Tag Archives: kanye west
Beyond irony, beyond sincerity, in the ’00s we’ve entered the Age of Ambivalence.
The common definition of the word misplaces it alongside apathy — a lack of care or concern. Its true meaning is more complicated and more relevant: To be ambivalent is to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas about a thing. The Internet, smart phones, US politics, America’s culture of narcissism, the state of pop music — we generate contradictory emotions about everything all the time and it’s exhausting.
Fortunately we have Kanye West, our avatar of ambivalence. The guy we love to hate to love, cultivating a larger-than-life public image while demanding to be taken seriously as a sensitive soul. He’s self-protective but risk-prone, an occasional genius that we believe capable of anything at any moment, for better or worse. Kanye himself seems conflicted about the conflicting roles he plays, seething with a passion so consistent it borders on boredom. He raises ambivalence to an art form. It’s the only way he knows how to live.
This fall’s forthcoming Yeezus tour was already looking like a monster, with Kanye West headlining and Kendrick Lamar on board as well. (Kendrick has reportedly been working with Flying Lotus on his part of the show, which makes an already-exciting thing even more exciting.) And now the mythic Queens rap crew a Tribe Called Quest have also joined the tour’s two New York City shows, claiming that these shows will be their last ever.
Who is this Kanye doppelganger that is driving around in his car and wearing his clothes and being nice to the paparazzi? In this clip, he chats up a paparazzi at a gas station while filling up his Lambo.
Previously: Kanye West on Jimmy Kimmel Live
You may have noticed, perhaps because we can’t shut up about it, that Kanye West released a new album this year. It’s called Yeezus, and it’s amazing. But it’s also an uncompromising noise-rap album, and it’s the lowest-selling album of Kanye’s career. But West has now broken into Billboard‘s top 20 singles list for the first time in 2013; it’s just that he’s done it with an eight-year-old song.
Wednesday night we bore witness to the great Kimmel/West debate of 2013. Thirteen days after Keezus broadcast a parody of Yeezus’ BBC interview that sent the rapper into one of his patented Twitter tirades, Mr. West, rocking Ralph Lauren and his three-year-old grill, stopped by the talk show host’s late-night program to talk it out.