Why Kanye West's Yeezus Is the Best Punk Rock Record in Years

Categories: Kanye Watch

Kanye West 808s press
Would you buy punk rock from this man?
Given what we know about Kanye West, a comparison between his newest (best, maybe) record and the long-dead punk rock movement seems like a tough case to make -- the dude telling God that he's stacking his millions seems like an odd choice for a continuation of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.

But it's worth noting that ego and punk aesthetics have never been mutually exclusive -- anyone who's seen or read an interview with Johnny Rotten knows that, and, anyway, it's hard to stay humble when you're stuntin' on a Jumbotron. But West's unapologetic consumerism, of which he's always been a willing, if critical, participant, handicaps his credentials in this realm considerably, at least at first glance. The hypocritical dude selling you Air Yeezys is going to criticize your spending? Give me a break.

The ire directed at Ye following the leak, swift and histrionic and ultimately meaningless in light of the album's numerous successes, took issue with his ham-fisted connection of important political discourse and rap's typical money-and-hos fixations, a connection perhaps best exemplified by the unforgettable "put my fist in her like a civil rights sign" line in "I'm In It."

But it's the contradiction here that's so fascinating, and what's always been so fascinating about Kanye: "NOT FOR SALE" projected onto Louis Vuitton to announce the record, "free at last" in reference to titties, you get the idea. He manages to embody both mindsets. He's everything to everyone even if, on this record, he doesn't seem to want to be anybody's anything.

But Yeezus is his most difficult, and therefore most exciting, record to date, even more than the divisive 808s and Heartbreak. He's experimenting more, he's subverting himself. In "On Sight," the album's opening track, he drops the backbeat entirely just to prove how much, in Ye's words, he don't give a fuck. And even from a perfectionist like West, I take him at his word. He's fucking angry.


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26 comments
Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Fool needs to have his jaw broken again.

Darin Spyderdog
Darin Spyderdog

if stupid was money this article would be warren buffett

Victor Hammond
Victor Hammond

I don't know. Would you buy a newspaper from the person that wrote his article??

Laura Linger
Laura Linger

Agreed with Midwestern Dude 100%. Sid Vicious would have beat the shit out of Kanye West.

Chuck Klee
Chuck Klee

If his album is the best punk rock album than Katy Perry's album must be the best Death Metal of all time...New Times writers are loopy.

Mike Durio
Mike Durio

One of the great artistic twats of today's "music" scene. His ego alone has an event horizon. (you may want to look up that astrophysical term)

Dustin Demoss
Dustin Demoss

I just heard "Rock" on xm. HE should mow my lawn and pay me a dollar an hour because it sucked and should be destroyed.

Stephanie Wahl
Stephanie Wahl

I somewhat enjoyed Kanye's music before because he had some catchy beats, however this album did nothing for me. Every song sounds the same, and every other word is nigga. I guess he tried to branch out artistically, but this is far from punk rock. Stupid!

Lori Hamilton Eike
Lori Hamilton Eike

hate him and punk rock really?!?!?! that is an insult to the Punk Rock people

Scot Koontz
Scot Koontz

Dork...He's not news..why do we EVEN mention this dbag?

Midwestern Dude'itude
Midwestern Dude'itude

Being hated doesn't make you punk. Its ideals and ethics, which he has none of. He's a great capitalist, which is about as unpunk as you get. You fail.

Rick
Rick

Dumbest Article Ever.

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