Will Kanye West Ever Stop Talking About His Clique?

Categories: Fiesta!

Kanye West is rich. You might think it's easy being rich, but in fact it is often very hard to be rich; sometimes you manipulate people, and other times they manipulate you. Also, rich people have terrible taste in consumer goods, and hang out with each other to talk about how they were the only people on earth who liked Maybachs, which makes them unstoppable.

For a while now I've had to deal with this weird contradiction: Kanye's post-808s output (that is, the songs where he keeps going "Hanh!?" over and over) is really great, and can also be distilled, nearly in its entirety, to those incredibly banal platitudes. His newest song is called "Clique." He and Jay-Z talk about how rich they are in it. (Spoiler alert: They are very rich, still.)

See also:
-What Makes a Hip-Hop Classic?
-Kanye West's Snub and the Proud History of Grammy Incompetence
-Kanye West Is Batshit Crazy: Decoding The Ten Boasts That Prove It
-Kanye West Crashes Movie Posters

The weird thing about his increasingly monotonous subject matter is that Kanye West has become more adventurous in almost every other way as his career's progressed. As pop musicians go, he doesn't leave us a lot to complain about; this is, after all, a guy who in the last few years has released an album in which he did nothing but sing over amateur sad-white-guy synths and a movie in which he has sex with a bird. Artistically and technically he's continually pushed pop music forward.

But as one we're-rich-badasses song with a vaguely mournful, spacey beat has replaced the next on iTunes ahead of Cruel Summer, his label's collaborative album, I've started to miss the Kanye West whose raps were not exclusively successful-rapper metafiction. (I've almost started to miss the Kanye West who appears to earnestly believe that Ronald Reagan invented AIDS and crack.)

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I don't know how many rap or hip-hop albums you listen to, but this is a relatively common occurrence for label/group albums.  They mostly consist of posse cuts (see the difference between an Outkast or Big Boi solo album and say Purple Ribbon All Stars) and in this case are a semi-continuation of the sound he cultivated for The Throne, his hip-hop supergroup.  I think MBDTF was the kind of album you speak off (see: Runaway, Dark Fantasy, Blame Game, Lost in the World) and I imagine his sixth solo album will be of a similar vein and content to the rest of his solo albums.  


Don't get it twisted: Cruel Summer is a label album and meant to be a spotlight for the musical access that Kanye and his label have that others don't (from initial beats, to hooks, to production, to guest appearances).  It's a celebration of G.O.O.D. Music, even if it may not be good music to your ears.  

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