Kanye West is Your Crazy Uncle or Cousin
So I spend a lot of time these days on YouTube. Being less than 2 years removed from the states, it is a great way for me to keep up with music, basketball, and the general drama of my home country. Being someone who didn’t necessarily move out of country to chase some type of other life or because I was really looking to create a new one, I do still long for those moments of conversation, being in the know, and just general info that pertains to Hip Hop, sports, and Black people stuff. Now all of that is a wide brush, which I recognize (and we will probably get into down the line) but for me being a brother from Cleveland by way of Cali, now residing in Handa (which is like San Mateo or Solon for folks who know), YouTube has been keeping me sane.
My YouTube favorites are pretty scattered, but my recommendations have been on point since the move. Now right around the time of the Muddy Waters anniversary, I started checking out Power 106’s (Los Angeles) videos on the samples featured on dope albums. If you haven’t checked it out, check out the link below and that will get you going. I really dig the J Dilla episode and the Jay Z, Tribe, and Redman ones are pretty ill as well. Which leads me to the latest one watched, Kanye’s “Graduation" album.
I love how @Vinrican drops in the intro, “now whether you agree with some of his (Kanye’s) tactics…” as a disclaimer of sorts before applauding Ye for being a creative wizard of sorts and then going through the samples and tracks of this, one of my favorite Kanye albums. As Vin flipped through the samples and the songs that were birthed out of these well known and hidden gems, I found myself rewinding the video again and again, going to my whiteboard to write down the records and the quotes for later consumption. Kanye was truly as his best on this project and you can hear some of the experimentation that would later, for better or for worse, become later projects like Yeezus and TLOP. Dude is a genius when it comes to creating and recreating sonic landscapes that touch the pulse of generations and serve as the soundtrack for moments in the lives of many.
Which leads me to this realization. Kanye is our drunk uncle (or aunt or cousin). The one that you love to see at all the family functions because you know when he shows up, he is going to put the “open” in open bar, have a few too many words that are all the way over the line, and let you know he was the man back in the day. He is also going to be the one to make your momma smile when talking about the good times or the one that remembers to hand dance with grandma when her favorite old school jam comes on. He might get on your nerves and you might be ready for him to go at the end of the night, but if he didn’t show up, you would be the first one looking out for him or asking who had his number. You want him to change and you know he can’t because all of these faults and imperfections are what makes him who he is. The joy, the pain, the ego, all of it. We just have to make sure that if we have a chance, we are there and ready to catch him when it all falls down...
Happy New Year
g.o.a.t Hip Hop