Why Kanye West May Prove to Be the Perfect Punk Rock Rapper
Whether it's Beastie Boys or Odd Future, music journalists have been searching for "the most punk-rock hip-hop" since 1977 when the two genres were born and blossomed parallel to each other. I know a lot of hip-hop heads who hate this. They'll argue that when truly transcendent hip-hop music like this comes out, by likening it to punk, the media tries to take credit for it away from hip-hop culture.
And in turn, take credit for it away from black culture. But in reality, six years before The Stooges, The Ramones, Richard Hell, or '77 New York punk, there was a band called Death. Punk rock belongs just as much to black culture as hip-hop does. At the end of the day, they are one in the same: music born of rebellion. If these singles are any indicator, as a body of work, Yeezus may very well prove to be the most well-done fusion of the two genres to date.
Due to a recent chain of events over the last couple of weeks, many have been quick to peg the possibility of Kanye West suffering some kind of nervous breakdown or mental episode. It's not entirely far-fetched. He's been running into signposts, publicly ranting about being a terrible celebrity from inside of a pyramid, and over the last few months being accused of abandoning his baby-mama-to-be by running off to Paris to record this album. At the Adult Swim upfronts, he went on a tangent about refusing to do any SNL sketches, at the show's suggestion that he should humanize himself. West suggested in return that perhaps he's been demonized.
The record will show that Kanye West creates his best material as a result of some of the most alienating positions he tends to put himself in. Take for example, the Taylor Swift VMA public relations shit storm he survived. Do you know how he survived that? He ran off to Hawaii and made an incredible album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At times when he's most mocked and hated in the public eye, he creates music so powerful, it can't be denied. In his own words, he'll use the arrogance as the steam to power his dreams. This time around, it's looking like it's powered the worst nightmare of anyone who's ever tried to get in his way.