Kanye West

In Praise of Kanye West, James Franco, and Other High-Art Multi-Hyphenates

Earlier this year, famed rapper, producer, and headline subject Kanye West put out a fashion line through Adidas, called Yeezy Season 1. It was not the prettiest thing in the world, and, though he made grand proclamations about his intention to have these items priced fairly, at $450 for a sweatshirt, it is not affordable to most human beings, no matter how you shake it. To put it simply: the line was pretty much universally panned, and people told him to stop. But he shouldn’t stop. Neither should James Franco, Lena Dunham, Miranda July, Ethan Hawke, Shia LaBeouf, or any of their other multi-hyphenate friends. They should do whatever the hell they want — and, in fact, the more the merrier. … Read More

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Are Pop Music and the Art World Getting a Divorce?

Is the unholy shotgun marriage between pop music and institutional high art about to end in divorce? It’s hard to say. But after MoMA’s fiasco-level failure of a Björk retrospective, a relationship built largely on shared megalomania, reputational gain, and, well, money, appears to be on the verge of collapse — like most celebrity marriages. … Read More

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10 Perfect Songs to Greet the Spring

It’s the first day of spring! The snow is melting, the necessity for wearing every item of clothing you own simultaneously is receding, and it’s still light outside when you leave work (even if they had to arbitrarily steal an hour of your sleep to make this happen). In all seriousness, it’s a lovely time of year, and it needs accompanying music — so here’s a playlist of songs to greet the spring, encompassing everything from Kanye West and Stravinsky to two Australian bands you’ve probably never heard of. Now, go and enjoy the… Read More

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Kendrick Lamar, James Bond, and Gastrointestinal Passcode Pills: Links You Need to See

The more that Gwyneth Paltrow keeps insisting that she does not live on Cloud 9 or Mount Olympus, the less the world believes her. Yesterday, she explained on CNN Money, “I’m incredibly close to the common woman in that I’m a woman and I’m a mother and we all are in a physical body with beating hearts with compassion and love…,” yet one day, Gwen or her progeny will own one of these flying cars, and I’ll still be trying to get health insurance. … Read More

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The Mysteries of Powdered Alcohol and David Bowie: Links You Need to See

The pendulum of hate and adulation swings freely in Kanye West’s life, oscillating seemingly daily between the two camps. On Sunday, West walked the streets of Paris in black mid-calf, high-heeled boots on his way to the Givenchy fashion show. Today, the rest of the internet noticed, and comparisons to Mary J. Blige, Rick James, and Shrek‘s Lord Farquaad are flying. … Read More

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Let’s Stop Telling Women They Can’t Love Misogynist Art

Norwegian journalist Ellen Sofie Lauritzen loves Philip Roth despite being a feminist, she writes at TPM’s The Slice today. She loves his deeply sexist characters, and the filthy things that come out of their mouths. She loves Lil Wayne and other misogynist MCs. Does this make her a bad feminist, or is there a feminist case for her taste? … Read More

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Why Does Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ Sound Like Every Pop Star She’s Influenced?

Madonna has been everything. Madonna is the reason female pop stars are able to be multifaceted, evolutionary, sexy-and-smart, vulnerable-and-empowering creatures instead of fembots programmed to either be contagiously happy or soul-stirringly sad for the sake of easy entertainment. Without her, the world would have a different idea of the entire modern concept of what a female pop star is/can be/should be. Sure, someone else with a big attitude and an even bigger nerve might have come along at the right time, but it’s hard to imagine just anyone becoming such a permanent visionary in our musical landscape as Madonna — particularly in a way that, for the most part, has retained relevance. … Read More

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Kanye Doing the Robot Is Hilariously Awkward

Kanye West has made headlines for plenty of things: his rants during concerts, swearing at the paparazzi, and speeches that… Read More

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Read Three Poems From Sarah Blake’s “Unauthorized Lyric Biography of Kanye West”

Sarah Blake‘s new book of poetry, Mr. West, is an “unauthorized lyric biography of Kayne West,” where the rapper serves as the muse for Blake’s poetry. Blake spends years thinking about West as father, son, boyfriend, husband, celebrity, genius. Through her poetry, Kanye becomes as sharp and multifaceted as a diamond, with a reflection that changes every time you look at it. Released on March 9, Mr. West is a unique and risky book. We’re happy to excerpt three of Blake’s poems — a selection that deals with Taylor Swift, the MTV Movie Awards, and “I Am a God.” Click through to read them. … Read More

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Revealed: The Connection Between Classical Art and Hip Hop

If you’ve never considered the nexus between classical art and the world of hip hop, well, OK, you’re not the only one. Happily, though, the creators of a Tumblr called B4-XVI have the vision that many of us lack, and their blog is a series of composite images that draw parallels between prominent rappers and art dating from the 16th century and before. It’s as excellent as it sounds, and we’ve collected some of our favorites for your viewing pleasure. (There are plenty more to be seen here.) … Read More

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