I read this post this morning about Kanye West. He's a funny fellow, Kanye. The guy we love to hate. Now we've got this all-Autotune all-the-time new album (Blasphemy!), and then this video on SNL (Uggh!).
But I have to agree with the folks over at New Rockstar Philosophy on this one. The most important thing about that video is that he looks afraid. Kanye West, who houses one of the biggest egos in pop culture, got up on national television, and did something that, from what I can tell, scared the fuck out of him.
He is really growing on me, this Kanye. At times, he seems fundamentally misguided. But this new album? It's great! Quite possibly the only real creative use of Autotune I've ever heard. The combination of his voice and that plugin, so often used for evil, is a surprisingly expressive instrument.
I'm visualizing the final scene in a movie. A beautiful woman is driving away with her new husband, tin cans clanking and people cheering. The camera pulls back, and we see her sad little robot, standing in the road, holding on to something she gave him. The robot begins to sing Kanye's Heartless. We see a montage now of all the things he's done for her over the course of the movie, and we realize: the robot loved her all along! Robots can love! Autotune has feelings!
So what's the point of all this? I don't write reviews; what does the latest news on Kanye and his sci-fi love triangles have to do with anything? (OK, I guess it's my sci-fi love triangle, but he inspired it!) Well, he's pushing the envelope. And he's getting shit for it. Not for something he said, not for something personal; he's actually getting shit for the creative musical decisions he's made! For being bold. For following his muse.
And I really respect that. I lost my day job a few weeks ago, and I've spent the time since then trying to figure out what to do next. How do you reach the audience you want? How do you make those connections?
And I think the answer is to be unrelentingly yourself. To follow your muse. Because in an age where everyone is a singer/songwriter and everyone has a copy of Reason on their laptop, your muse is what matters. Your individuality is what matters. The real you is what matters.
So thanks to the real Kanye for driving that point home. I'm looking forward to more for him. And hopefully soon you'll be seeing some more from me.