Holy Grail Magna Carta vs. Yeezus: Rap Reviews Are Moronic
Rap reviews are moronic. I just reached this epiphany. Critics write hip-hop reviews in a much different manner than other types of music. These other reviews are based more on the music. Rap reviews spend all article long over analyzing the lyrics to death, while spending that same article with a total lack of any articulation about the samples and music used. The producer/DJ is usually mentioned briefly towards the end. Never was this more apparent in reviews for Jay-Z and Kanye's latest album. Many reviews continue to psychoanalyze the place in their lives that each respective rapper is in their personal life. Spin.com saw Jay-Z as confronting middle age in much the same way that Mick Jagger did after the Black and Blue Album. The only difference is calling this that Rolling Stones album is giving Jay-Z too much credit. His latest album is a huge cash grab, lazy, mediocre, and sounds like he did the album in 2 weeks. The Samsung thing was pretty much the most insincere thing I have seen this side of the Rolling Stones and Best Buy, with the uhhh's not withstanding. If Black and Blue represents Jay-Z, then Kanye is still in his Exile on Main Street period. His latest offering Yeezus challenges, but also excites musically. If you don't believe me, watch the trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street. I think it is time to face facts that in a way Jay Z has ridden the coat tails of his primary producer, Kanye West. No wonder he never wanted Ye to take his turn on the microphone. The two very different albums point to an observation about these two artists. Hova is one dimensional, while Kanye is three dimensional. Jay Z is a rapper, while Kanye is a hip hop artist. He raps, sings, creates the music. I just do not believe Jay Z has ever done that successfully or could ever create the complex structures found in the work of Kanye. I liken this to the NBA player who came into the league without a 3 point shot aka Lebron or MJ. Kanye now has a 3 point shot and a deadly one at that. This where my point of this entry comes through to the reader. First, hip hop is heading in the direction where musician expertise will be a prerequisite especially with everyone being sued for use of samples. Second, I believe it is time that these reviews start to recognize that some of these albums may have incredible lyrics, but that matters not in the slightest because the beats sound like total shit. I am always dumbfounded at the people that love rappers like Lil Wayne who may be a great rapper, but the actual music is probably worse than a raccoon being run over in your backyard. Kanye was the first rap artist that created this kind of crossover where he was halfway between rap, hip hop, and r and b. With Yeezus, he has done the same thing with the industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails. Personally, let me just say that as a listener I want to be challenged, but I also desire to a greater extent lots and lots of hooks. In contrast, Jay Z is content to continue where he is at making the same kind of solo album over and over. This may be less of a blame on him as being lazy, but instead he does not have the faith in his musical abilities because he simply does not have those musical abilities. Let us also face facts: Timbaland is Kanye 2.0 not the original. I think we should just wait for Watch the Throne 2 when Kanye is back in the fold.