Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Understanding

If given the opportunity anything can become more than what it was originally thought to be. A seed only when nurtured has the chance to become a flower or a tree. This process often takes a mere bit of patience and a bit more understanding.

Sometimes I feel the same sort of logic should be applied to other things.

The example of which I speak applies to, as with many of my articles, a certain musical composition.

In this case Kanye West.

On November 10, 2007 West’s mother Donda died of complications from cosmetic surgery involving abdominoplasty and breast augmentation. This procedure was discouraged by Beverly Hills surgeon Andre Aboolian due to Donda West having heart problems. Another surgeon, Jan Adams, performed the procedure. She was fifty-eight years old.

(Being a man who is close to his mother I understand the pain of this loss as great as Kanye did.)

As a result of this loss and many other emotions, Kanye West released 808s And Heartbreak as a way of releasing all these sentiments.

The reception for this effort is, or rather was, mixed. The thoughts here ranged from anticipation to bewilderment and indifference. The unveiling of the lead single “Love Lockdown” at the 2008 MTV Music Video Awards. Music audiences were taken aback by the uncharacteristic production style and the presence of Auto-Tune. This negative sentiment increased when he revealed that the entire album would be mainly sung with the Auto-Tune effect as opposed to his usual rapping and it focused mostly on themes of love and heartbreak.

Numerous hip-hop fans and certain rappers mocked West for being “sappy” while others deemed the upcoming LP a throwaway experimental album that was below their notice.

This is where a lack of patience and understanding come into play.

Being that I still have the presence of my mother in my life I cannot say what I would do if put into the same situation. Kanye West wrote what it was he felt as a way of exorcising his personal demons.

It would behoove fans and artists alike to remember that rappers are still ARTISTS. As such they make music for us but they make music for themselves as well. I respect the fact that West forgoes the norm to make something new and original. It’s very rare that artists are willing to do that anymore.


Because most are too hung up on sales and an image.

Plus they know that the larger consensus of fans won’t (or can’t) understand.

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