Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Does he suck? Kanye West

We continue our mission of clearly defining those people, things, ideas, thoughts, actions and other nouns and verbs of questionable suckitude with the world's most arrogant rap star, Kanye West.

We all know Kanye is great. His first two albums are among the most commercially and critically successful releases of the decade. As a producer, he has made hits for Jay-Z and Common. Best of all, he introduced the phrase, "We want prenup!" into the national lexicon. But Kanye also posed on the cover of Rolling Stone as Jesus Christ, a not-so subtle sign that our man might be slightly self-delusional. (If Kanye really is Jesus, does that mean Jay-Z, Eminem and Nas can flow better than the savior?) Also, Kanye's production "genius" often consists of taking old soul records and speeding them up like Alvin and the Chipmunks. Not exactly Stevie Wonder-quality chops there, son.

So, is Kanye West a musical mastermind, or an overrated hack? In other words, does he suck or not suck? It's up to you, the voters. POLLS ARE OPEN UNTIL NOON FRIDAY.

46 Comments:

Anonymous cheddar said...

THANK FRIGGING GOD. Finally, a good candidate for not-suckitude.

Is he arrogant? Yes. Then again, name me a major musical star who isn't. Difference is, he realizes it and that conflict provides much of the emotional content of his work.

"What mo' could you ask fo'?
The international a**hole
Who complained about what he is owed
And throw a tantrum like he is 3 years old.
You gotta love it, though,
Somebody still speak from his soul..."

As for his "speeding up" technique, I'll grant that it's not Chuck Berry revolutionary, but considering his genre is founded on creating beats out of other songs, criticizing his particular (and wildly successful) method of doing so is a bit pointless.

"Golddigger" aside, Kanye is a first-ballot HOFer for Not Suck.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sucks

12:17 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

not sucks

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this one is a clear NOT suck. i don't care what anyone else says, golddigger is a fantastic track.
of course the dude is arrogant - if people told you all the time how great you were wouldn't you be arrogant too? (a classic example: steve fucking hyden.) i think that you would. not suck mo fo's. not suck.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous rebizzle said...

that wasn't supposed to be anonymous - that was me.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Olson said...

The man thinks he belongs in the bible (seriously).

When he does try to be sincere he looks like a bumbling idiot (The "George Bush hates black people" speech).

And his fame is quickly approaching that of other shock inducing celebs like Howard Stern and Paris Hilton.

My vote is suck.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Shane said...

He does NOT suck! The dude is opening peoples minds to what everyone fears to believe. There is so much garbage out there now about pussy and money..bling bling..but his stuff has a message. At least he is trying to keep hip hop/rap alive to keep it socailly aware like it was back in the day.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Nick P. said...

No comment on Kanye, but how about Tapanga from Boy Meets World for a future "Does she suck?"? My vote for that one, by the way, will be "sucks."

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

Does not suck

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people in the midwest hate arrogant people.

ok maybe not. but the word arrogant has been thrown around quite a bit in the does he suck blog comments. what's wrong with being arrogant? does everyone have to run around being minnesota nice? that's just sick

- u know

3:40 PM  
Anonymous e4life said...

Sucks.

Sorry dudes, any rapper who writes a song that features freaking Adam Levine of Maroon 5 cannot be worthy of non-suck HOF status. What's next? Fiddy busting out a duet with John Mayer?

Too bad, because I actually dig the so-called arrogance. He is an entertainer, after all. But my hatred of Maroon 5 and anything remotely connected with it supersedes all potential endorsements.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous sarah...the stepniece said...

Oh finally

KAYNE DEFINATLY DOES NOT SUCK

i have his cd

and i love it

but i think my mom loves it more

10:24 PM  
Blogger johnny said...

isn't he the guy who said "republicans don't like black people", If so he sucks

1:24 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

I'm trying to get this straight. Bono's arrogance was OK, Bono's involvement in politics is OK, but Kanye does either of those things and HE sucks?

I'm detecting prejudice of one sort or another, here.

(Unfortunately, I agree with E. However, I write it off as a stunt. He was famously pissed at Maroon 5 for getting the Best New Artist Grammy, but still tapped their singer to do a song.)

9:42 AM  
Blogger Olson said...

Hold up, the only people talking about his arrogance are the ones voting not suck. Go back and look. Nobody else even mentions it.

You guys are fighting against yourselve's, its like watching Joe Thiesman on Sunday night football.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've never seen anyone punctuate "yourselves" in such an ... interesting manner.

anyway, kanye doesn't suck. you know that. his stuff is catchy as hell. and he isn't smart enough to have any true political influence. so that's my vote.

and steve, NOBODY has sucked in your poll so far. at least not according to your voters. what's up with that? you need to nominate someone who inspires TRUE hate. someone like robin williams.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

cheddar, your last post sucks. "involvement in politics" obviously means something way different for bono, who is meeting with world leaders to reduce third world debt, than it is for kanye west, he said something dopey about george w. bush that one time on tv. i'm detecting a prejudice against smart arguments here.

snnnnnnnap!

as for you anonymous, i don't know why we haven't pulled the suck trigger yet. the red meat certainly has been there. robin williams would be a good call, but i'm wary of posting someone is too obviously sucky. the whole idea is to have "debateable" suckitude. but i might have to clear the palette with someone dumb just to get a good suck vote in.

11:10 AM  
Blogger paul said...

I'd like to make the first vote for abstention in "Does he suck?" history. I liked the song in the commercial for "Jarhead" though.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Kanye doesn't do much for me. While I realize he has some good songs and that smart people (or at least people I consider to be smart) are continually giving him praise, I could really care less about those accolades. I suppose he's a better hip-hop spokesman that say, Puff Daddy Diddy, but still, it isn't enough to spare him a suck vote. Granted, it's a half-hearted suck vote, but I would never feel compelled to defend Kanye to anyone, so I don't feel comfortable with a non-suck nod. Plus, there's that whole Maroon Five thing.

12:11 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

Kanye sucks. He's unworthy of the not-suck vote.

(And Maroon 5 is perfect driving music when you're exhausted. Light, fluffy, easy to sing along to. It has its purpose...)

12:22 PM  
Anonymous kbl said...

George Bush hates black puppets.

Not suck. (Even though the girl I loathe at work warbles out "I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger..." every three minutes before reverting back to the tuneless humming that interposes these outbursts.)

He's innovative, he's entertaining, he's exciting, he's provided a shot in the arm to what was becoming a creatively-moribund genre (commercially viable/radio playable hip-hop). He's not always perfect, but he's provocative, can be challenging and has really come into his own as an MC, even if he doesn't have the best flow out there.

And for every Adam Levine, there's a Jon Brion.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

dashboard fucked up the entire suck scale. until you put up someone worse than dashboard.... if that's possible...

robin williams so doesn't suck btw.

now, i really need to work.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Also, don't hate on Maroon 5. "This Love"? That is a great single, people, and the Kanye track Levine sings on is great, too.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous marker said...

steven: i agree. i was often playing defense during school "omg wtf i've never even heard of your self-appointed minnesota nice.."

sure robin's done a toilet load of awful movies.. but i like his hbo comedy bit, his earlier movies.. and most relavant to me, he's involved in the bay area community and a spokesperson for several good causes and a favorite among most of the 4 million people around here.

Probably doesn't mean much as far as suck/not suck for anyone who reads this blog, but for me it counts.

and howard stern and paris hilton are so not kayne west... and btw all three are still famous and popular... regardless of the hateitude. totally

2:17 PM  
Anonymous e4life said...

Maroon 5's only redeeming quality is that you can tell a girl you're a fan of them and it might, MIGHT, increase your chances of getting laid. Then again, she might also think you're a gigantic wuss.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Olson said...

Minnesota Nice Clarification-

Twin Cities People=Grade A Pricks

Rest of the State=Nice

At least that is my experience.

Also, Kanye's music does not suck, but the Gestalt Kanye does.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

Robin Williams does not even remotely suck.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sucks for sure! Only the teeny bopper crowd thinks this boy is cool. He has been around for years producing (or lack of producing) behind the scenes and should have kept it that way. Granted producing is an art form, I know, of individual style and taste. But his method is not creative in the least. Take his first hit through the wire, a complete Chaka Khan-through the fire rip that all he did was speed it up and throw a few different drums on the track. If anyone wants to know how sampling is truly done check out producers like Just Blaze, Kay Gee, or Swiss Beats to name a few of the talented cats. And his attempt at being an mc is just plain bogus. Thank God he pretty much kept his voice of of John Legends album, but when he did flow he of course had to talk unintelligent and a line about jacking off. So no love for Kanye here.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan ... I FEEL FOR YOU. I THINK I LOVE YOU ...

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Shahul said...

DOESN'T SUCK AT ALL!!!! his raps mean sumthing. everyone else makes songs about F***ing girls and getting drunk and high. he tells what he's been through in his life.

"A hip-hop legend i think i died in that accident, cuz this must be heaven..."
- Kanye West

8:17 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Not suck!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Did this anonymous kid name Swizz Beats as one of the truly talented producers out there? He was sued by Casio for ripping off the basic beats they issue with their keyboards. Begone, know-nothing.

Olson, you noted, as part of your suck vote, that Kanye wants to be in the Bible, and then said no one who's issued a suck vote has noted Kanye's arrogance. Which is it?

And Steve, you're right, equating Bono's activities with Kanye's commentary is a bit of a reach, but the principle remains, regardless of the extent of each of their involvement.

Bono could say, "George Bush doesn't like poor people," and it would be OK because he's been to Africa a lot? Kanye said what he believes (and what a whole lot of other Americans believe, frankly) and he's an ass because he spouted it off the top of his head and made Mike Myers really uncomfortable?

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

alright, so, let me start off by saying that I was swaying back and forth as to which way to go. i like kanye -- about half of the time. "gold digger" is catchy and, eventhough i don't go to chuch, i also enjoyed "jesus walks."

however he does get a bit annoying. to me atleast, it gets to the point of paris hilton annoying. many people have talked about his arrogance -- but did anyone actually read that rolling stone interview. not only did he keep the reporter waiting until 2 a.m. to do the interview -- left her to chill in the studio's lobby -- but it is riddled with "I am the F-ing greatest" lines that get old quick.

away from that, i think there are better hip hop producers out there. pharrell and hi-tek to name two. and if i have to, i'll include rick rubin. and as far as being a rapper who actually raps about subjects that mean something -- nope, not the best there either. give me mos def, talib, or the J5.

so yeah, on those standards -- kanye sucks.

oh, i mean, he is lame.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous dave said...

oh, and for those of you who say he doesn't suck because everything he seems to touch turns to gold, or platinum. would they be the same people to vote kelly clarkson into the non-suckitude HOF?

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kelly clarkston is a good singer

11:17 AM  
Blogger Olson said...

Cheddar, there is a difference between being arrogant and having delusions of grandeur. I believe Kanye thinking he belongs in the Bible falls into the latter category.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Krista said...

All right. I vote: sucks. But barely.

I will be the first to turn "Golddigger" up real loud whenever I hear it, but that's about it. I don't like it because it's Kanye, I like it because it's catchy. I'd probably even like it if Bono sang it.

But I'm not an ultra-Kanya fan. Don't hate him, but don't like him enough to go with "not suck." Yes, he's talented. But no, he's not Jesus.

He's also addicted to porn. And that's fun.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

*sigh*

I'm gonna make a post comparing all the Kanye commentary to all the Bono commentary, then note the voting, and I think the results will be interesting.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

he's american, so he's also addicted to oil.

Krista i'm different than you. i presume not suck until proven suck.

i like this cheddar character

1:42 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Mark,

Fair enough. He proved suck to me when he posed as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone. Oh, and when he threw a temper tantrum last year when he didn't win 805 Grammy awards.

However, different is OK.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kanye West is the true definition of a sell out. The guy will do anything for money. I remember when it wasn't cool for rappers to do Pepsi commercials! Kanye West would have played Bush's Inauguration if they offered him enough money (Luckily, they were able to get the Fox Valley's own money/fame hungry sell outs, Boxkar).

I do like some of his music, I do. It's just that I heard such incredible things about this guys such a long time ago, and I just don't see what the big deal is. He's no Biggie!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous rebizzle said...

kelly clarkson IS a good singer.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

under 30 hates black people.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous m said...

ok that's not as funny sounding as i meant it to be... really it's just 11 people that do

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kanye West sucks ass. He talks about Jesus and the bible yet he gets upset, angry, and throws his little fits. I mean, come on, he's not even thankful for what he has accomplished. Instead he complains about not winning awards. It seems like the guy is mad at the world for no reason. Now I know they don't teach that in the bible. Oh yeah, his music, complete bullshit. A lot of this guys music is sampled from old school music. I have most of the original music this guy sample his shit from. I could make better beats myself. hahaha, and his lyrics, what the fuck. College dropout, that say's it all. My 16 year old brother can write better lyrics than he can, not to mention freestyle better too. One more thing, did you here him speak at the hurricane relief fundraiser, shit man, even mike myers sounded more intelligent than he did. If you're going to be on national television at least prepare what you're going to say. His little speech there didn't make any sense. He just made himself look alot more ignorant than i thought he could be. Fuck Kanye, he's an embarrassment to hip hop in general.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Kanye is nothing more than a sell out who's so full of himself that he doesn't realize that crap he's putting out. I don't even consider him to be hip hop.

4:14 PM  

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