Sheep in the Box used Kanye West’s song “Gorgeous” as an example of how lyrics have not gotten less complex. It’s off his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I didn’t know the song, as such; but I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard it before.
I must admit that I don’t fully grok hip-hop in a musical sense. Grandmaster Flash in the 1980s is easy with its metronomic beats. Tupac in the 1990s is so much more sophisticated. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it but I don’t understand why it works in the way that I understand why Lisa O’Neill’s work does.
The Problem With Kanye
Kanye West represents some difficulty for me because of his public persona. For years, I really liked him just because he insulted Taylor Swift. I know: I’m a bad man. But I don’t think much of her artistically. And I understand: his insult wasn’t intentional. He’s just kind of an idiot.
In more recent years, Kanye West has not only been a big supporter of Donald Trump, he has also been a big source of some of the most stupidly toxic social analysis in the public square. It’s on par with Charlie Sheen when he was coked to the gills.
It’s just another example of how a great artist can be absolutely useless in almost every other aspect of life. But I don’t expect more. Some of my favorite films were made by rapists.
As for the song “Gorgeous,” I can’t say I’m a huge fan. I actually prefer most of Tupac’s work to most of Kanye’s. But that may be an indication of my lack of appreciation.
But there is no doubt that the lyrics are impressive. Hip-hop really has brought assonance to unprecedented heights. And that’s a great thing given that rhyme is pretty much played out.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album cover via Amazon under Fair Use.