A few weeks ago, when I was made aware of the Kanye/Fiddy duel I knew immediately who I was going to vote for: Kanye. As far as who will out sale who? I have no idea. I would like for Kanye to win - but he picks the wrong time to throw tantrums...he could have waited until after today to say anything crazy...but honest.
I am not afraid to admit my fascination and all out admiration for his style, his individuality, his artistry - and of course his brash commentary about everything. In my mind, Kanye is the mainstream Common. I think if Common had more personality - and was a little bit more excited and amped up about something, he could have the mainstream success he may not necessarily wants but wouldn't turn down if the chance came.
Kanye represents a new branding of social consciousness, while Fiddy perpetuates this negative cycle of systematic, ill-bred street life that I am quite tired of. If anything Kanye West is consistent in speaking his mind, sharing his opinion, challenging thought - and it is good to see someone in a position to make you think while being able to be a mainstay in pop culture. Fiddy is always talking about how many times he got shot, how many drugs he pushed and blah blah blah...talk about something new please!
The "Curtis" Album upon first listen is like, here we go a-fuckin-gin! Now mind you even though I am an R&B boy, I know good music when I hear it. There is nothing new - 50 Cent has not evolved as an artist, businessman yes, artist no. What I heard today was the same thing I heard on his debut CD. The tracks sound as if they were taken from his debut recording and stashed for 5 years. If that doesn't turn you off maybe the repetition of his content, the only constant in his music, will. He is just another rapper that talks about what he has, how much he's worth and how much he wants to party - and to think this is great rap music!! I am coming out with a Rap CD! I want to wear a pink shirt, a glitter sash, and some black boots on the cover - just to let these fools know what I have to, a bag full of gay fairy dust to sprinkle on these fools to give them some variety and creative material, cause the shit they putting out today is not even worth the gum on the bottom of Beyonce's Jimmy Choo boot. Even though 50 cent has provided great songs in the past, I've never been one to understand what all they hype was about. The nigga is like a cat, he can survive being shot 9 times or whatever and still make a comeback. Great that's fine, but when you make statements like "If you out sale me, I'll retire," put out a great record that's equivalent to Michael Jackson's Thriller or else prepare to stay in the house and trick off your money on niggerish items. Although the album boasted heavy hitting guest appearances like Mary J. Blige and Robin Thicke they didn't even give any luster to an already lackluster CD.
Standout Tracks (The only decent tracks mind you) I Get Money, Ayo Technology, Follow My Lead.
It all started with the sample of Daft Punk's (Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger) In which ShawnQt SOCKED IT to the kids in a dance rendition of Daft Punk's version. But when I heard Kanye's Song "Stronger," it resonated with me so hard, I had to pull over my car and really take into perspective what was really going on in that song and within me. "Stronger" is an intense song, musically, lyrically profound simply challenging you to keep going in spite of. I appreciate Kanye West in so many ways, on so many levels. But I think when he became my hero is when he said, "President Bush doesn't care about black people." No one has ever had the unmitigated gall to say something so honest and true that spoke to EVERYONE! But then to have socially conscious music that challenges people to be better, and still stay mainstream!!!! Yeah they will shade you at the awards and not give you credit for what you contribute - but at the end of the day Kanye affects us all in a good way and his music reflects that.
Kanye really has grown as an artist. You can tell from the start that he pushes himself and expects the best from himself to make the best product possible. You can't do anything but admire someone who wrote a song and then recorded the song with their mouth wired shut - how many of us would have done that? Has Fiddy recorded a song after being shot? I mean Shyne was on a jail pay phone when he recorded a part on Usher's 'Confession Remix' so...I mean come on. The new sound that Kanye brought is remnant of the 80's rock and modern day electronic music - with the dominate bass-line element of hip-hop. THIS CD is the bomb! There are only a few hip-hop/rap artist that I buy or support on name alone. Kanye West will be added to the list of D.J. Quik, Ice Cube and Ludacris.
Lyrically Kanye delivers so tuff I couldn't even really pick tracks that I liked more than the other because he was just raw and real about everything in the world today. The messages and stories that he gives are so personal and everyone can relate to them. Kanye makes music that not only feels good but it truly does inspire change. On tracks like "Can't Tell Me Nothin'" where he talks about black role models that we had in the media and how one way or another they were bullshit because when they got their money - they sold out.
The CD has guest appearances from T-Pain who we can always count on for a hot hook, Mos Def and the light-skinned great Al B. Sure! Who is recording under the name Al B. Back...I'm sure Kanye had something to do with that one.
I want Kanye West to win this challenge not only because of his musical genius but because he DESERVES IT. He's worked hard while inspiring change - not inspiring a bunch of bullshit and hypocrisy.
This CD gets the TRENT JACKSON STAMP OF APPROVAL and it should be purchased immediately!!!
Stand Out Tracks (Top 5) Stronger, Good Life, Flashing Lights, Can't Tell Me Nothin', The Glory.