Archive for November, 2010

The Power of Nature

November 15, 2010

The general knowledge about surfing holds that the taller a wave, the harder it is to catch and ride, and the more nerve it takes for someone to risk that initial drop. Really that’s not entirely true. The power of the wave holds more signifcance, as anyone who been sucked off their board and up into the breaking curl will tell you. In 2000, Laird Hamilton dropped into a wave at Teahupo’o that’s renowned as one of, if not the gnarliest (oh yeah, gnarly) waves of all time. The shear force of this wall of water crashing into the reef is, to me, an awe inspiring example of nature’s power:

My Beautiful Dark Twisted First Review

November 13, 2010

MBDTF Cover
Not for nothing I’ve foreseen
I dreamed it
I can feel it slowly drifting away from me

Kanye West’s new album leaked yesterday and then I listened straight through it yesterday. Can’t lie, I beamed from ear to ear like a little kid the first time. I’m a big fan. A stan. (To mom and dad, that means a serious fan, it’s an allusion to a song by Eminem that tells the story of an obsessed fan; you’d probably hate the song haha.)

The album is great. Given this is a review after only one listen through, my opinions are bound to shift, particularly my favorite songs. Nevertheless, thus far the opening track stands out by a hair, if only for the beautiful and inspiring harmonization that precedes the drop into RZA’s simple yet moving beat. The piano line and drum beat are laced with a noice synthesizer that keeps your attention throughout Kanye’s verses. Not to say he doesn’t kill it, in fact he comes it hot :
“I fantasized bout this back in Chicago/
Mercy mercy me that me that Murcielago”

Next up is a refreshing Raekwon feature. Thank god Kanye didn’t decide Bugatti Biebs was a perfect fit for the 2nd track of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; Gorgeous. Kid Cudi however is made for this song’s chorus, drifting in and out of the songs guitar-riff driven beat, hypnotically leading to Kanye and the Chef’s verses, which happen to be some of the album’s best:
“I’m comin’ after who ever WHO HAS IT?/
You blowin up, that’s good fantastic”

Power was the first leaked track. My reaction 3 or four months ago when I first heard it was ecstatic bouncing in my dorm room. Accompanied by my friends Katie and Danny also beaming from the tracks infectious energy. The Dwele sample gives the album’s single a tribal vibe. And by that I mean you want to dance around a fire to this bitch! Even after several months of slow leaks, this track has not only retained my attention, but still gets me pumped and also lost in the album, incoherently vibing into the next track:
“Now this’d be a beautiful death/
Jumpin’ out the windo-oooow!/
Lettin’ everything gooo”

Interlude: I’ll go pee here. While this noice music plays for a hot minute.

Okay this is probably my favorite song thus far despite some legitimate criticisms I’ve read on Nahright for it being overproduced and a failed sequel to the superb “Flashing Lights” on Graduation. The drums alone, on All of the Lights, hook me. Rhianna’s personable voice delivers a convincing illustration of Kanye’s emotions for whomever (Amber Rose?) “If you want it you can get it for the rest of your life.” The horns and and singing (particularly by Alicia Keys and Elton John) were strong proponents of this anthem’s uplifting vibe. But then Fergie rapped. WTF Kanye? Bad choice. Alltogether though, dope ass song:
“Her mother, brother, granddaughter hate me in that order”

The intro to Monster is a great transition from All of the Lights, as the beats wouldn’t have run together naturally. Really though this is my least favorite song on the album. I usually agree with the vets on Nahright, but this posse cut was really unimpressive to me. To top it off Nicki Minaj had far and away the best verse, bringing more personality than all the other rappers, literally, she had 4 personalities:
“And if I’m fake I ain’t notice cuz my money ain’t”

Goddamn you Swizz Beats. Why do you have to be in this song? Wait…okay nah you can stay. The So Appalled beat is perhaps the album’s standout. Foreal y’all, I had that dope fiend nod. That dope fiend nod ya know, the one I saw on The Wire but not in real life. I guess it’s more easily comparable to the high ass surfer watching waves in the morning. Pusha T is preferred by most people on this track but for my money Hov takes the cake:
“Moral victories is for minor league coaches/
And Ye’ already told you we major you cockroaches!”
Plus MC Hammer made an announced diss based off his verse. Try and fade that. Ya’ can’t….
….Oh one more thing, “Everything I dream motherfuckers I’m watching it take shape, while to you I’m just a young rich nigga that lacks faith.” Yughh!

Devil In a New Dress. The first time I heard this beat I just had to close my eyes and zone out. Shaking my head, not in disgust or judgement, but at the undeniable soul in this bitch. Supersayan-shouts to B!nk for this one. Kanye does his thing for two verses lettin out his impressions of a shiesty ho, noicely worded of course. And then the beat has a purposeful guitar sweep in to welcome the BAWSE. Rick Ross for the uneducated. And Rozay delivers with his characteristically rich imagery:
“Stretch limousine sippin rosé all alone/
double headed monster with a mind of its own/
cherry red charriot/
excess is just my character/
all black tux, nigga shoes lavender”
If you’ve never heard the undisputed King of the South weave wonders listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G8ujyzyMRw

Runaway is introduced with a single piano key, and then led by a very low drum line. Maybe because I’ve listened to 808s enough times to sincerely like it, and maybe because I’ve had a relationship similar to the one Kanye describes, this is surprisingly in my top songs:
“I don’t know what it is with females/
But I’m not to good at that shit/
See I could have me a good girl/
And still be addicted to them hood rats/
And I just blame everything on you/
At least ya know that’s what I’m good at”

“Noooooo mooore drugs for me
Pussy and religion is all I need”
That my friends is a great hook. This song is Kanye’s lust. The dirty sounding bass leads the Gay-Fish genius through a recounting of his flirting with drug use and the dirtiest of ho’s:
“Make the knees shake, make a priest faint uh/
Make a nun cum, make em’ cremate, uh”

Aight this next cut, Blame Game, has got to be a direct address to his his ex-girlfriend. If you’ve never heard of her…damn you’re slow as hell. Let this skinny kizza (cracker) school you for a minute. This is Amber Rose y’all: Amber Rose John Legend murks the hook with a cadence that lends to the painful nature of break-ups depicted in this song. Not diggin the voice effects on Kanye’s 2nd verse, but Chris Rock is hella funny on the end, always accented by a lady:
“Yeezy taught me”

After a serious downer Kanye’s turns the tone of his album around. Starting with a auto tuned single voice, which is then accompanied by some friends, and then a 80s drum line and yells in the background this tune quickly picked my mood up. A lot like All of the Lights, Lost in the World was a very encouraging track. Made me want to face any stressed I had and turn them into a positive. Ending in a boss perspective on the world. For me this is the end of Kanye’s album. No skips throughout these 12 songs. However there is one more song called Who Will Survive in America. It’s remniscent of the opening track of Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, and is a reciting of a Gill Scott-Heron poem over an inspiring combination of the previous beat and Power.

Overall, this album feels like a stream of conscious ride through Kanye’s volatile mind. Much like this review, it has a very imperfect cohesion, and I was at least fascinated the whole time if not hopping around the room on the verge of whiplash bobbin my head like a muhfuckah. Definitely gonna get my money on the 22nd when it officially comes out. Thank you Google magic for your search powers!

Not that I like it much, but for the sake of those who do, here’s some scale: 9/10