Dr. West or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embraced Myself

It’s been little over a week since Kim Kardashian announced the revival of the much loved GOOD Fridays, the series in which Kanye West dropped a fresh track every Friday prior to the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In the largely dismissed “FACTS”, and the general lack of direction found within his sparse body of work in 2015, there was genuine fear within the music community that SWISH could flop. With the first post-announcement drop of said series, “Real Friends”, this fear was immediately expelled.

 

‘Ye on that Late Registration flow’, was the frequently voiced opinion.

 

This that old Kanye.’

 

But I, for one, don’t necessarily agree. In fact, with the exception of 2012’s excellent “White Dress”, I would say Kanye hasn’t released a pre-808s track since, well, before 808s & Heartbreak. A significant departure from his prior works, 808s is to-date his most unfiltered work. Stylistically, and thematically – with its focus on introspection, the record ushered in a new wave of artists; Drake, Kid Cudi, Future, Young Thug, alongside a wealth of non-hip hop acts such as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, simply do not exist without the foundations that Kanye laid out.

 

Following the unqualified success that was Graduation – which similarly marked the turning point in mainstream hip hop, as it challenged and outsold the gangsta rap of 50 Cent’s Curtis – 2008 proved to be a difficult year for Kanye. He lost his mother and his fiancée, and was struggling to adapt to the global pop star status he had once striven to achieve. Case in point, the image below is comprised of two frames; the first result on Google Images for when you search ‘Kanye West 2007’, and ‘Kanye West 2008’, on the left, and right, respectively. This was clearly no longer the same man.

 

Kanye

Pre-808s || Post-808s

 

This isolation and lack of connection translated directly into his music on 808s. It’s expressed best in the haunting closer, “Pinocchio Story”, a song Kanye chose to release in its live form, rather than a studio recording. As he tears himself apart on stage, blames only himself for his mother’s death and the lack of happiness in his life, we hear the crowd scream and cheer him on, oblivious to the words he’s singing. It’s eerily beautiful, both in its criticism of fame and the media, and for the raw emotion he expresses.

 

“What does it feel like, I ask you tonight / to live a real life.

I just want to be a real boy.”

 

And then there’s one of Kanye’s most underappreciated songs, “Welcome to Heartbreak”, with bars upon bars detailing his lack of real connection; “He said his daughter got a brand new report card / and all I got was a brand new sports car”; “My god-sister getting married by the lake / but I couldn’t figure out who I’d wanna take”. Though it could be seen in such a way, this isn’t Kanye being humorous or boastful – these are the words of a man so fucking lost in his wealth and fame that he’s lost sight of his own life; a form of classism, but directed at himself.

 

The parallels between “Welcome to Heartbreak” and “Real Friends” are evident. I’m choosing to highlight a particular lyric here, because I think it’s a little underappreciated.

 

“I couldn’t tell you how old your daughter was / couldn’t tell you how old your son is.”

 

The lines are reminiscent of the typical throwaway upper-class comments found within “Welcome to Heartbreak”, but without the obvious introspective lines succeeding them. But pay closer attention to the details – notice the lack of rhyme, highlighting the shift from past to present tense. He doesn’t care much about your son, and he never cared much about the death of your daughter either. In a song tackling the relationship struggles within his friends and family, when it comes right down to it, he knows he’s the only one to blame. No one knows that Kanye is a self-serving narcissistic douchebag more than Kanye himself.

 

FFE94AA9BCADD2CD9FA88F9E47A6D2F8

Runaway 

 

But it’s his acceptance of this that distinguishes him. This acknowledgment of his public perception, of who the real Kanye is, allows him to write lyrics that no one else could possibly write – no one has both the power, and the attitude, to do so. There’s a terrific little section in Twisted Fantasy’s “Devil in a New Dress” that highlights this:

 

“I hit the Jamaican spot, at the bar, take a seat

I ordered the jerk, she said you are what you eat

You see I always loved that sense of humour

But tonight you should have seen how quiet the room was.”

 

Still, over 130,000 people signed an online petition to remove Kanye’s headline slot at Glastonbury last year, largely due to the notorious decisions he has made in his life. Actions speak louder than words, after all. Whether you loathe him or you love him, understand that four of his six albums have topped the illustrious Pazz and Jop poll – championing the four albums the best of their respective years – and that the other two have had unprecedented effects on mainstream music.

 

And now we return to the crux of the matter: “Real Friends” is my favourite Kanye song since 2010. Possibly longer. My favourite all time track of his, as of this moment, is still “Street Lights”, in which he repeatedly states, “See I know my destination, but I’m just not there.” Ever since the loss of his mother, a major turning point in his life, he’s been searching for something. I don’t think Kim was the destination – Yeezus ­­more or less confirmed that. But in Nori, in Saint, I’m beginning to think Kanye may have found something real. The last time he was this transparent in his music, he crafted the most groundbreaking album since the turn of the century. I simply can’t wait for SWISH to drop.

 

https://soundcloud.com/kanyewest/real-friends-no-more-parties-in-la-snipped

19 comments

  1. Beth 25 July, 2016 at 17:44 Reply

    Also make sure you know which diet pill is best for you because each one
    does a specific endeavor to enable you to shed weight.

  2. minecraft 29 April, 2019 at 01:32 Reply

    excellent issues altogether, you simply received a logo new reader.

    What would you suggest in regards to your post that you just made a few days in the past?
    Any certain?

  3. minecraft 30 April, 2019 at 10:57 Reply

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d
    ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My blog addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel
    we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be
    interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Awesome blog by the way!

  4. russell westbrook shoes 7 May, 2019 at 20:19 Reply

    I and also my friends were studying the best tricks located on the website and then quickly got a terrible feeling I never thanked the site owner for them. Those women appeared to be absolutely joyful to see all of them and have now sincerely been loving these things. Appreciation for simply being very kind as well as for pick out certain ideal subjects millions of individuals are really wanting to learn about. Our own honest regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  5. minecraft download pc 8 May, 2019 at 19:04 Reply

    Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your put up is just
    nice and i could think you are a professional in this
    subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to take hold
    of your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  6. jimmy choo 11 May, 2019 at 18:40 Reply

    Thanks for each of your effort on this website. My niece delights in participating in internet research and it is easy to see why. We all notice all relating to the dynamic form you render helpful techniques on your web site and therefore encourage contribution from the others on that content and our own daughter has always been learning a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You are always performing a good job.

  7. g 12 May, 2019 at 13:52 Reply

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
    find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your
    next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  8. download minecraft 14 May, 2019 at 14:54 Reply

    Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

  9. yeezy boost 350 v2 16 May, 2019 at 07:39 Reply

    I want to express thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this predicament. Just after searching through the world-wide-web and getting things which are not powerful, I believed my life was well over. Existing without the presence of strategies to the difficulties you’ve solved all through your entire blog post is a critical case, and the kind that might have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t come across your web blog. Your personal mastery and kindness in dealing with a lot of stuff was helpful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t discovered such a thing like this. I can also at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks a lot so much for the professional and effective guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse your site to any person who needs and wants direction on this subject.

  10. minecraft download free pc 16 May, 2019 at 22:37 Reply

    I think everything published was very logical. However, what about this?

    suppose you were to write a killer post title?
    I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your blog,
    but suppose you added a headline that makes people desire more?
    I mean Dr. West or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embraced
    Myself | What's Good is a little vanilla. You should peek at Yahoo’s front page and
    watch how they write article titles to get people interested.
    You might add a related video or a picture or two to grab readers interested about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it might
    bring your posts a little livelier.

  11. lacoste polo 20 May, 2019 at 16:02 Reply

    Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog. Kate delights in conducting investigation and it’s really easy to see why. Most of us notice all concerning the lively tactic you offer efficient solutions via the web site and inspire participation from visitors on the concern while our favorite princess has been being taught a lot of things. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You are doing a fabulous job.

Leave a reply