Entries in Kanye West (170)


[Night Out] Wrabel @ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) 9/10/2014

Personal update: I'm trying to get back into the groove of going to at least two shows a week. I'm also I really exhausted from all the emails we get about bands I've never heard of and will most likely will never hear of because they're just "okay". To combat this, I've mostly been ignoring the majority of the emails that I get and just digging around the internet to find things on my own. Back in the day, I used to wander around record stores looking at album artwork and taking chances on art that I felt the most connected to and either give them a listen if they were at the listening bar or just straight up buy the album and take a chance. I found a lot of great music this way (VHS or Beta, Josh Rouse, Junior Jack, etc.). 

I started doing this again fairly recently on Rdio and Spotify for every New Music Tuesday. I just scroll around and look for things that are interesting and give them a try. It's less sexy than the thrill of buying an album and being like, "God I hope this is good," but whatever. This is how I stumbled across Wrabel (pronounnced RAY-bell, at first I thought it was rabble, lol) about a month ago. Purely judging a book by its cover, his EP, Sideways, felt familiar. I think it's because he looks like an American version of Mr. Hudson to me. Familiarity has continued to be an ongoing theme for me with Wrabel. His voice, subject matter, etc. all sounds and feels very familiar. Kind of like I've always known him. Obviously since you are reading this post he clearly was able to tick all the boxes I require to decide to keep tabs on him. 

After adding him to my extensive Twitter list to keep an eye on him, I noticed he was playing a show at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. We should get one thing clear: I love Bowery Ballroom more than anything in this world, but there's something about Rockwood Music Hall (both original and stage 2) that holds a special place in my heart. A chance to experience any artist at Rockwood is a thing you should always do, so I decided to venture solo to see how an intimate performance from this newcomer would pan out. 

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[Watch] Check Out Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Daft Punk at the VMAs

NOTE: As with much of MTV's content, most of the videos below are only available to watch in the United States.

The MTV Video Music Awards took place in Brooklyn last night, with highlights and missteps fueling a ton of Twitter banter. One of the best moments from the event had to be Kanye West's performance of "Blood on the Leaves." The chilling, live rendition was lit solely by Steve McQueen's famous photograph "Lynching Tree," a haunting visual to pair with the Yeezus track. Watch it below.

Justin Timberlake also took to the stage during the VMAs, dishing out a medley of hit singles—this included "Take Back the Night," "SexyBack," "My Love," "Cry Me A River" and "Señorita." He was then joined on stage by his former ‘N Sync mates, a reunion moment few thought would ever happen. Justin, J.C. Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick performed "Girlfriend" and "Bye Bye Bye" before Justin closed solo with "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors."

The much publicized Daft Punk VMA tease didn't end with a performance as we had hoped, but rather with a simple presenting appearance. Joined by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, the robotic duo presented the award for Best Female Video (if you were interested, Taylor Swift won). Not exactly worth bailing out on Stephen Colbert, was it?

On the other hand, making their appearance worth it was a preview of the duo's new video for "Lose Yourself To Dance." Serving as the latest single off Random Access Memories, the song's visual treatment is similar that of "Get Lucky" albeit much more shiny. Check it out below.


[Watch] Kanye West Gets On Stage at Travis Scott's Los Angeles Show, Performs "New Slaves"

Rapper and producer Travis Scott performed at El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles last night, and attendees were given one hell of a surprise. Kanye West crashed the party, appearing on stage and tearing through an impromtu performance of "New Slaves"—for those who don't know, Scott helped produce the song. Shit got crazy the moment the beat dropped, with the crowd moshing and jumping and surfing as Yeezy dished out verse after verse. Rap fans know how to throw down.


[Watch] Check Out the Official Version of Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" Video

Earlier this month, a leaked version of Kanye West's animated video for "Black Skinhead" made its way onto the web, and the rapper was pretty furious about it. Now, the official, finished version is here. It's not all that different from the leaked video—there are crisper animations and textures—but the dark, aggressive punch hits just as hard. Head over to Kanye's official website to watch the video, now with interactive features such as screen capturing and speed controls.


[Watch] Kanye West Unveils Dark Animated Video for "Black Skinhead"

Kanye West's first video for Yeezus isn't quite what I expected. The brooding clip for "Black Skinhead" shows an animated and very buff Kanye rapping in the darkness while lights flash and twisted imagery interjects. It's... interesting. Not nearly as cool as his black and white projections or the Scott Disick-starring American Psycho parody. Watch it below and let us know what you think.

UPDATE: Kanye took to Twitter to say that the video released was unfinished and leaked, and he was not happy about it:

While Yeezy was busy getting animated, former collaborator and producer Hit-Boy—he produced "Niggas In Paris" and "Clique"—has reworked Yeezus highlight "New Slaves" to his own liking. Check out the redubbed "New Chains" below with an accompanying music video.

In even more Kanye West tinkering, Nate Belasco mashed up "Black Skinhead" with Tame Impala's urgent, raucous number "Elephant." The two songs work amazingly well together, driving forward with relentless guitars and aggressive verses. Stream it below or download it here.


[News] W Magazine Interviews Kanye West

As Yeezus seeps further into the public consciousness, Kanye has begun putting himself out there, revealing intimate details through rare and selective interviews. The first was his interview with The New York Times, where he was open about moments throughout his career, his failings and also his successes. Now, the fashion magazine W has published an interview with Kanye that occurred in Paris just before Yeezus was released.

The interview revealed a Kanye that, as much as he is boastful and self-aggrandizing, understands the importance of inspiration and the effect others can have on oneself. Speaking on Paris, where he recorded Yeezus, he said, "In Paris, you’re as far as possible from the land of pleasant smiles. You can just trip on inspiration—there are so many people here who dedicate their lives to excellence."

For example, the song "I Am A God," a title that flaunts a self-absorbed mind, came about because of a major fashion designer's poor decision to attempt control, effectively dissing Yeezy:

[A] few days before Paris Fashion Week, West was informed that he'd be invited to a widely anticipated runway show only on the condition that he agree not to attend any other shows. "So the next day I went to the studio with Daft Punk, and I wrote 'I Am a God,'" West says. "Cause it’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix." West is not smiling as he says this, and his voice is getting louder with each sentence. "You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show! To even think they could tell me where I could and couldn’t go is just ludicrous. It's blasphemous—to rock 'n' roll, and to music.""

He went on to reason why he chose the title "I Am A God": "I made that song because I am a god. I don’t think there’s much more explanation. I'm not going to sit here and defend shit. That shit is rock 'n' roll, man. That shit is rap music. I am a god. Now what?"

Kanye even embraced the shortcomings of his opinionated voice, understanding that his way of expressing that opinion doesn't always work the way he wants it to: "God's little practical joke on me—as an intellect who doesn't like to read a lot—is like, I'll say some superphilosophical shit, but I'll say it the wrong way. I'll use the wrong word, so it goes from being really special to completely retarded."

You can read the entire interview here.


[Download] Check Out a Free Mixtape Featuring the Samples from Kanye West's 'Yeezus'

For those who haven't heard Kanye West's new album Yeezus, stop what you're doing right now and listen to it. Yeah, you might hate, or you might love it. Either way, it's a definitive moment in his career, an anti-pop album from a very mainstream artist. Amidst all the craziness that is Yeezus are a slew of samples, from TNGHT to Snoop Dogg to Marilyn Manson and many more. The folks at Babylon Cartel have been kind enough to compile every song Yeezy sampled into a free 55-minute mixtape. Stream or download it below.

To all the unaware people out there, Kanye's Yeezus officially released today.

Yeezus: The Samples:
01. Intro ( Prod By Gianni Lee )
02. Holy Name of Mary Choral Family – He’ll Give Us What We Really Need (On Sight)
03. Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People (Black Skinhead)
04. Capleton – Forward Inna Dem Clothes (I Am A God)
05. Omega, Omega – Gyöngyhajú lány (New Slaves)
06. Rahul Dev Burman, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey – Are Zindagi Hai Khel (I Am A God)
07. Kenny Lattimore – Lately (I’m In It)
08. Nina Simone – Strange Fruit (Blood On The Leaves)
09. TNGHT – R U Ready (Blood On The Leaves)
10. Snoop Dogg – Down 4 My N’s – (Blood On The Leaves)
11. Lords Of The Underground – Chief Rocka (Guilt Trip)
12. Pusha T ft Popcann Travis Scott – Blocka (Guilt Trip)
13. Beenie Man – Memories (Send It Up)
14. Wee – Aeroplane (Reprise) (Bound 2)
16. Ponderosa Twins Plus One – Bound (Bound 2)
16. Brenda Lee – Sweet Nothin (Bound 2)


[Watch] Kanye West Performs A Cappella Version of "New Slaves"

Yesterday night Kanye West held a listening party in the Swiss town of Basel. While showing off his soon-to-be-released album Yeezus he pressed pause and performed an a cappella version of "New Slaves." He also gave a shout out to Daft Punk, saying they collaborated with him on the song "On Sight." Check out the live performance below.

Kanye also did a rare interview with Jon Caramanica of The New York Times, his first in years. The interview, which took place last month at Shangri-la Studio in Malibu, was published this week. In it, Kanye spoke honestly about his whole career, from The College Dropout to Yeezus.  He gave his thoughts on how he fits into the music industry, as well as pop culture. He openly discusses the incident with Taylor Swift and the one during Hurricane Katrina. It's a fantastic interview, one worth reading simply because Kanye is so fascinating. Check it out here.

Yeezus is out on June 18th.