If you’re anything like me, it’s downright comical to listen to anything but Yeezus this week. Though just ten songs long, totaling about 40 minutes, the album has a high replay value, because, well, it’s incredible. But I’m not here to talk about that. There are numerous Yeezus think-pieces out there written by people with larger vocabularies and iTunes libraries than me.
What I want to talk about is how I’m going to listen to Yeezus in the club.
There is no single. There is no radio-ready summer-jam. There is no anthem. While this is totally fine musically, I’m eager to play this album around friends, but I’m not sure the circumstance in which this is appropriate. This is dark alley pre-homicide music.
Still, there’s something about Kanye tracks that make them so good to hear in public. Whether it’s someone blastin “Mercy” out their Toyota Corolla (by the way, I’m still not “over” Mercy) or a DJ dropping “Gold Digger” at a party, everyone knows the lyrics to Kanye songs, and the hyper-relevancy of Yeezus as a cultural phenomena makes me very eager to get turnt to it.
When the album leaked on Friday, I played the last track Bound 2 about 35 times on repeat. It is the most overtly “Kanye” track, featuring a pitched up soul-sample loop. It’s brilliant, comical, peppy and everything you love about Kanye. But only in context of Yeezus is this a single.
So where is the single? It’s funny we even ask this question given the narrative we’ve already chosen for Kanye albums which is “this is the guy that changes the music landscape with every new release.” So perhaps its us who need to change, and alter our expectations of what is a radio hit.
Well this happened Tuesday afternoon…
This is the best trailer of the year. The thing about Kanye is that the culture fills in around him, not the other way around. Similar to the way 808s & Heartbreaks ushered in a new wave of sing-song rap, Yeezus is already having its effect on mainstream culture.
I don’t suspect it will take long for Black Skinhead to permeate the airwaves but to hold you over for the next week here’s a cool New Slaves remix.
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Update: Last night I heard Black Skinhead and New Slaves at a bar near NYU during halftime of the NBA finals.