and striking artwork and design that sets them apart from the dubiously photoshopped mixtape covers that line the pages of Nah Right. Kanye has taken the breed of rappers that depend on the 24 hour internet rap news cycle to survive and completely son'ed them.

Yet that's what should have happened. Maybe I'm not getting the full picture cause I'm not on the ground in America, but it seems to me like there's a disconnect between these songs and the reaction Kanye usually gets. 70% of the tracks on here should have meant at the very least the internet should have ground to a halt. Yet it seems its business as usual, beyond the posts on the news sites like Nah Right and The Smoking Section. There's no follow up, no analysis, no real engagement with it. Maybe we've grown used to Kanyes crazy lineups, maybe we're just overwhelmed by it, maybe the songs are ahead of their time. Either way no-one seems to be coming to terms with it or admitting that most of the tracks that coming out of G.O.O.D. Fridays are a head and shoulders above everything else right now in rap, with a desire to sound like no one else.

It demonstrates the disconnect between the 'real world' and the class of people permanently connected to the internet (I am in box number two for sure). Especially for music, its becoming more and more evident that there is a huge gap. Many of my friends are fans of Kanye. Like Jay Z, hes one of those artists that's immediately accessible for white people, pop without being commercial. There is no uniform Kanye fan, they range from the casual who just get helllll turbo to Stronger, to those who got into him from 808's and Heartbreaks cause they could identify, those who exclaim (correctly) that Gone is the best Kanye song, those who can recite every word to his verse from Run this Town, those who don't drink the kool-aid and critique but still cop every song and to those who are simply 'Ye stans like myself. Its these broad spectrum of people who really really enjoy Kanye but simply just aren't hearing the new stuff. Whether it's due to the delay to reach terrestrial radio (about a month after Monster dropped I finally heard from my friend that hes 'heard the new Kanye song with Bon Iver and that chicks verse is crazy!') or just aren't as focused on the stuff.

Maybe thats the problem, Kanye despite being a guy who came up being a backpacker, from the underground, hes always been a guy who made songs for the radio, not to be searched for on the internet. And while every internet talking head will end up putting Kanye albums in their best of lists (Hi my name is 72) the reality is they're more focused on the new up and comers. And with most Kanye fans getting their fix through radio and tv, we wind up with this chasm where all this good music gets lost in. I'm so appalled!

Kanye West - So Appalled (feat. RZA, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz & CyHi Da Prynce)

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