College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967

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The Kanye West you can’t see

Joseph Molino

Joseph Molino

Lucas Koprowski, Editor-In-Chief

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Kanye West is the grandiose laughing stock of current day hip-hop. After his album “Graduation,” his experimental phase left him complacent, allowing him to create piles of garbage such as “The Life of Pablo” (TLOP), which left his most passionate fans in disdain for his lack of originality and personality. His transition to trap rap has been fueled, in part, by his marriage to Kim Kardashian, as well as interacting with the lowest common denominator of his fans constantly through his merchandise line.

Since he dropped “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” his artistic intent has dwindled down into the formulaic backwash of modern rap seen from artists like Chance the Rapper and J. Cole. He has fallen under the pseudonym of washed up has been.

I don’t want to look at his work in disgust. I don’t want to hate him. His music served as the soundtrack for many good memories to my life, from “All Falls Down” all the way to the opening track on TLOP “Ultralight Beams.” However, West has left his former self to become a cash crop artist who packs stadiums to keep up his lifestyle, and I cannot support such debauchery.

Then, in a blink of an eye, a glimmer of hope passes us by undetected as his puppet masters wipe that hope away..

Why do I say his puppet masters? He looks wildish and out of control half the time. How can someone be controlling him? From his first big jump during the Hurricane Katrina crisis by saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” to meeting with our newly elected president before inauguration day, his behavior is that of a wild boar. He seemingly can’t be tamed.

Tell that to the track almost no one has heard of that he released during his premiere of TLOP. “I feel like that” is a song which West had released as a part of his TLOP roll out, and had it streaming for a short period. However, the track was taken down before it became well known. You can’t find it anywhere on YouTube or any streaming service, and in fact I could only find one Pirate Bay link available for this mysterious work of art.

The song is not hip-hop, nor is it trap music. It is an atmospheric, transcendental demo-sounding piece in which West talks about his everyday mental issues and how uneasy his mentality has become. The song, although rough around the edges, proves not only that West still has musical talent, but shows us his human side.

West’s heavy breathing starts the track off making the listener uneasy, with heavy Auto-Tuned humming introducing his static vocals about his relatable mental ticks and bipolar episodes of outrage, anger and sadness. The chorus is a beautiful reiteration of the lyrics “I feel like that” with heavy bass pillaring the vocals on top of the beat.

Why doesn’t West produce more tracks like these? This is so different and so refreshing from his normal album cycle radio bangers. Even in his first rendition of TLOP, which he for some reason edited before releasing it past the streaming service TIDAL into the public, he had many artistic twists which he could have built upon in tracks such as “Wolves.”

Maybe the constant busyness with his clothing line, shoe line, marriage and public image has torn him apart from the inside into a self-conscious mess of an artist who can only push trap rap confidently and hides his true intent. Maybe his managers, his colleagues and possibly the Kardashians have taken the helm of his career, and are attempting to dig him six feet into the ground while cashing in on every second of his burning light of fame.

All I know is, I want more of this, and I will probably never get what I wish from West.

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College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
The Kanye West you can’t see