Monday, 10 November 2008

Picture Postcard: Kanye West and Patrick Bateman

Dearest EJ

Have you heard any tracks off Kanye's new album?

There are a number of Kanye West fans out there who are somewhat puzzled by his latest musical offerings which by now are all over the internet before the album's (808s and Heartbreak) release date at the end of the month. His new muse is loneliness and the songs that I've heard are full of introspection, frosty synths and autotune. I only recently read about another one of his recent inspirations. MTV News reported earlier this month that Kanye was inspired by the movie version of American Psycho. “On this album, I kind of embody Patrick Bateman from ‘American Psycho. You know at the end of the movie [that] he didn’t really kill anyone. [I just liked] the clean aesthetic and the way he was all about labels. I wanted to express all of that in the video.” Despite only watching the film, Kanye was able to decipher the main moral of the piece...there's more to life than buying stuff, even cool Japanese stuff you can post on your blog. Kanye then added, "I had all these ideas and I just needed to get it out as an artistic vision. I don't have a rapper's name, (but) I have really good taste and anyone who likes it probably has really good taste too."

So even though West might have been inpsired by a shallow ’80s banker with an antisocial personality disorder and homicidal has to beat the generic inspirations and codes that most rappers live by. Whatever you think about the man and the music, you have to appreciate his sense of style and that he doesn't fit into the genre's stereotypes. Just look at him in the above press shot!


Anonymous said...

ooh i have to check out more of his music, to be honest i only really know him from kid sister's pro nails song.
which is a good one!

Style Salvage Steve said...

Jenine - I think you should. If you like a bit of autotune, you will love the new album

Anonymous said...

If you look at early Kanye when he was all backpacky and read his recent cmments about being bigger than the Beatles, you get the sense his recent sartorial exploits is simply part of his attempts to make hip hop evolve into something more aspirational/non-ghetts.

Which is a good thing right?

But to be completely honest Andre has been rocking that style (Deep South Businessman/library assistant) for far too long for Kanye to claim it as his own.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Blip - For me Andre and Kanye have cultivated a different style, alrthough they both might dabble with tweed. Andre plays with colour alot more and is more rigid in his style aesthetic of deep south businessman/library assistant wheras Kanye plays with a number of styles. I wouldn't like to have to choose between them but I know EJ loves Andre.

Anonymous said...

Yes, his green card-i-gan and red tie flexmo in the video for 'Roses' was a specific look I tried to cultivate for a while.

It looked better on him.

Ian Brown said...

I don't think Kanye's new album is half as accomplished as he thinks it is. Its selling but the songs are melodically weak and like all of Kanye's work lyrically shallow. The 80s synth sound has been used all throughout the late 90s and noughties but without sophisticated song craft. Heartbreak is no different building on repetitive moody simplistic riffs.

Mr. West's self-congratulation rings hollow next to artists like Andre Benjamin who have employed both style and substance. Andre is musically and stylistically unique whereas Kanye is retread and more retread.

TheSundayBest said...

I have to disagree - Andre Benjamin has become so enamoured with himself that he's forgotten to make music. At least Kanye keeps putting himself out there.

And that picture is ace.

Matthew Spade said...

i'm pro kanye, i like him more now than earlier years, i think hes grown up and so has his music.

Anonymous said...

Great Music + Terrible Person = Kanye West. But what really matters?

( I work with Motorola)


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