Friday, March 11, 2016
25 Kanye Producers Needed to Screw in A Light Bulb
The internet is a black hole. Facebook sometimes tries to suck you in and pull you down to it's level of uncommon sense. There was discourse I engaged in about the meme below.
This was obviously created by someone who has never heard of the song "Ogre Battle" or really any brains at all as those Kanye lyrics are still pretty terrible and were much better stated by Chuck D 20 years earlier. I think the problem with music "then" vs "now" started in 1998 with the dawn of auto-tune, first used for effects by Cher to later become a crutch for entertainers who cannot sing. Since he doesn't play an actual instrument and relies on a team of producers to create for him, Kanye tends to fall along side other pop "artists" as an entertainer. I like my share of pop music, but it's like eating fast food occasionally vs a balanced diet. I was shocked to learn Kayne West's new album has 25 producers on it. We are talking multiple producers per song. How many Kanye producers does it take to screw in a light bulb? This brings new meaning to the term "over-produced". In all fairness I looked up Taylor Swift and the Weeknd to see how many producers were on their albums. On 1989 Taylor Swift had 8 and the "Beauty Behind the Madness" had 13. Still despite this gross excess is still combined less than the number West rolls with. An interesting side note, only one producer worked on "A Night At the Opera", so they obviously didn't need as much help.
So what gives Taylor Swift and the Weeknd the edge over Kayne? Well it goes back to 1998. They can actually sing if required to do so. Swift can even play an instrument, edging her out of just being an entertainer, though she is embracing the pop queen role which is obvious if you have seen any of her videos. But rappers are poets you argue....if that's the case, then they need even fewer producers. How many producers did Allen Ginsberg need? The flow of lyrics on "Beauty Behind the Madness" has more heart in it than Kayne has ever put into any of his albums. West's real talent is being a media whore. So Taylor, watch your step or you won't be much better no matter how classy of a Grammy speech you give. At the end of the day if your music doesn't matter more than the brand then you are in trouble, trouble trouble... Go ahead, make all the money you want, as PT Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute".
Ask Quincy Jones how many extra producers he needed for "Thriller". If you don't count Suge Knight's role as the executive producer, which means money man, the role that Kanye is assigned to on his own albums, then Dr. Dre was also the sole producer of "the Chronic". So if you are wondering what's wrong with hip-hop, how hard can you be if your shit has twice as many producers working on it than the team that puts together a Katy Perry album? If you are just making a circus then pack as many clowns as you can fit into your car. With that said I think Charlie did a wonderful job with the song below which is without a doubt Kanye's best work since "Gold Digga" .