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Monday, September 17, 2012

Will Kanye West Ever Stop Talking About His Clique?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 5:18 AM

click to enlarge CruelSummercover.jpg

Kanye West is rich. You might think it's easy being rich, but in fact it is often very hard to be rich; sometimes you manipulate people, and other times they manipulate you. Also, rich people have terrible taste in consumer goods, and hang out with each other to talk about how they were the only people on earth who liked Maybachs, which makes them unstoppable.

For a while now I've had to deal with this weird contradiction: Kanye's post-808s output (that is, the songs where he keeps going "Hanh!?" over and over) is really great, and can also be distilled, nearly in its entirety, to those incredibly banal platitudes. His newest song is called "Clique." He and Jay-Z talk about how rich they are in it. (Spoiler alert: They are very rich, still.)

See also: -What Makes a Hip-Hop Classic? -Kanye West's Snub and the Proud History of Grammy Incompetence -Kanye West Is Batshit Crazy: Decoding The Ten Boasts That Prove It -Kanye West Crashes Movie Posters

The weird thing about his increasingly monotonous subject matter is that Kanye West has become more adventurous in almost every other way as his career's progressed. As pop musicians go, he doesn't leave us a lot to complain about; this is, after all, a guy who in the last few years has released an album in which he did nothing but sing over amateur sad-white-guy synths and a movie in which he has sex with a bird. Artistically and technically he's continually pushed pop music forward.

But as one we're-rich-badasses song with a vaguely mournful, spacey beat has replaced the next on iTunes ahead of Cruel Summer, his label's collaborative album, I've started to miss the Kanye West whose raps were not exclusively successful-rapper metafiction. (I've almost started to miss the Kanye West who appears to earnestly believe that Ronald Reagan invented AIDS and crack.)

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