This is a very random rant.
Some people have ‘decried’ the absence of J Cole’s “Born Sinner” from the Grammy nomination list as well as wondered at the inclusion of Kanye West’s “Yeezus”. These people are illiterates and should not be allowed near an internet connection except for the purpose of receiving an education. It is not just that Born Sinner, while accessible, is thoroughly mediocre; it’s also that it says nothing new.
Born Sinner does not advance the cause of rap as a genre. It does not teach us anything new. It has no lyrical content for us to ponder on. It’s just there - another decent rap album.
Enter Yeezus. After Kanye West introduced the world to ‘designer rap’ with “Watch the Throne”, he retreated to Paris to recreate how we experienced the genre. No one can claim that Yeezus is accessible; instead, it feels like watching the runway from a John Galliano show. You see exaggerated lines and stark contrasts and you immediately know two things:
- No one is wearing this to work on Monday
- This will inspire what we will wear to work a year from now
This isn’t the first time Kanye has done this. When he released 808s & Heartbreaks, people complained too. Weird. Inaccessible. Not classic rap.
Today, we listen to Kid Cudi, Drake & Lil’ Wayne singing and very few realise how much they owe to 808. My suspicion is that Yeezus will start off a few trends that will trickle down to mainstream rap in a few years, and who knows, maybe to a J Cole album in 2017.