One of the many things we loved about Drake’s Thank Me Later was the way in which the 23-year-old rapper pulled back the curtain on fame and the industry: he talked honestly and simply about what it felt like to be in the midst of a multi-million dollar album/personality push. At the time, people pegged the record as something that never could have existed without Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, the 2008 proto-emo rap record that presaged the blend of singing, rapping, and crying Drake would later employ to such startling effect. That’s probably true. But West is a competitive guy, and in 2010, it seems as though he’s coming back to claim his spot from Drake and all the other sensitive rappers that have sprung up in his wake. It’s no coincidence that he debuted new material last week in the offices of two different social media companies, and joined Twitter in between: West is about to share his next six months with us at a level of disclosure potentially unrivaled by any major rap star, ever.
“Everybody says all great art comes from pain,” ‘Ye says. “But I think my greatest art comes from excitement and joy. It’s a completely different perspective: about being extremely excited about stuff that is only cool to me.” Hence the Tweeting about credenzas. And, apparently, sweating like an animal in the RS offices, who maybe need to look into the effectiveness of their air-conditioning system.
But make no mistake: there is a great experiment afoot. “It’s not cool for no one to hear shit anymore–that’s the hipster justification of failure,” he says. That’s why he’s trying to create great art on a large, pop scale. Seeing whether or not he succeeds will be interesting. But that at least, West hass done before; what he hasn’t done, exactly, is let everyone so deeply in on the process of making it happen. So regardless of whether the record formerly known as Good Ass Job delivers on very high expectations, at least we can say he’s already given us more of a glimpse into what a week of life is like for a guy like Kanye West than we’ve ever really had before. May he continue to do so.
Kanye West Makes Surprise Visit to Rolling Stone [RS, via Vulture]