From the archive
In AIM conversation with Kris Ex.
Exo: grand statement alert:
Exo: Kanye’s most emblematic quality has been his willingness to speak ego to power. that’s sorely missed by me on MBDTF.
Noz: who said that
Exo: that’s my observation
Exo: and also the type of analysis that gets lost in the “it’s great! first!” type of criticism
Noz: you don’t think “power” did that?
Exo: exactly why it’s missed
Exo: because he ignores that voice for the rest of the album
Noz: that’s a fair critique
Noz: i need to spend more time with the lyrics
Noz: or maybe i don’t?
Noz: right now i’m more interested in the album as a production statement
Exo: that’s my issue with a lot of this
Exo: and a lot of what goes on with OFWGKTA and much of criticism
Exo: whether Gucci or Waka or whomever
Exo: i don’t feel that the narrative can be divorced from the art
Noz: not divorced
Noz: but you can certainly focus on one not the other
Exo: i feel it happens too much with the critics
Noz: well with kanye
Noz: i still think of him as a producer first
Noz: which i know is really a narrow and deluded line of thought
Exo: not totally
Exo: i think of him as a producer first
Noz: i think a lot of what this album is doing too is him trying to ease into more of a dr. dre role
Noz: where he orchestrates an ensemble album
Exo: but, as a writer more than a critic, the idea of narrative is tantamount to me at this stage in my life
Noz: so enjoy watching matt lauer clips while i listen to music
Exo: not sure how you get that
Exo: to me narrative is in the music
Exo: whether you’re Flocka, Ross, Diddy, Taylor Swift or BEP
Exo: everybody’s selling something
Noz: you are saying that “blame game” lacks a narrative?
Noz: or that it’s not the narrative you want/expect from kanye?
Exo: i’m saying that his narrative before was highly autobiographical
Exo: now it’s “fantasy”
Exo: and hidden behind posse cuts
Exo: all of the lights, monster, appalled, etc.
Noz: yeah that’s where the album dips for me
Exo: you’re correct that this album seems more interested in making musical and sonic statement
Exo: it seems to lack the theme and cohesion of hsi past records
Noz: see to me his past records were short on sonic cohesion
Noz: and i think more often than not his theme can be summed up in a single song
Noz: ie “all falls down”
Noz: or “power” here, i guess
Exo: i think the theme here is “Runaway”
Noz: yeah that might be more accurate
Exo: i would love to hear the “Power” album
Exo: and i guess that’s what i’m saying is missing
Noz: hasn’t he already made the “Power” album though?
Noz: wasn’t that graduation?
Noz: (that’s not a rhetorical question – i haven’t listened to graduation in years so i can’t say for myself)
Exo: i think he’s reached whole new heights since that album
Exo: graduation was still bitching from a seat at the table
Exo: now he’s firmly ensconced in the proceedings
Exo: has a reserved parking spot and all
Noz: fair enough
Noz: i think it amounts to us wanting different things from kanye
Noz: i’m not really interested in lady gaga style TREATISE ON AMERICAN CELEBRITY rap
Noz: even though i will say that kanye does that better than just about anyone on earth
Exo: it just feels like a retreat
Exo: i can be wrong
Exo: and i still have yet to sit with it in any significant way
Noz: it’s forward musically
Exo: yet it feels like he’s hiding behind the music
Exo: which makes it hard for me to totally get into in many ways
Noz: and maybe that’s why i am into it