Kanye West

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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Everything You Need to Know About Vic Mensa, Kanye West’s New Protégé

February 15, 2015 was a big day for Vic Mensa. The 21-year-old, Chicago-native singer and rapper made his national television debut on the SNL 40th Anniversary Special, alongside Kanye West and Sia, wearing whiteout contacts and post-apocalyptic rags. … Read More

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Confessions of a Reformed Kanye West Hater

It’s true, I used to hate Kanye West. Well, OK, “hate” is probably too strong a word — like many people, I had a sort of knee-jerk dislike for the man, a feeling that started to coalesce circa Graduation and didn’t really dissipate until, out of what I considered to be a professional obligation, I sat down and listened properly to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and found to my surprise that I loved it. Since then, my feelings on West have done a neat 180-degree turn, and I’ve also thought a great deal about why it is that I — like so many others — was so quick to greet him with cries of execration. … Read More

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The Best Quotes From Kanye West’s Tear-Inducing Talk with Zane Lowe

Kanye West set the music world on fire with his performance of new single “All Day” at the Brit Awards yesterday, and today his honest interview with BBC’s Zane Lowe resulted in genuine tears, introspection, bon mots and enigmatic catchphrases. We culled the best quotes below. … Read More

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The Quiet Radicalism of Kanye West’s Fashion Collection

Say what you like about Kanye West — everyone does — but there’s one thing for certain, and that’s that America’s most consistently fascinating musician is a mass of contradictions. They’ve always manifested to various extents in his music: braggadocio and self-awareness (contrast his verse on the remix of Beyoncé’s “Ego” with “Runaway,” for instance), arrogance and vulnerability, the desire to control his public image and the propensity for doing spontaneous, often ill-advised things that undermine it. They all seem to come back to a desire to which a lot of us can relate: wanting to be accepted by the establishment while at the same time wanting to tear it down. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that it’s his ongoing obsession with fashion, and specifically the new line he’s created for Adidas, that have thrown these contradictions into the sharpest relief. … Read More

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Why Kanye West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney’s “FourFiveSeconds” Left Me Disappointed

This weekend, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney released “FourFiveSeconds,” a stripped-down, soulful jam. Rihanna delivers one of her best vocal performances ever atop an acoustic guitar hook — seemingly from Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth — that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Ed Sheeran album. Kanye sings — sans AutoTune — with a defiant streak audible in his voice, about spending the night in jail (a true story, mind you) and the public coming for his pride. An organ, likely played by McCartney, and a hearty choir of voices flesh out the sound and give “FourFiveSeconds” a gospel feel as it progresses. … Read More

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Everything We Know About Kanye West’s Next Album

It’s Yeezy season, everybody. This week, Kanye West made a surprise (isn’t everything he does a “surprise” these days?) appearance at the iHeartRadio Media Summit in Burbank, California. He didn’t crash the stage or anything; his appearance was announced, and planned in secret. Which is probably why he gave a fairly tame speech about innovation that concluded with his playing a Rihanna-featuring track from his as-of-yet-untitled seventh album. And then he walked off the stage to a sanding ovation. … Read More

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In Typical Kanye Fashion, Kanye Played His New, Unreleased Record Three Times in a Row Last Night

According to an Instagram by rapper Theophilus London, Kanye West has finished his next album. And he… Read More

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Even When Kanye’s Screwing Up, He’s Still a Savvy Social Critic

Another week, another manufactured “controversy” surrounding Kanye West. Yeezus’ recent tour stop in Sydney, Australia garnered a fresh round of publicity — read: media coverage with ugly subtext — when a standard order for the audience to stand up left West momentarily frustrated with a couple of disabled fans. After a few minutes, West got the message and the show went on, but not before Kanye-“yells”-at-innocent-wheelchair-bound-fan became the latest piece of micro-evidence in the “crazed/egomaniacal/[insert loaded descriptor here]” narrative that’s been a part of West’s image from Hurricane Katrina through Yeezus. I won’t link to any of the write-ups, but if you’d like to watch a decent performance of “The Good Life,” the footage is available here. … Read More

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Mock “Kim K Skills” All You Want — Kanye West’s New Interview Is an Intriguing Portrait of a Marriage

Is the Q&A the perfect form for a nation to actually listen to what Kanye West has to say? The most interesting musician currently working, West is also constantly misrepresented in the mainstream and tabloid media, whose reports paint him in “crazy” colors that often carry undertones of racism — particularly after the perfect storm of hooking up with the world’s most successful celebrity, Kim Kardashian. And in a new GQ cover story, he’s got plenty of insight to share. … Read More

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