Could it be that Kanye West, having (perhaps inadvertently) plumbed the heights of his celebrity status through his marriage and offspring, has finally decided to return to his underground roots by teaming up with smoked-out producer extraordinaire, Madlib (‘the Bad Kid’) to create his own version of Madvillainy 2?
Sounds a little farfetched, you cry? That’s the whole point. Mr West thrives when he’s bucking expectations and contradicting himself at every turn, in much the same way as the similarly talented and completely bonkers KRS-One did in his prime. While Kanye will never in his wildest dreams unleash a verse as potent as ‘The Bridge Is Over’ or ‘My Philosophy’, his constant crotch-grabbing, belligerent attitude definitely embodies what it is to be a post-modern b-boy in this era.
As the Boogie Down Productions frontman outraged the rap media by allegedly turning his back on the Stop The Violence movement by bumrushing a PM Dawn set at T-Money’s MTV-sponsored birthday bash, Yeezy snatched the mic during Taylor Swift’s Grammy acceptance and had fingers wagged at him in gossip rags across the globe. Where Kris Parker penned tracks such as ‘The Real Holy Place’ questioning Christianity before becoming Born Again and recording the God Rap LP Spiritual Minded, Ye had a worldwide hit single titled ‘Gold Digger’ and then wifed the most vapid ‘celebrity’ figure of the decade.
But back to the topic at hand. With the current dismal state of the music industry, the only way that KW could sell over a million units in the current climate is if he recorded Best of Both Worlds 3 with Adele. The solution? Get a piece of that hipster record collector pie. What better market to exploit than the borks who walk into record stores all over world and ask where the Stones Throw section is! These are the same rubes who have already purchased DOOM’s first LP on 12 different formats, complete with action figures, lunchpails, and swap cards.
Ever the opportunist, Kanye has figured out that the official Madvillainy 2 is never going to happen while MF Doom is stuck in the UK hanging out with experimental electronic artists and pretending that Doomstarks will ever be finished. Why not swoop down on that market and record an album over Madlib’s samples from Brazilian funk songs off cassette, release a $400 action figure and offer a collector’s box set with every track from the LP on 7’’ vinyl for another $100? It’s guaranteed to make more money than Yeezus did.
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