Kanye West deliver a free-associative monologue about the media, George W. Bush, and Taylor Swift, though maybe that wasn’t a complete surprise when it happened almost three hours later. No, most of us were there for the music. On Monday, West released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album that just might be his best ever. Yesterday morning he announced a surprise show at the Bowery, a storied little club on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that fits 550 people, tops. Chances to see the day’s most talked-about star in such an intimate venue don’t come along every day, so downtown we flocked. READ FULL STORY »The hundreds of people crammed awkwardly onto the sidewalk outside NYC’s Bowery Ballroom around midnight last night were there for one reason. It wasn’t to hear
Tag: Kanye West (91-100 of 201)
Kanye West’s sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom last night was more than just a jam-packed concert — it was also a chance for the megawatt rapper to deliver an impassioned monologue on his reputation, the continued fallout from the Taylor Swift kerfuffle, and the recent rehash of his comments that George W. Bush doesn’t care about black people. “I always felt like I could do anything, but now I feel so fearless — after the year I had … to come back and do 100,000 the first day digital alone, to be slated to do 600,000 in the first week … but what that number says is that people want me to keep making music.” Check out the entire speech below: [contains a bunch of NSFW language] READ FULL STORY »
Quincy Jones does not like being compared to Kanye West. In a recent Us magazine interview, a reporter dared to utter the words, “Kanye West is similar to you in that he’s the producer everybody wants to work with in the last decade…” The famed producer’s retort: “How, man? No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on, man. He’s just a rapper. There’s no comparison.” Ouch.
“I’m not putting him down or making a judgment or anything, but we come from two different sides of the planet,” Jones continued. “I spent 28 years learning my first skill. I don’t rap. It’s not the same thing. A producer has to have some sort of skills that enable him to be a producer. It’s totally different to know what to do with 16 woodwinds you know from piccolos down to bass clarinet. It’s a whole different mindset. No comparison. None.”
With all due respect, I wonder how closely Jones has been listening if he really thinks Kanye West is “just a rapper.” West first became known for his remarkable talents as a producer. Opinions may vary on the quality of his lyrics, but it’s just not credible to deny that the man is an expert behind the studio boards. He actually does know what to do with 16 woodwinds, believe it or not! READ FULL STORY »
T.I. is back in prison, but he’s still proceeding with plans to release his album No Mercy on Dec. 7. The track that just leaked online should help rev up his fans. It’s called “Welcome to the World,” and it features Kanye West and Kid Cudi, two of T.I.’s most talented peers in rap right now.
The vibe is suitably dark given T.I.’s current situation. West introduces the listener to a lifestyle defined by “fast money, fast cars” but also “fake smiles” over an unnerving piano loop. “If you’re looking for your real love, you won’t find it here/If you’re looking for your real love, well, good night my dear,” he says caustically. “If you’re looking for real love, don’t come around here,” adds Cudi through heavy reverb. Man, these guys don’t make being a world-famous rap star sound like any fun at all.
T.I. kicks a typically nimble verse, full of the chattering flows and casual threats that are second nature to him. But the verse on this song that everyone’s going to be talking about belongs to West. He sounds as furious and focused as I’ve ever heard him here. “You must not really know where I come from/Exactly where my heart,” West raps, his voice rising in intensity. “Or you would never, never, NEVER — where do I start?” After addressing the moronic rumors that he’s part of some Illuminati secret society, he moves to an even more sensitive topic: T.I.’s legal troubles. “They’d rather see a n—- locked up,” West says of unnamed critics. “Why? For stupid s—/Look how they did my n— Tip/Soon as Wayne get out, Tip go in.”
Right now it’s just an unofficial leak, but a rep for T.I.’s label confirms that “Welcome to the World” will appear on No Mercy. That’s great news. Have you heard “Welcome to the World”? How do you like it?
(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
More on the Music Mix:
T.I.’s No Mercy due in December
EW’s review of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
After months of ever-quotable interviews, ballerina adorned performances, defiant rap verses, and some hilarious tweets, the day has finally come. Kanye West‘s highly anticipated My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is out today! The grade A album delivers on all fronts, with rhymes that are both brash and heartfelt and maximalist beats rich with strings, horns, and bass. In a year that’s seen stellar hip-hop albums from Eminem, Rick Ross, and Drake, this one reigns supreme.
Also out today is feisty newcomer Nicki Minaj‘s Pink Friday. Her debut set, boasting her soft rap ballads “Right Thru Me” and “Your Love,” also features appearances from Kanye West, Drake, and Eminem. And after scoring several No. 1 songs at the top of the year, Ke$ha’s Cannibal EP with eight new songs hit stores as well. Its lead single “We R Who We R” topped Billboard‘s hot 100 chart a few weeks back.
The loaded Monday continues with The Rolling Stones releasing their The Rolling Stones 1964-1969 box set, R&B titan Ne-Yo letting Libra Scale loose and Justin Bieber going simple, releasing his My Worlds Acoustic. So this question is simple: What albums are you buying this week? Let us know.
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
Fans who sifted through the official singles, televised short film, and free downloads that Kanye West released this fall are already familiar with most of the songs contained on his fifth album. Even so, students of pop culture will be missing out if they don’t listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in its finished form. West has tricked out these tracks with sharper verses and grander instrumental interludes, then lined them up in a sequence that demands to be heard from start to finish. Songs that might have felt self-indulgent or tossed-off in other contexts are now essential components of a soundly built structure—easily his most consistently compelling full-length since 2005′s Late Registration.
This review will appear in the next issue of Entertainment Weekly. Click through to the jump to read the rest.
Kanye West has canceled a scheduled performance on NBC’s Today show in the wake of his unpleasant interview with Matt Lauer. “I’m not performing on the Today Show for obvious reasons,” the rapper tweeted early this morning. “I’m so happy the world got to see just a small piece of ‘the set up.’…I blatantly said I’m not performing on a tweet and to everyone around me and the next day they still announced a performance….Do you guys see what I’m saying now?”
West was widely expected to back out of the performance after airing his concerns with Lauer’s interviewing techniques. “I don’t hate Matt Lauer,” he added on Twitter today. “We don’t promote hate. That’s the whole point!!! I promote love and truth!…All positive energy … all smiles. Much love to Matt and the whole Today Show. I accept ya’ll future apology in advance LOL!”
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
Today show interview that Kanye West called “VERY BRUTAL” on Twitter yesterday aired in part today, letting the world see the exchange that made West tweet, “I feel very alone very used very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused.”The
After introducing the segment this morning, Today host Matt Lauer played West’s remarks about accusing George W. Bush of racism after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “As far as it being the worst moment of his presidency, you know, I can’t really speak to that,” the rapper said. “But his take, his explanation, I completely agree with and I empathize with totally.”
The trouble in their interview began a moment later, when the Today show cued footage of Lauer’s recent interview with Bush. “I didn’t need you guys to show me the tape in order to prompt my emotions or whatever,” West said in an annoyed tone. “I don’t need all the jazz…Can we be quiet for a second?”
Pressed by Lauer to further explain his thoughts on the Bush incident, West went back on message. “I want to give it the exact perfect wording, because everything I say gets taken and drawn into headlines,” he noted. “I’m here to man up to different mistakes that I made, and speak to the moment when I pegged George Bush as a racist. I came here to say that I made mistakes and I’ve grown as a person.”
But when Today cued another clip of West interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs, he complained again. “Yo, how am I supposed to talk if you’re going to run the thing in the middle while I’m talking?…Please don’t let that happen again. It’s ridiculous.”
In this morning’s segment, Lauer defended the practice of showing old footage during interviews as standard. Watch the interview after the jump and let us know what you think: Was West right to be bothered by Lauer’s interviewing technique? READ FULL STORY »
Kanye West responds to George W. Bush about Katrina controversy: 'I definitely can understand the way he feels'
Kanye West has responded to former president George W. Bush’s recent statement regarding his controversial post-Hurricane Katrina remarks. West’s surprising reply: Now that five years have gone by, he can sympathize more with the man he once said “doesn’t care about black people.”
Bush recently told Matt Lauer that hearing West say those words during a Hurricane Katrina benefit telethon was “a disgusting moment.” He recalled telling his wife at the time that West’s comments were in fact the single worst moment of his presidency. Today, an interviewer from a Houston radio station asked West for his thoughts on the matter.
“I definitely can understand the way he feels, to be accused of being a racist in any way, because the same thing happened to me, where I got accused of being a racist,” West replied, referring to the aftermath of his run-in with Taylor Swift last fall. “For both situations, it was basically a lack of compassion that America felt in that situation. With him, it was a lack of compassion of him not rushing, him not taking the time to rush down to New Orleans. For me, it was a lack of compassion of cutting someone off in their moment. But nonetheless, I think we’re all quick to pull a race card in America. And now I’m more open, and the poetic justice that I feel, to have went through the same thing that he went [through] — and now I really more connect with him on just a humanitarian level.”
That’s an extremely gracious way of looking at things, to say the least. Listen to the radio clip after the jump (via Rap Radar), then let us know: What do you think of Kanye West’s new attitude toward Bush? READ FULL STORY »
Kanye West‘s forthcoming fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, became available for iTunes presale. Along with that came the unveiling of the album’s track listing. Officially released singles like the defiant “Power” and self deprecating “Runaway” are there. And several songs released through West’s free weekly G.O.O.D. Friday series like the Nicki Minaj-assisted “Monster” and “So Apalled,” which features Jay-Z, also made the cut. Not to mention “Devil in a New Dress” and “See Me Now” with Beyoncé–which he dropped rough versions of this summer. And then on Saturday in his culture-clashing short movie, Runaway, Kanye debuted huge chunks of “Dark Fantasy,” “Gorgeous,” “All of the Lights,” “Hell of a Life,” “Blame Game,” and “Lost in the World.” Add all of those up and that’s the entire album.Earlier this week,
Bummed out there won’t be any “new” tracks or surprises when you unwrap the packaging come November 22? You shouldn’t be. For one thing, Kanye’s only given us two whole finished tracks that we can probably expect to remain as they are on the album: “Power” and “Runaway.” The cuts featured on Runaway function more so as abbreviated songs to score the movie. We never even heard him rap on “Blame Game”–just John Legend’s crooning over keys. As for the G.O.O.D. Friday gems, Kanye laughed at the idea that those were finished when he leaked them in an interview with MTV after the movie’s premier. “Even though the track listing [is out],” he started, “People, they think that they’ve heard these songs. No, the have not heard these songs.”
And let’s not forget that Kanye is known for adding songs and creating new mixes of tracks at the 25th hour. When his debut album, The College Dropout, was almost entirely leaked by hackers early in 2004, he went back in the studio to best the bootleggers and thirsty bloggers, adding new instruments and drum patterns to it before it had to be submitted to his record label. And just as Graduation, his third album, was due in the summer of 2007 he cranked out “Flashing Lights.” So who’s to say that what we’ve heard is it?
As they do with all pre-ordered albums, iTunes warns on Kanye’s that “the pre-order contents listed here are subject to change without notice and the final product received may differ.” In this case, I expect exactly that.
Do you feel like Kanye spoiled the album for you? Or do expect a couple a new nuggets in your Fantasy meal? Let us know in the comments section.
(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter:@EWMusicMix.)
More on the Music Mix:
Kid Rock on Steven Tyler’s ‘American Idol’ judgeship: ‘I think it’s the stupidest thing he’s ever done’
Sugarland leads this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart
Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ on track for year’s biggest sales week
Kanye West and Jay-Z are making a full album together
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