One Thread Only: "One Song Only" Podcast Discussion


#41

My feelings on this are so difficult to unpack and I might come back and amend this after listening to the pod (which I hope will be … soothing?) but as for now here’s where I’m at:

Point blank I can’t deal with this Kanye right now. I’ve felt physically sick and embarrassed since this whole thing started and yesterday I ultimately had to unfollow him for my own wellbeing.

I have no tolerance for any takes supporting what he’s saying right now, particularly because the people who are coming out of the woodwork to embrace him are what I find the most repulsive about this whole situation.

All of that said, I don’t know if I can quit Kanye. If I’m being honest with myself my appreciation for Kanye’s music runs too deep. Sure this situation has firmly pushed me into “I miss the old Kanye” territory, but for as disgusted as I feel right now his work is still so intrinsically linked to memories of my past.

That’s not to say I won’t make an effort to try to distance myself from these feelings, because I can firmly say if any other creator I followed was behaving this way I wouldn’t hesitate to drop them.

As for whether Kanye’s feelings about all this are genuine, I feel like that’s what makes this so difficult. A lot of the things he’s been saying are what he’s been selling his entire career. He’s always trafficked in controversy and what that looks like in 2018 – especially for uber-rich, Kardashian spouse Kanye – is supporting other uber-rich, egomaniac reality TV socialites.


#42

I largely agree with you and I should probably clarify that I don’t think that Kanye doing it for drama makes it okay in the least. It is downright corossive to society and a terrible precedence to set.

Moreso, I just find the story of Kanye to be intensely tragic over anything else. I truly believe that he feels so interwoven with this part of the Kanye experience that lashing out like this is the only way to feed the beast. It just feels to me like the Kanye experience has grown so far past what Kanye himself actually is, and I don’t know that he knows how else to even deal with it at this point.

If you look at other cultural leaders I think there’s a pretty clear distinction on who felt comfortable during the climb, and who felt comfortable on top. Like, Jay Z largely has seemed incredibly comfortable in the role of a cultural leader, whereas I feel like Kanye was always more comfortable in the struggle.


#43

I’m pretty much on the same boat as you (physically sick about the whole thing, unable to “quit” him) and the thing that makes this all so much more painful is that not only is Kanye’s music perhaps “too good to give up”, it has often been great in a way that goes exactly against the sort of shit he’s talking about now.

One thing is clinging onto Harry Potter despite JK Rowling being a tool (a smaller one than Kanye is being now, but still), because you could see JK being a tool in the exact way she is now all throughout those books. Kanye is fucking wild because, as much as he’s had contrarian tendencies and maybe a lack of desire to learn more deeply, he’s also had “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”, he’s had Crack Music, I found myself talking about New Slaves with my girlfriend literally yesterday.

A big part of the reason I can’t give up on “Old Kanye” is exactly the same reason I can’t stand Kanye’s bullshit right now: because I’m into good, leftist politics in art, and Kanye used to, if not have that, something similar to that on several occasions. And it sucks so much to see it turn into this.


#44

So after listening to the pod I just want to add a few things:

I wanted to include this in my original post, but hearing how Austin described it helped me clarify my feelings. This whole thing isn’t surprising because Kanye has always been a contrarian, but being a contrarian used to mean wearing pink polos when everyone is wearing jerseys and saying George Bush doesn’t care about black people when Mike Myers is…being Mike Myers. I think the biggest difference now – as Austin mentioned – is that society has changed and Kanye doesn’t have his “boots on the ground” in the same way he did back then.

Also there’s the fact that Kanye has been corny at best and equally tone deaf and just plain wrong for years now, it’s just always been in short bursts so it’s kind of easier to manage.

There’s also the weird experience of life right now where I’m getting mad at people for co-signing Kanye, but also kind of instinctually defensive of people who are coming from the “he’s always been bad” camp.

Lastly, upon reflecting on all this I realized Kanye is the only person I’ve ever stanned and that’s probably the reason I learned to never stan anyone ever since. So if anything thanks for that Yeezy!


#45

I used to dream about having a conversation with Kanye, talking sample chops and whatever else, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t think Kanye and I would get along at all. And maybe that’s fine, because maybe we don’t need to. I have his music, and that’s the extent of our relationship.

The only thing I think I know for sure about Kanye the man is that he likes attention. It sucks absolute ass that the latest iteration of seeking it involves flirting with the shittiest sectors of political thought, but for all I know a year from now Kanye may move on to espousing flat earth theory, or go full communist, or ask Elon Musk to send him into space. Whatever it is, he’ll continue being a brilliant and troubling manipulator of celebrity, and he’ll probably continue making absolute bangers that I enjoy. I’ll spend $15 on his new album and donate $15 to the people actually fighting to make sure the policies of the Trumps and Owens and Adams don’t go anywhere. I think can live with that.


#46

I guess we have a new song sample over at http://www.kanyewest.com

scoopady woop poop???


#47

That sure was…something? I guess?

I’m tired.


#48

Sooooo ‘Ye vs the People’… I don’t even know where to begin. The beat slaps?

It definitely illuminates what’s going on with him at the moment but he just really has no grasp on the ideas he’s trying to put forward. He’s trying to wrestle with these huge ideas but also is saying shit like he hasn’t done enough research on conservatives to have an opinion on them… which is the most ignorant take imaginable. The whole message is just so incoherent.

And either those lyrics were written in the last few days (T.I said they were working together the day before it released) or a while back and he has timed this whole openly MAGA hat wearing, Trump loving shit until just before the song release which is cynical af. That song makes no sense if it was released before the last few days soooo…

Also the flows aren’t great. I think Ye’s really gone.


#49

The show is trash, but I really hope Donald Glover is holed up somewhere writing a Kanye sketch for when he hosts SNL next week. I can’t wait until Atlanta season 3 for his take.


#50

Man…this shit is bad…at least that makes it slightly easier to reckon with all of this, but like…what?

This is basically him in a debate with T.I.? These talking points he keeps going over are so tired and I mean I guess the fact that it seems like he THINKS he’s trying (yes, I realize that’s a lot of qualifiers) to subvert this MAGA stuff puts this whole thing into the category of just bad Kanye shenanigans but its all kind of empty at best and as destructive an example as some other people mentioned at worst.

Not to mention if this whole thing is contrived it’s just a bad look plain and simple.

Also it can’t be stated enough that on the Kanye scale these songs aren’t good, especially compared to the lead-up to Pablo which gave us All Day and Only One.


#51

this new song is just that one Joyner Lucas “I’m Not Racist” song but even worse, huh? one bar stood out to me as particularly disappointing, though,

lyric from "Ye Vs the People"

“Is it better if I rap about crack? Huh? 'Cause it’s cultural?
Or how about I’ma shoot you, or fuck your bitch?
Or how about all this Gucci, ‘cause I’m fuckin’ rich”

i know that has been debunked a million times as a Fox News talking point (with thinly veiled racist undertones) to write off hip hop. but even trying to take it at face value, like. he’s listened to Chance’s music, right? didn’t he produce an album for Common? Talib Kweli’s big single? those alleged 40 songs with Kendrick? Yeezus didn’t materialize out of thin air, he clearly knows industrial hip hop exists.

its all so disappointing. ugh.


#52

ye vs is painful but I’ve listened to lift yourself like a half-dozen times I’m into it


#54

For what it’s worth, folks, I might suggest spinning out a separate Kanye West thread from this topic for further discussion of his new music or non-podcast content in general. There’ll always be bleedover discussion by the nature of One Song Only, but his new music won’t be coming up in the bracket except incidentally.

If anyone wants to make a new thread & wants to have their post from here shuffled in there, hit me up and I’ll use my mod powers to make it happen.

By the way, y’all. New episode is out – Donda Round 1 Part 1 is here.

(It also includes a shout-out to this thread – smile, you’re on camera!)


#55

I’m not ready for the lack of love Blame Game will get next episode. Top teir Kanye for myself


#56

Latest episode discussion:

I’m glad Blood on the Leaves got some recognition, that was a rough bracket. It was supposedly a 4th seed vs 13th seed matchup, but I would bump both of those up in the seeding. That should have been a fight to have in the third round.

A bit disappointed that Heartless didn’t get much talk, I thought it was a solid contender.


#57

I felt the same way about Heartless, but I am a pretty big 808’s and Heartbreak apologist. Kinda hope that Monster doesn’t make it past the next round, would be weird to have a song that is primarily remembered for Nicki’s dope verse in the sweet 16.


#58

Am I insane if I’d probably go for Addiction over All Falls Down? I just don’t care much for the hook in All Falls Down, and find the first verse a real swing and a miss (it feels like Pulp’s Common People filtered through The New Workout Plan, which is just frustrating), while the chill sound all over Addiction really works for me, and the threesome bit is kinda hilarious. I have a bunch of disagreements with the bracket (Blood on the Leaves is better than every song this week BUT Runaway I’M SO MAD) but All Falls Down at 1 just might be my biggest one.

I’d probably have Heartless very slightly over Monster as well. Nothing in Heartless is as good as Nicki’s verse, but the rest of Monster feels weaker. I lowkey really dislike the Monster outro? Feels like it sucks a lot of air out of the room. The other two matchups are chalk for me, with the egregious underseeding of Blood on the Leaves aside.

PS: Austin bringing up Envy Adams was the least expected thing possible, and perfect


#59

Weirdly enough these podcasts have gotten me to listen to a lot of Kendrick again for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s because Kendrick in some respects is starting to sort of starting to occupy the same space in the public conscious that Kanye did for so long, and I’m starting to wonder where the discussion will be on Kendrick in, like, five to ten years.

Obviously they are two very different artists and from the outside it seems very different people as well, and their road to the top differ greatly as well. Kanye had to scratch and claw to even get signed as more than a beatmaker initially, and has largely been defined by his struggle to recieve the recognition he always felt he deserved. Kendrick on the other hand was seemingly handed the crown, dubbed as the heir apparent from the get go by Dre, and a large part of his output seems to be defined by the percieved weight of that responsibility and how he fits into the larger history of west coat rap.

In that way I feel Kanye and Kendrick sort of mirror each other. They are both tremendously gifted, tremendously succesfull, and nakedly honest in their own way even though it manifests itself in very different ways.


#60

My boyfriend and I have been listening to the podcast together and discussing our picks. The one thing we both kind of agree on is the bad picking of songs from Life of Pablo. Some of the best songs like FML and Waves are left off the bracket entirely. I understand the problems people have with Pablo especially with lyrics and stuff, but a lot of the beats and music from it are outstanding.


#61

Yeah whoever organised the bracket apparently wasn’t particularly impressed by either Pablo or Yeezus, leading to a bunch of missing songs and harsh seeds for the remaining ones, leading to amongst other things:

  • Blood on the Leaves (13th seed) with a Round 1 against Runaway
  • Black Skinhead (13th seed) with a Round 1 against Stronger
  • Father Stretch My Hands Part 1 (15th seed) with a round 1 against Power

Don’t know what Ultralight Beam did wrong to get 12th seed either, it made it pretty far in my personal bracket.