Sunday, June 30, 2013

In which I reflect on how I am too old to enjoy Kanye West's 'Yeezus'

So, yeah, I think I'm too old to get into Kanye West's 'Yeezus' album. I didn't enjoy it. Like, at all.

When I was in my early 20s, I swore I'd never become one of those people so wrapped up in whatever is middle-aged life that I would find myself disconnected from whatever was hot or new or challenging in music.

Now, in my late 30s, 'Yeezus' proves something I hadn't really understood or articulated about myself: I have become that person I once so disdained. And you know what? That's fine.

I've just finished listening to 'Yeezus' on RDIO, and there's just nothing about it that appeals to me.

I should say that I'm not a hip-hop hater. Although I would identify most as a Prince fan, for a significant portion of my life, it wouldn't have been inaccurate to describe me as a hip-hop head. My bonafides include dancing on stage with Tupac, stanning for Rakim and Wu-Tang Clan, a music collection fairly redolent with '80s, '90s and early '00s hip-hop -- and, of course, multiple concerts by multiple rap artists. I'm not even a reflexive Yeezy hater, trust. I enjoyed 'College Dropout' and 'Late Registration' and there were even some moments on 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' that I liked.

But this album? This one, which is apparently the top seller in the country right now, might just be the thing to drive home the larger notion that I no longer care about new music in the way I once did. During the past few years, when I've heard new music, I've usually been able to figure out what about that music was special or important, even if I didn't like all of it personally.

This one was different. From a level of misogyny in the lyrics that troubles even my long-inured-to-hip-hop's-flaws-on-that-front sensibilities to the actual sounds of the tracks themselves to what seems like art-school pretentiousness flowing through the whole project, 'Yeezus' is designed to turn off people in my age range. I'm OK with that.

No, really, I am.

It's OK. I give up. I'm happy to listen to opera, instrumental classical and the hip-hop and R&B I know.

I certainly recognize that Kanye is influential. I'm guessing that there will be many albums that pick up bits and pieces of what he's done here. I just...don't care to hear them.

If this is where hip-hop is going to go, I honestly don't feel like I'm missing out.


1 comment:

  1. I'm in my early 50's; I saw Tupac dance on stage with Digital Underground at the Hollywood Pallidium. I don't get Kanye. My 17 year old son was excited about Yeezus but I had no appreciation for the clips he played me. I might just go be LL Cool Jay and Ice Cube in concert. The tickets were on sale for $15.