Alright, y’all, I have listened and absorbed “Yeezus” and have concluded that this is an album what I will call “Aggressive Romanticism”. Don’t jack that shit Pitchfork.
Seriously, though, it is a great album with a man showing himself in the raw; “Yeezus'” beats and rhymes are the rawest we have ever heard from Kanye West.
There is glee but yet aggression in his voice when he says finishing the final verse of the opening track ‘I put my dick in her moooooowwwwwwth’ but underneath that bravado I feel it comes from a place of disenchantment and boredom.
There is experimental feel through out the album and some could say ‘theft from the underground’ as the sound itself sounds like Kayne is sick of being a mainstream in every sense of the word. This is his album dealing with ‘what do I do now, now that I have done it all. Fuck it, I’ll do what I want.’
In a way he is like a comedian (Richard Pryor comes to mind) by using humor and bravado on how he looks at the world and how the world looks at him as “I Am A God” (Featuring God) is playful jab at how people perceive him but underneath the humor shows he has reached a point of spiritual angst and lack of faith. This is no longer the man who has ‘Jesus walk’ beside him; no, now he is on a beautiful beach but there are no footsteps in the sand beside his as he walks alone on a 5 Star Resort looking to get laid to feel better about being black and bored.
Sex plays a big role in this album and reflects a point in Kanye’s life where he’s reached a point where he can get laid anytime and have any wants & have any desire filled yet he is unhappy (cameramen, Taylor Swift, The producer’s of The Grammy’s and George W. Bush can attest to this.) From Darwinian secular point of view of–we are here to only survive to replicate–Kanye has mastered both of these principles in the present moment.
He is not old enough to face his own mortality (no matter what people say about suicide) and he acts like a lonely god walking the Earth sick of even worshiping himself. Like many poets of old who have struggled with this disillusionment Kanye also turns to romanticism to find beauty in a world that is becoming uglier to him the more successful he becomes.
Romanticism is a philosophy that deals with that ‘feeling’ and tries to make beauty out of a world where we feel above or Godless. It is the grandfather to movement of existentialism. As Kanye ‘being a nigga in Paris’ might have read some Camus and Satre as Yeezus plays more like a Nine Inch Nails album full of nihilism, angst, alienation and spiritual loss with a want for something more as he uses his most abrasive beats and rhymes that will make both feminists and Baptists wag the finger.
Yet, underneath all that male bravado this album made me think of another hated front man who married a celebrity (the dude from Death Cab For Cutie Ben Gibbard who married Zoey Deschanel) as both write songs dealing with the human condition feeling alienated for different reasons. Ben Gibbard is an average white guy who feels not good enough for love and lack of spiritual faith and Kanye is a black man feeling crucified by a white world who feels it does not show him love for his art. He is also has a strong need for love in general as we saw Kanye show on “808s & Heartbreak.”
Both men found the same way of dealing with this angst (well, until the divorce for the Death Cab Guy) through falling for someone who they felt was their equal (or above them) and letting that become romantic love.
God is gone or hard to see but the love a woman, the love of their art can make them feel something as good as God to paraphrase Van Gogh. While Ben Gibbard moves on without Zoey probably throwing himself into his both bands to deal with it, Kanye explores the lack of romantic love until the final track of Yeezus.
As we go further down the album the industrial Nine Inch Nails feel turns into a soul song from the old days with “Bound 2”–This is more Marvin Gaye than Ministry. Kanye found that love in Kim Kardashian (when you stop in thinking about they are kind of right for each other),someone to love enough to give his new fame and view of life meaning and his art inspiration as “Bound 2” might not be the best song off the album (my personal favorite track is Black Skinhead) but it will be the average listeners, as they will connect to it and find meaning and beauty in the track. A great love song is universal.
Kanye from the start of their relationship has shown his sense of humor and acceptance of Kim when he mentioned her sex tape on the song “Clique” and in a way they both know large-scale humiliation like very few people do. The sex tape can be America’s casting couch and Kim got the job from Paris and for better or worst is doing something with her fame.
Kanye like Kim has been a pariah and hated many times as well and this Global Humiliation gives them empathy for each other and they most likely feel very ‘bound’ by someone understanding their life. In a strange way Kanye has found his equal in Kim Kardashian someone who can revival his touch on pop culture. Love is looking for someone’s equal and a strange poetic way Kanye found that with Kim.
With a having a child and the finding of love; I expect something entirely different from Kanye that will not be full of aggression, but maybe a pure artwork of romanticism. Whatever it will be we now have a catalogue of ten years of a very prolific artists who might be the first artist in a while who can say they are bigger than Jesus.