Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Honored by my lateness

Apparently a lot of folks came down hard on Kanye after the MTV business the other weekend. Look, I don't think Kanye should've done what he did, but people need to understand it for what it is...a cat being disruptive and speaking his mind. He was out of place for interrupting Taylor Swift in that manner, but I'm not going to fault Kanye for saying what he said. Whatever ignorant/racist messages surfaced after this once-influential music video award broadcast, folks need to understand that just like in anything, bad news travels fast...negative comments always get the most press. So let's not get too carried away with all this.


People want Kanye to scale it back, tone it down, whatever...ok. If he does have problems (coping, addiction, whatever,) hopefully he's got family and friends close to him so that he can get whatever care he may be in need of. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Kanye is an entertainer...dude brought hip-hop performances back in recent years (see his SNL appearances.) Is he a primadonna at times? I don't doubt it. So long as he's promoting music and art in a positive/progressive manner, I don't really have an issue with him speaking his mind. Of course, it would be nice if he did it in a way that didn't rock the boat and cause such commotion, but that unfortunately isn't always the case.

While it's possible this MTV deal was a sign of what's to come and where he's at, I do think he can return to form and get it together. After all, in terms of mass appeal, he's one of the few cats worth keeping an ear/eye to.

All this got me to thinking about some of the reasons why I'm a fan of Kanye in the first place. A couple years ago during some down time in their touring schedule, I had the opportunity to chat with his (now former) DJ, A-Trak. We spoke about a number of topics, but one focal point was the time he'd spent with Kanye on the road and in the studio. As a DJ myself, these two joining forces was incredible not just because of the amazing talent they both possess, but the creativity that would result was just about unparalleled in terms of hip-hop. Needless to say, their output has been some of the dopest stuff of recent years.

To showcase a small bit of what I'm talking about, I wanted to share this with you here. Below is an excerpt from my conversation with A-Trak where we spoke in particular about some of the more memorable moments with Kanye on tour in the Late Registration/Orchestration era:


A-Trak - INT + Heard 'Em Say (LiVE @ Abbey Road)

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