kottke.org posts about Kanye West

Steve McQueen interviews Kanye WestJan 24 2014

I always forget about Interview magazine but I really shouldn't because a) Warhol and b) they consistently pair interesting people together for interviews. Case in point: director Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave, not Bullitt) interviews Kanye West for the Feb 2014 issue.

MCQUEEN: You've been on the scene as an artist now for 10 years, which is impressive, given the level of interest and artistry that you've managed to sustain in your work. In the process, you've become incredibly influential. So you talk about doing all of these other things, which is great, but there's really no amount of money that could make you more influential than you are now. So my question is: What are you going to do with all of the influence that you have right now?

WEST: Well, influence isn't my definition of success-it's a by-product of my creativity. I just want to create more. I would be fine with making less money. I actually spend the majority of my money attempting to create more things. Not buying things or solidifying myself or trying to make my house bigger, or trying to show people how many Louis Vuitton bags I can get, or buying my way to a good seat at the table. My definition of success, again, is getting my ideas out there.

Thanks to Jonathan at The Candler Blog for the pointer; he also notes Glenn Kenny's super-apt comment:

Clearly the problem with most Kanye West interviews up until now has been the interviewer.

The Wolf of Bedford FallsDec 20 2013

Trailer for It's a Wonderful Life, recut in the style of the trailer for Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. Music is Black Skinhead by Kanye West.

Lou Reed reviews Kanye's YeezusOct 29 2013

This summer, Lou Reed reviewed Kanye West's Yeezus, praising the albums contradictions.

Very often, he'll have this very monotonous section going and then, suddenly -- "BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP!" -- he disrupts the whole thing and we're on to something new that's absolutely incredible. That's architecture, that's structure -- this guy is seriously smart. He keeps unbalancing you. He'll pile on all this sound and then suddenly pull it away, all the way to complete silence, and then there's a scream or a beautiful melody, right there in your face. That's what I call a sucker punch.

He seems to have insinuated in a recent New York Times interview that My Beautiful Dark, Twisted Fantasy was to make up for stupid shit he'd done. And now, with this album, it's "Now that you like me, I'm going to make you unlike me." It's a dare. It's braggadoccio. Axl Rose has done that too, lots of people have. "I Am a God" -- I mean, with a song title like that, he's just begging people to attack him.

(via @dunstan)

The "troublingly retrograde" YeezusJun 26 2013

Thoughtful piece from Cord Jefferson on Kanye West's retrograde attitude towards women (and particularly white women) on his recent album, Yeezus.

Kanye West has never advocated raping anyone. His persistent fixation on conquering white women -- the lure of white women, injuring white men via their women, etc. -- is troublingly retrograde for a multimillionaire who some consider to be the harbinger of a neo-Black Power movement. It ultimately gives lie to the fact that Kanye sees himself as "a god," as he claims on Yeezus, or, as he told Jon Caramanica in that winding New York Times interview, that he is "so credible and so influential and so relevant." I've yet to see a black man who is truly confident in his human worth and his power spend time crowing about ejaculating onto white chicks. What's more, what does it yield West in the end? As Kiese Laymon asked the other day: "Do you think the white men who run these corporations you're critiquing really give a fuck about you dissing, fucking, fisting, choking white women?"

I listened to Yeezus a handful of times when it first came out (and loved it, especially the production and beats) but had to stop because of just this issue. There is undoubtably something critical to be said about race and sex in America, but West's hamfisted lyrics definitely aren't it.

Kanye West is a confident gentlemanJun 12 2013

Jon Caramanica talks with Kanye West about his work, his past, his impending child, and all sorts of other things in the NY Times. I started pulling interesting quotes but stopped when I realized that I was copy/pasting like 96% of the article. So, you only get two:

I sat down with a clothing guy that I won't mention, but hopefully if he reads this article, he knows it's him and knows that out of respect, I didn't mention his name: this guy, he questioned me before I left his office:, "If you've done this, this, and this, why haven't you gone further in fashion?" And I say, "I'm learning." But ultimately, this guy that was talking to me doesn't make Christmas presents, meaning that nobody was asking for his [stuff] as a Christmas present. If you don't make Christmas presents, meaning making something that's so emotionally connected to people, don't talk to me.

And I don't want to ruin the amazing last few paragraphs, but I just had to include this:

I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it's like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.

Celebrity make undersJan 15 2013

Photographer Danny Evans photoshops images of celebrities so that they look like normal people. This one of Kanye and Kim is my favorite:

Normal Kanye and Kim

Man, I could stare at chubby Kanye all day. But the Tom Cruise one is pretty great as well:

Normal Tom Cruise

(via co.design)

Arrested WesterosOct 22 2012

Last week Aaron linked to Kanye Wes. Turns out there is also Arrested Westeros (Arrested Development quotes + Game of Thrones scenes):

Arrested Westeros

Man, I wish Kanye Westeros were better. (via @JoshMorrison)

Kanye Wes AndersonOct 19 2012

Kanye Wes Anderson is a Tumblr posting screencaps of Wes Anderson moves mashed with Kanye West lyrics resulting in a good time for all. Plus, Kanye and Wes totally hang out.

Kanye-wes-anderson-1.jpgkanye-wes-anderson-2.jpg

(via @ryansholin)

Watch the Throne 2?!!May 25 2012

Kanye and Jay-Z are doing a second album together!

Kanye West's producer Mike Dean, who co-produced part of Jay and 'Ye's Watch the Throne, has confirmed that there will be a Watch the Throne 2! While Dean revealed that a follow up album is definitely in the works, he was unable to give a specific time for its release.

Maybe they'll call it Watch the Throner?

Yogurt gives mice bigger ballsMay 07 2012

In studying yogurt's effects on obesity in mice, a team of MIT scientists discovered several unanticipated results. Basically, yogurt turned these mice into Kanye. Science is weird.

Mouse Swagger

First, the scientists noticed that the yogurt-eating mice were incredibly shiny. Using both traditional histology techniques and cosmetic rating scales, the researchers showed that these animals had 10 times the active follicle density of other mice, resulting in luxuriantly silky fur.

Then the researchers spotted something particular about the males: they projected their testes outward, which endowed them with a certain "mouse swagger," Erdman says. On measuring the males, they found that the testicles of the yogurt consumers were about 5 percent heavier than those of mice fed typical diets alone and around 15 percent heavier than those of junk-eating males.

More important, that masculinity pays off. In mating experiments, yogurt-eating males inseminated their partners faster and produced more offspring than control mice. Conversely, females that ate the yogurt diets gave birth to larger litters and weaned those pups with greater success. Reflecting on their unpublished results, Erdman and Alm think that the probiotic microbes in the yogurt help to make the animals leaner and healthier, which indirectly improves sexual machismo.

'Mouse swagger'

Update: Illustration by Chris Piascik.

Niggas in Paris at MidnightFeb 14 2012

This is so perfectly in the kottke.org wheelhouse that I can't even tell if it's any good or not: a mashup of Jay-Z and Kanye's Niggas in Paris and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.

(via ★davidfg)

All of Kanye's "HUH"sSep 07 2011

The other day while listening to Watch the Throne I wondered if someone had made a supercut of all of Kanye's "HUH"s, "HANH"s, and "UHH"s...and of course someone has.

HENH??!

The best Watch the Throne album review you'll readAug 16 2011

Ghostface Killah from the Wu-Tang Clan reviewed Jay-Z and Kanye's album, Watch the Throne...and it is hilarious.

2. Lift Off (ft. Beyonce) - I almost aint wanna even comment on this shit son.... I dont even kno what to say bout it yo. This shit sounds like the anthem the fairies in Ferngully would use to go to war against evil humans to or some shit b. This shit is like Shia LeBeouf in song form yo. Lissenin to this shit is like havin ya ears penetrated by a million microscopic dicks namsayin. Shit sounds like niggas doin aerobics on a magical cloud of daisies. How many meadows did Kanye cartwheel across before he decided to make this beat? Seriously yo....

Seriously.

Update: The review was not written by Ghostface but it is still hilarious. (thx, all)

The Muppets sing Kanye West's MonsterJan 05 2011

This is surprisingly well done.

Continuing with the unexpected Kanye groove on kottke.org this morning.

Josh Groban sings Kanye's tweetsJan 05 2011

This might be even funnier than the Kanye Jordan Twitter acct.

How Kanye makes his musical sausageNov 29 2010

Interesting piece on how Kanye West's latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, got made. Lots of good creative process bits, like this extensive quote from Kanye kollaborator Q-Tip:

"I'd never worked the way Kanye was working in Hawaii. Everybody's opinions mattered and counted. You would walk in, and there's Consequence and Pusha T and everybody is sitting in there and he's playing music and everyone is weighing in. It was like music by committee. [Laughs.] It was fresh that everybody cared like that. I have my people that listen to my stuff-I think everybody does-but his thing is much more like, if the delivery guy comes in the studio and Kanye likes him and they strike up a conversation, he'll go, 'Check this out, tell me what you think.' Which speaks volumes about who he is and how he sees and views people. Every person has a voice and an idea, so he's sincerely looking to hear what you have to say-good, bad, or whatever.

"In art, whether it was Michelangelo or Rembrandt or all these dudes, they'll sketch something, but their hands may not necessarily touch the paint. Damien Hirst may conceptualize it, but there's a whole crew of people who are putting it together, like workers. His hand doesn't have to touch the canvas, but his thought does. With Kanye, when he has his beats or his rhymes, he offers them to the committee and we're all invited to dissect, strip, or add on to what he's already started. By the end of the sessions, you see how he integrates and transforms everyone's contributions, so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. He's a real wizard at it. What he does is alchemy, really."

BTW, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is still on sale at Amazon for $3.99.

Kanye West + Tracy JordanSep 27 2010

One of last week's top tweets made this observation:

Put "Liz Lemon," in front of Kanye's tweets and he becomes Tracy Jordan. "Liz Lemon, I wonder what happened to my antique aquarium."

Tom Armitage knocked up a Kanye Jordan Twitter account so you don't even need to work at imagining. The results are often sublime. (via jimray)

Bittersweet PoetryAug 03 2010

Kanye and New Yorker Cartoons

You may have heard recently that Kanye West's Twitter account is really something special. If you heard that, it's true. If not, you're hearing it now. Paul and Storm and Josh A. Cagan have made Kanye's Tweets even better, though, by matching them with New Yorker Cartoons. Scroll through their Twitter feeds and you'll find gold.

(Via The New Yorker)

Kanye is deadOct 27 2009

Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead? Is Rapper Kanye West Dead?

Alexis PhiferFeb 27 2009

I now know who to thank for Kanye West's wondrous 808s and Heartbreak: his ex-fiancee Alexis Phifer. She's gotta be the Robocop, right? No short-term romance stings that bad.

DatamoshingFeb 17 2009

Two is a trend: Kanye West's video for Welcome to Heartbreak uses the same video compression technique used in Chairlift's Evident Utensil. The videos were done by two different directors at around the same time, which probably means that neither originated it. Does anyone know what the Patient Zero is for this technique? This Radiohead video for Videotape comes close but doesn't use the compression artifacts to cleverly cut between scenes...which is the real artful moment here. (thx, andrew & demetrice)

Update: Here are a few candidates: Takeshi Murata, paperrad, and Mark Brown. (thx, matthew, simon & justin)

Update: Aha, the technique is called datamoshing. (thx, daniel)

Update: There's a bit of datamoshing in this 2005 David O'Reilly clip and even more in a 2005 video made by Kris Moyes (Moyes briefly uses the same technique in this 2008 video for Beck). In 2004, Owi Mahn & Laura Baginski made a video called Pastell Kompressor in which they manipulated the compression keyframes in some timelapse videos. Sven König's two projects, aPpRoPiRaTe! and Download Finished! originate around the same time (2004/2005). The technique itself seems pretty simple...just ignore the compression keyframes during playback. (thx, philip & sven)

Kanye West and his entourageFeb 04 2009

Kanye Entourage

Now I can't get the theme song to H.R. Pufnstuf out of my head. (via jak & jil)

808s and HeartbreakDec 03 2008

808s and Heartbreak, Kanye West. Everyone's saying how good this is and I concur. Someone stomped on Kanye's heart and out squirted a great album.

Kanye, Radiohead, mashupOct 29 2008

Love Lockdown + Reckoner. Kanye mashed up with Radiohead, I pretty much gotta post it. (via delicious ghost)

This video makes me irrationally happy...IApr 09 2008

This video makes me irrationally happy...I watched it four times in a row just now.

It was the freshest move I've ever seen, like he was floating on air.

And yeah, that's Kanye West's Vimeo account. His blog is entertaining as well; a recent favorite post is YOU CAN'T MAKE ME STOP POSTING YAGHTS!!!

Update: Vimeo erased the video because it was not original content so I pointed to one on YouTube. They also erased all but one video on Kanye's account...I guess they were all videos by other people.

I'm thoroughly enjoying Kanye West's new album,Sep 27 2007

I'm thoroughly enjoying Kanye West's new album, Graduation. Standout tracks so far: Stronger and Homecoming, although it took me much longer than it should have to recognize Chris Martin's vocals on the latter.

Tags related to Kanye West:
music video remix Jay-Z Twitter movies interviews

kottke.org

Front page
About + contact
Site archives

Subscribe

Follow kottke.org on Twitter

Follow kottke.org on Tumblr

Like kottke.org on Facebook

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Advertisement

Ads by The Deck

Support kottke.org shop at Amazon

And more at Amazon.com

Looking for work?

More at We Work Remotely

Kottke @ Quarterly

Subscribe to Quarterly and get a real-life mailing from Jason every three months.

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting