Kanye West: A Greek Tragedy

Man or Myth?

Kanye West was came unexpectedly into my life. I had many arguments with friends over the quality of his work and weather or not his “genius” title was worthwhile. I would never have guessed that the when I actually sat down and listened to the Yeezus album, my life would be changed forever.

Bo Burnham had described modern music as “beat fetishism.” I had been inclined to agree with this. Rock and roll and pop music had pretty much beat to death (pun). Rap and hip hop was no different to me, focusing more on just the rhythm and beats as opposed to guitar solos. I dismissed most of the genre as simple and repetitive.

Oh the hubris.

My friend John is an audio-engineer and made the biggest case for Kanye. He explicitly told me to listen to the Yeezus album and try not to like it. I listened and it was fine. But like most good things, it took time for it to really sink in. It took Black Skinnhead as the first thing to break me into this album. I had really never listened to anything hip hop until I had listened to the Gorillaz “Demon Days” album. Later Can’t Handle my liquor took me by storm and has since become my favorite song on the album. The thing about Yeezus is (besides the weird industrial/metal/hiphop aspect) is the weird inner darkness that Kanye West conveys to us. There is something sad, like a greek tragedy of a man getting what he wants and still not finding what he’s looking for combined with the double edged sword of fame. Kanye rants about all of his problems, everything from race, to power and fame all the way to the burdens of being a good Christian and father in the face of an ugly hateful world.

Despite this the reality stands that Kanye West is merely a flawed human. An overblown personality and a media famous family with a not-so-hidden god complex leaves us with a bad taste for Kanye. While he paints himself a martyr for all his work and “love” of the common man, Kanye also criticizes many of the very people he is supported by. The question remains; is Kanye a tragic hero to mourned? I think not.t. But his music and work and dedication are apparent and still nonetheless impressive.

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