Simply Despicable
February 27, 2010

Kanye West just revamped his website to basically look like a fashion blog.  I have no idea what he is trying to do, but so far I do not like it.  While a lot of the images are cool and he highlights great fashion designers, but I still don’t understand how his music website is now a fashion blog.

My main issue with this blog is Kanye West’s “girlfriend,” Amber Rose mimicing my muse Grace Jones.  Grace Jones’s Island Life album cover is an iconic photograph by Jean-Paul Goude.  It can never be touched.

Many people are giving Amber props for this photo.  Perez Hilton gave her an “A for effort.”  But as a true Grace Jones fan, I do not approve.  I am willing to bet that Amber Rose has no idea about Grace Jones or this iconic photograph before Kanye dressed her up and took this picture.  Like I said in a previous post, Kanye has taken Amber as his muse to dress her up anyway he pleases.  This time he took it too far.  Kanye, this is not okay.  Amber is no Grace, and never will be.

Dear Jay-Z,
October 18, 2009

jay-z-blueprint3

I have really enjoyed your latest album The Blueprint III.  Although it is not groundbreaking, it is a good modern hip-hop album.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a hater, I am actually a big fan of yours and an even bigger fan of your wife.  But I digress.  I have a lot of respect for you but I also keep it real and I have  a problem with The Blueprint III.

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Please don’t release a song called ‘Death of Auto-tune D.O.A.’ and preach about the end of auto-tune in the music industry on multiple tracks of your album when another track’s beat, ‘Hate’ feat. Kanye West, is based on an auto-tune voice.  I know that you have an issue with T-Pain because he pulled a Lil’ Mama and jumped on stage with you, but please don’t be a hypocrite.  I like you and I want to keep it that way.

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Otherwise, great album.  I love ‘Off That’ and ‘Empire State of Mind’ are my anthems right now.  I look forward to that video with Alicia Keys.  Tell Beyonce I love her.

Love,
Wil

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“Born in ’88.”
July 20, 2009

Kid Cudi

This took long enough.  Today, Kid Cudi released a new video for his second single ‘Make Her Say.’ The song features Kanye West and Common and has been on heavy rotation radio for a while now.

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I like Kid Cudi.  His first single ‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ was great.  I like this song too.  It is the only way I can tolerate ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga (which is sampled in the track).  But Cudi is outshined in this song.  Kanye and Common are two of my favorite MCs and both of them are at the top of the rap game right now.  Kid Cudi’s verse is noticible weak compared to theirs.

Common

I love the video.  It is chic, sexy and smart.  It is not over done, but it is fresh, visual candy.  Even thought I am not a huge Lady Gaga fan, I would have like to see her at the end when the beat breaks down into her acoustic version of the song (which is left out of the video version).  That would have been a nice way to reference her but still keep it about Kid Cudi, Kanye and Common.  Check it out below.


footnote: Kid Cudi’s off debut album
Man On the Moon:  The End Of Day will hit stores September 15th.

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Shuffle ruins things!
May 11, 2009

I have been working around the clock this weekend on final projects and term garments.  Every year it comes down to these sleepless nights on the last week of the semester.  The only thing that gets me through, besides 5-hour-energy drinks, is my iPod.  I depend on that little piece of heaven to keep me in the zone.

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To keep it fresh, I  tried a feature I rarely use on my iPod, Album Shuffle.  Instead of skipping randomly from song to song, my iPod will play an entire album, in its correct order, then move onto another random album.  To stay focused, I made a pact to myself to not touch my iPod and to listen to whatever came on.

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After some of my favorite albums came on including: Destiny’s Child’s The Writing’s On The Wall and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, it occurred to me that I have been missing something in this music.  The order and layout of the album.

The-Writings-On-The-Wall

Artists take time to layout an album.  They think about the order and the story or message they want to convey.  When I was younger and listened to CD’s or even cassettes, I was more forced to listen to an album in sequence and in its entirety.  Now a days, that is a rare occasion.  The iPod makes it so easy to skip songs I am not feeling.  I even find myself discarding “intros,” “outros” and skits as I upload new music to my iTunes, because they are annoying in a shuffle.

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But these are what make albums great.  They make albums flow and tell a story.  They keep your attention and really get a point across.  Whether is the funny monologues on Kanye West’s The College Dropout, or the profound dialogue of school children and their thoughts on “Love,” these inserts make an album special and iPod’s shuffle has numbed us to that.

West vs. Warhol
April 27, 2009

I could be bugging, but I feel like Kanye has recently been attempting to embody the great pop artist Andy Warhol.

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Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick

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Kanye West and Amber Rose

This did not really occur to me until recently when I had a chance to watch the film Factory Girl. Factory Girl, staring Sienna Miller, is the story of Edie Sedgwick and her relationship with Andy Warhol.  For a great deal of the sixties, Sedgwick served as Andy’s right hand woman and muse. When they went out, Edie would often speak for Andy using ‘we.’ Although the world was aware of Andy’s sexuality, he constantly has Edie on his arm or running free in his factory.

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Now how does this relate to Mr. West? I am not completely sure, to be honest. But I am picking up a similar vibe from Kanye and his new girlfriend Amber Rose. She has become more than just a girlfriend or arm candy, she is his muse. He casts his image on her through her clothes and style. Before Kanye, she was just another girl posing half naked in a magazine. Kanye took her under his influence and made her a woman to watch.

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I can almost see Kanye in his sunglasses telling Amber to answer the paparazzi’s questions as he stands aloof and nonchalant like Andy and Edie. I don’t know if Kanye views himself as the Andy Warhol of pop/hip hop music, but I am getting that vibe. But one thing is for sure… Amber is NO Edie. What do you think?