In a recent Rolling Stone interview, the robot duo Daft Punk commented on a recent experience working with Kanye West:
"It was very raw: he was rapping — kind of screaming primally, actually," Thomas Banglater says.
"Kanye doesn’t give a fuck," Guy-Manuel [de Homem-Christo] adds.
Kanye’s dearth of fuck-giving is well documented, however the primal screaming seems to be an update to Yeezy’s modus operandi. For his recent performances on SNL, an Adult Swim pop-up show, and the Governor’s Ball in New York City, angry caterwauling is a mainstay. He is truly living up to his self-titled acronym the G.O.A.T..
While this sort of raw uncut brings a punk aesthetic to his performance, it may suffer in the studio, which, typically, is Kanye’s source of power. Followers of Yeezus should be worried, for, musically speaking, he may be risking a fall of the deep end, and who knows if he will ever get back in his zone.
To be fair, this strand of yelling and controversial subject matter is somewhat appropriate for this point in Kanye’s career, sonically and tonally speaking. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was haunted by a deadpan macabre. Watch the Throne put Kanye forth as the dominant creative force over his big brother Jay-Z, and his go-to appeals to controversy are rife in the song and music video “No Church in the Wild.” Kanye wants an ever more dark spectacle for one’s ears, and with titles like “New Slaves” and “Black Skinheads” he has made his intentions to reach into the abyss quite clear.
He also maintains his ongoing contradiction: the proclamations of arrogant glory and simultaneous self-effacement and vulnerability. At Gov Ball, he debuted “I am a God.” In addition to his titular claim to deity, he ends this odd attempt at machinima hip-hop with a few high pitched shrieks, and then, helpless, faint panting.
Ultimately, what is woefully lacking in the gaggle of new songs is the sharp wit that Kanye once dealt in bulk. Without the clever turns of phrase, his childish behavior has no counterpoint. “I am a God/ So hurry up with my damn massage/ In a French-ass restaurant/ Hurry up with my damn croissants!” Can we even laugh anymore?
It is widely reported that Kanye has finished his next album. If his songs all have this industrial, a-tonal bent, he will likely outdo his worst album, 808’s and Heartbreak, in sheer monotony.