Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kanye West Report

Yesterday on the radio I heard, for the first time, Stronger, by Kanye West. It was notable because I immediately recognized the sample as being from Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, an all-around great song. I was a little bummed by the fact that it was slowed down so much, since a lot of the awesome of the original song came from the fact that it was uptempo. BUT, nonetheless, I think it's a pretty good sample to rap over, and the end product is pretty good. The only bad part? The weirdo robot harmonies when Kanye says, "That's how long I been on ya." Best part? The line, "Since O.J. had Isotoners."

Finding this on YouTube caused me to also search for the video, Diamonds from Sierra Leone. There's a funny thing about this song. When I first heard it, it was nothing but a song on a mix-tape for me. I didn't know what it was called and hadn't heard anything about it. I thought it was great, but nothing more than a fast, fun, hip-hop song. I was a little surprised to find out that this song was politically motivated, and that Kanye was getting credit for making bold, political statements. (This was right around the time that the movie Blood Diamond came out, as well, a great movie with much more substantive commentary on the diamond trade.) Why was I surprised? Well, as I originally thought and now have confirmed upon re-listening, Kanye doesn't actually say anything about the diamond trade in the song! Almost literally, the closest he gets is to say that his listeners should, "throw up their diamonds like they're bulimic." Instead, he spends most of the time talking about the fact that he was constantly doubted by the music industry, and now he has shown those people. And while it's true that the video itself is obviously about the diamond trade, well Kanye's a musician, so his video don't really count, in my eyes, as far as gaining him political points.

That being said, I guess it's weird to talk about Kanye without mentioning the recent death of his mother. Therefore I must say that I do feel sorry for him and hope he is holding up. Bottom line, Kanye makes great music, and I hope he continues to do so.

1 comment:

  1. my friends all hate the Kanye version. whenever it comes on the radio, they all start moaning, "aaaarrghhhblahblahaaargh". so i've never actually listened to the entire song because (if shotgun) i always end up changing the station. from what i've heard i much much prefer the original.

    i'm not sure if my friends dislike the song because of kanye or because some of them might not like the original song.

    but everyone i have shown the "harder faster" hands video on youtube LOVES the song.

    yes yes, i'm sure this was all very interesting.

    RIP Kanye's momma