One of my favorite eps of the podcast so far! I was pretty OK with them flying through the first few match-ups, maybe because I agreed with them on all 3. I went with Dark Fantasy for the last match-up, but the long discussion around Diamonds made me reconsider a bit. It’s one of those songs that I know I’ve heard so many times, but the dive into the comparison made me think about it in a little fresher light. For what it’s worth, I also had the Remix in mind when doing my own bracket.
Next week’s match-ups are…a little odd for me.
Heard Em Say vs. I Wonder
Oh my goodness is I Wonder a bad bad bad bad song. No, thank you, I will absolutely take the Maroon Five guy. Which, to be fair, is a great song! One of the few times that Kanye has unabashedly swung for the pop fences and I’ve come away enjoying it. Especially considering…
Gorgeous vs. Homecoming
…really, Kanye? I gave you making a great track with Maroon Five guy, so you just like, run it back, but way worse? Homecoming and I Wonder are what I think of when I think of Graduation being a mostly garbage album. Drivel. Gorgeous, a song I’m fine with, takes it easily. This is actually one where I’d side with Art if he calls it too long. It just repeats too many times and I don’t find Kanye’s verses that memorable or Cudi’s hook that catchy. Not going to turn my nose at a Raekwon verse on a Kanye track, though, however brief.
Family Business vs. Bound 2
FB is another one where I’m like, huh? I could not for the life of me remember anything about this song. And listening to it again, yeah, I don’t find much worth remembering. Bound 2, meanwhile, is strong as hell. Amazing production. It’s got some really rough Kanye lines but also some all-timer quotables (no one should enter a mall without thinking “Rock Forever 21 but just turned thir-tay”). Hoping it gets through to give a little more weight to Yeezus in the next round.
N****s in Paris vs. Late
Ok, full confession time. This might’ve been the hardest matchup for me of the entire bracket. NiP is such a strong banger, overplayed or not, and to me is such an important step production-wise for Kanye as it leads right into the harsher palate he was going to work with for Yeezus. But…but Late. Oh, Late. I think I’ve listened to Late more than any other Kanye track except maybe Gone (which, yes, keep preaching, it should’ve been on here). I absolutely adore Late. I think it has the best string production on an album that’s chockablock with great string production, a fantastic sample flip, and Kanye in peak Late Registration form lyrically—boastful but with a chip on his shoulder, silly lines that make your groan but smile.
It’s totally illogical, but I am completely unreasonable about Late. Then, once I moved Late on to the next round after taking down a juggernaut like NiP, I knew Late was winning my entire bracket. I had about 3 or 4 other outcomes mapped out, but where my brain told me Flashing Lights or Runaway or Otis were more sensible choices to survive to the end, Late was my darling. I know it stands absolutely no chance of moving on in the show, but I hope it at least gets some kind words as it gets shown out the door. I mean, hey, Tyler the Creator called Late was his favorite Kanye track once, so that’s a damn good cosign if you ask me.