Kanye West: Six Reasons Yeezus Is One of Hip-Hop's Greatest of All Time
They say you don't know what you've got till it's gone, and we think some people are underappreciating Kanye West.
That's right -- it's not a popular opinion, but we actually believe Yeezus has done more for hip-hop than any other living artist, and possibly even any rapper of all time.
People get upset when he says things like, "We the real rock stars, and I'm the biggest of all of them." But those folks are just misguided haters. He's not saying, "I'm a god," he's saying, "We're all gods." It's like Kanye told Zane Lowe in his epic four-part BBC interview: "If you're a Kanye West fan ... you're a fan of yourself."
Here are six reasons to love Kanye. And yourself.
He Dares to Be Different
When Kanye West first hit the spotlight with College Dropout in 2003, rap was not in a thoughtful place. Thuggish types like 50 Cent ruled the Billboard charts, followed closely by mindless crunk anthems from Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz. No one wanted to touch a guy spittin' about culture, religion, art, or emotions, and it didn't help that he dressed like some suburban kid. Still, he fought long and hard for his chance to rock rhymes, and when Jay Z and the Roc picked him up, they ended up birthing a superstar. As he says on "I Am a God": "Pink-ass polos with a fuckin' backpack/But everybody knows you brought real rap back."
His Grade-A Word Play
We will admit that sometimes Kanye's lyrics can be straightforward and repetitive, but he's also a genius of wordplay, rhythm, and LOLs. Lest we forget, check these bars:
"Kinda a Big Deal": "Spittin' fire on the PJs in my PJs/Fire marshall said I took it to the Max like TJ/Y'all ain't peep how I said Marshalls, replay/I guess I'm like the Black Marshall meets Jay."
"Last Call": "I ain't play the hand I was dealt, I changed my cards/I prayed to the skies and I changed my stars/I went to the malls and I balled too hard/'Oh my god, is that a black card?'/I turned around and replied, 'Why yes/But I prefer the term African American Express'/Brains, power, and muscle, like Dame, Puffy, and Russell/Your boy back on his hustle, you know what I've been up to/Killin' y'all niggas on that lyrical shit/ Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips."
"Gorgeous": "Penitentiary chances, the devil dances/And eventually answers to the call of Autumn/All of them fallin' for the love of ballin'/Got caught with 30 rocks, the cop look like Alec Baldwin/The same people who tried to blackball me forgot about two things, my black balls."
See also: Ten Acts That Could Save Hip-Hop