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Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (Cover Artwork)

Kanye West

Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak808s & Heartbreak (2008)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Kanye West. The mere mention of his name polarizes hip-hop fans and pop culture followers the same; there's two very distinct sides of Kanye, but they're wound together by a common thread... Unparalleled arrogance. While that's not only the norm in hip-hop -- it's usually encouraged -- ther.


Kanye West.

The mere mention of his name polarizes hip-hop fans and pop culture followers the same; there's two very distinct sides of Kanye, but they're wound together by a common thread...

Unparalleled arrogance.

While that's not only the norm in hip-hop -- it's usually encouraged -- there's something grating about the Chi-town rapper anointing himself the "voice of the generation" and whining at award shows about what he "deserved." So while there's the acclaimed artist (rapper and producer) side of Mr. West, there's the self-aggrandizing public pariah as well. Many are willing to forgive his personality shortcomings because of the music he makes.

The release of 808s & Heartbreak, then, puts him at an interesting crossroads. Forgoing the charm of "Through the Wire" that he's ridden through three albums, Kanye has changed gears completely. A leading proponent of the Auto-Tune wave that T-Pain has helped sweep through hip-hop, he's gone all the way. Most of 808s 12 songs rely heavily on it. The good news, though, is that Kanye doesn't use it as a crutch, but as a vehicle to parlay his creative expression in a new and different way.

Simply put -- he's taking chances that no one else right now would be willing to take.

Look no further than "Heartless" to see how thoroughly that can pay off. The song is almost bare of production; the two centerpieces are Kanye's (slightly altered voice) and a beat anchored by a most unusual chain -- the Japanese flute. The whimsical chugging of the flute and Kanye's synthesized vocals make for an odd but entrancing combination that backdrops a story about a failed relationship. The heart-on-sleeve feel of lines like "In the night, I hear 'em talk, the coldest story ever told / Somewhere far along this road, he lost his soul to a woman so heartless" make West feel more real than ever before. The irony of it all is that West feels more human, more emotive with the robotic vocal effect than he ever did rapping. It's not the last time Kanye lets up his guard, either.

"Coldest Winter" is a touching tribute to his late mother, and Kanye lets his emotions take hold here like never before. The thick, pulsing drum resonates tastefully over melodic synth currents as Kanye asks "goodbye my friend, will I ever love again?" None of the grandstanding that West is so known for matters here, nor does the soapbox to which he often affixes himself; it's a rare, real bit of human emotion that many artists, let alone rappers, don't offer a window to.

Continuing the trend of understated production is "Amazing," a piano-driven foray accompanied by unmistakable go-getta, Young Jeezy. Kanye's vocals are perfectly suited to the mid-paced rhythm, but it's Jeezy's deep rasp that steals the show. Forceful without being loud, Jeezy offers a nice change of pace from the Auto-Tune that laces almost every other song.

Not every collaboration is a success, however. Lil Wayne -- quite the fan of Auto-Tune himself -- makes an entirely forgettable appearance on "See You in My Nightmares." His aggressive, off-kilter delivery is far less menacing with computer assistance, and Kanye does nothing to save the song from the wallows of mediocrity. "Robocop" also missed the mark. West sounds completely uninspired, and not even the layers of production on the song can save it. Whereas the production choices on most of 808s offer a wealth of well put-together sounds or an endearing simplicity, "Robocop" is a mess of chances that went wildly astray.

As much as it pains me, I have to commend Kanye for not only the scope of the album, but the limb he went out on in many of these songs. The creative successes like "Heartless" and "Streetlights" far outweigh the negative, and at long last, it feels like West is truly being real.

Since hitting the scene, Kanye has adamantly painted himself as an "artist." Now, he has the album to prove it.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hbwlons (November 10, 2012)

Dumbest thread ever. Kanye? ugh.....

SilentStorms (January 6, 2009)

Just remember that presenting your opinion as fact makes you look like a fucking idiot. And please, stop harping on the reviewers. Score is for objectivism.

SilentStorms (January 6, 2009)

All these comments and arguments don't tell me anything! Stop being so subjective, no one knows what is good or bad, it's all objective. Still, I hate Kanye West. Opinion. Score is for mainstream rap.

internettroll (December 22, 2008)

But really, what's everyone think of the new Kanye?

fallingupwards84 (December 19, 2008)

But I can't politically back anyone who preaches about the evils of crack while still demeaning homosexuals

*sigh* nobody here reads ANYTHING before commenting...

Anchors (December 19, 2008)

Look man, if you guys are going to take the comment about me being on staff that seriously, I don't know what to tell you. It was in jest. Lighten up.

SlowStupidHungry (December 19, 2008)

"It's easy to dismiss Kanye West and Ludacris if you don't take the time to listen to all their songs and lyrics. Take a look at the lyrics for "Crack Music" by Kanye, or "War With God," by Luda.

"How we stop the black panthers? /
Ronald Reagan cooked up an answer /
You hear that? /
What Gil Scott was hearin /
When our heroes and heroines got hooked on heroin. /
Crack raised the murder rate in DC and Maryland /
We invested in that it's like we got Merril-Lynched /
And we been hangin from the same tree ever since."

Putting a verse like that into a mainstream album raises a lot of awareness for people who wouldn't otherwise notice or care.

Hip-hop is a commercial genre, and has always been so. So unless you're Dead Prez, radio play isn't out of the question for any rapper, including Talib, Common, etc.

I'm going to back Anchors on this one (shocking!) and just say that

A) Most people complaining about the content of these songs should take a look at any pop-punk or emo album out there - those songs mainly demonize women in a different way, but they still aren't singing about or doing a whole lot of charity work

and

B) This album is all right. It's too brooding and sad to really take hold in me, but "Paranoid" is a killer beat. Kanye's strengths are in his beats, and he was trying a bit too hard to purposefully make something "artistic." I would have given it a six or so.

All y'all haters can eat it. I'm out."

I like some hip hop... In fact, I like it so much that I feel dumb having to preface everything I say in one of these threads with that statement...

But I can't politically back anyone who preaches about the evils of crack while still demeaning women or homosexuals, or promoting anti-Jewish or anti-white racist ideologies. That doesn't mean I can't jam out to some of their tunes. In fact, almost all of my favorite hip hop predates socially conscious hip hop except for BDP and Public Enemy.

Here's a thorn in my side: the white hipsters in here begging us to overlook the fact that hip hop culture is steeped in prejudice would knock me for listening to a racist punk record for the same reasons I listen to dumbass hip hop... In fact, give me a more hate filled image than the cover of "The Sun Rises in the East."

westofwaco (December 19, 2008)

Wow, what an incredibly long thread! I feel obligated to offer my two (well-thought) cents...

First, good review. I like the points mentioned, the style, it's an overall good review.

Second, to the reviewer. As a contributor to this site, the primary way readers can evaluate you is by what you say (type). In other words, many of us don't know you, so we only have your words to go by, which form your reputation, to a degree. That being said, the "staff icon" comment was pretty damaging. I make it a habit to see who's work I'm reading before I read the peice, and with that pompous comment fresh in mind, it will be a little harder for me to keep an open mind when reading your reviews knowing how esteemed your position is. I don't mean to offend you, I just expect more from contributors to this site (and I hope others do as well). Not that I believe .org contributors should be held to the most professional journalism standards, but I do believe that it's good practice to maintain a somehwat humble demeanor in anything you do. I noticed many comments seemed to lack forethought and were fairly heated, and I hope this was the case with that particular comment as well.

Finally, the rap reviews. It's obvious that fans of punk music have crossover genres of interest, which is natural (I'll admit to having some Lil Wayne songs on my iPod). But I have to follow the line of reasoning that this site has it's URL for a reason. It provides a great one-stop shop for a lifestyle we love, and a format that can't be found elsewhere on the internet. The argument is eternal, as to what fits the title: punk. I have some feelings on that that won't fit on this posting, but there are some pretty cut-and-dry no-brainers.

I've read more than one rap review, and they're pretty good. I just think that the reviewers should pursue alternative avenues for posting them.

mikexdude (December 19, 2008)

"I hate that kind of attitude, it's a horrible kind of hierarchical elitist, supremist, managerial..."

Crackpot breaking out the punx terms!

24HourPriapism (December 19, 2008)

this album is annoying as fuck. it's like kanye trying to be N.E.R.D. and all dancey and shit. he needs to drop the electro shtick.

and it pains me to say it because he's usually a great producer who usually finds some awesome source material for his samples. insert obligatory "talib kweli - get by" reference here.

kanye west: decent producer who comes up with some catchy-ass shit sometimes, b-list rapper with a few good lines at best. but this album motherfucking sucks.

freesandwich (December 19, 2008)

"ill do anything for a blond dyke"

fallingupwards84 (December 19, 2008)

Before someone corrects me, i meant "you're", not "your"

The most violent lyrics in Kanye's entire catalogue is, "if my manager insults me again, I will be assaulting him" - where he talks about the economic plight of working class blacks.
Sorry but it just really frustrates me that some of the kids on here automatically assume that if a black artist gets famous and makes lots of money, that they by default must have violent lyrics about guns and being a thug. Its borderline racist.

Where are all the people condemning Nirvana's music because that piece of shit Kurt Cobain promoted a destructive lifestyle to millions of kids by being heroin addict and ultimate killing himself?

fallingupwards84 (December 19, 2008)

If you promote a destructive lifestyle to millions of kids (Christ I can't believe I just said that) and you are the coolest motherfucker on the planet, that does a LOT more damage than handing out TURKEYS can correct.

i'm not sure how many times this needs to be said in this thread (its already been said dozens of times, do you need more?), but for the last motherfucking time... Kanye West does not rap about guns, violence, or anything destructive whatsoever. Jesus Christ people, some of you should attempt to know at least a little bit about a topic before you go blabbering on about it like your some kind of an expert.

llmp (December 19, 2008)

crackpot4mare!

crackpotdemagogue (December 19, 2008)

Oh, and I forgot that I wanted to call you out for this:

Posted by Anchors on 2008-12-18 12:59:02

Hey Syd, sorry to burst your bubble, but that little 'staff' icon means my rap reviews will get posted whether you and everyone else who hates hip-hop write 200 reviews a week or 0.


I hate that kind of attitude, it's a horrible kind of hierarchical elitist, supremist, managerial "i'm better than you because i have a higher rank and am therefore of greater natural worth" bullshit arrogance. Alot of the points you've been making have been at least articulate in their mis-guidedness, but the above comment is just straight out crass. So there you go.

crackpotdemagogue (December 19, 2008)

So far it seems that we have 3 main groups in this argument:

1) The Corporate Rap Apologists

2) The None of this kind of Rap on Punk News Angry Gang

3) The Apathetic and The Indifferent

Personally i'm with the Angry Gang. I've been thinking about it and read what everyone has to say - and there are valid points on both sides - but essentially what I have concluded as that the reason I frequent punknews in the first place is because it is a place I can come to get awy from being drowned in popular culture ie. Kanye West et al. I don't want to come to punknews and see this shit because I come here to get away from it, y;know.

And it's not an issue for me about being a "hater" like jesse said, for i recognise that in relative terms Kanye has some kind of political/social conscience (that, by the way, he makes millions expressing) and that Anchors could be reviewing far worse artists - but still - I don't think Kanye or multi-million dollar mansion dwelling rap-superstars have a place on this site. And if you disagree, then you would have to agree that if we are going to start reviewing this kind of shit, we also have to encompass every other genre of music. Which would technically mean that punknews would, going down such a route, be more suitably titled 'musicnews' or another such all-encompassing name. And also, related to this, if there are Kanye reviews here, are we going to be submitting and reading about news articles related to him and his latest punch up in an airport etc? You see the point I am trying to make? This comment is far too long. I'm going to stop now. I'm very hungover and I feel sick. I had an aubergine curry at 1am this morning and i swear, it was a terrible idea.

Misanthropee (December 19, 2008)

I would love to create a new "punknews meme" from Anchors' beyond-ridiculous statement regarding rappers giving out turkeys, but it's just too easy. Somebody, please do something.

Misanthropee (December 19, 2008)

You think guys talking about guns and nice cars in their raps overshadows handing out Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families, starting clothing drives, and donating tens of thousands of dollars on a regular basis as many rappers do?

Yes, yes I do, and I think a lot of sociologists and black community activists would agree with me. If you promote a destructive lifestyle to millions of kids (Christ I can't believe I just said that) and you are the coolest motherfucker on the planet, that does a LOT more damage than handing out TURKEYS can correct.

The primary problems of the "black community" revolve around violence, domestic abuse, drugs and the pursuit of temporary, conspicuous material gain. People are killing each other and their wives and dropping out at record levels and buying $300 sneakers while their obese-yet-malnutritioned children live off Doritos.

"Mainstream" rappers are not responsible for this cycle (you can find the same dynamics in any economically depressed group, rural whites love them some wife-beatin' and Doritos-subsisting too) but they help to PERPETUATE it by turning a blind eye AT BEST; actively exploiting it and PROFITING from it at worst. In this latter group (to which Kanye indeed does not belong), philanthropy can only be seen as a crass PR move.

Oh, wow, fifty grand and a bunch of turkeys! Give me a break.

Bipedcasserole (December 19, 2008)

YOU!
YOU GOT WHAT I NEEEED!

boy, do i miss the Biz

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

p.s. - i really like AFI, i was just pointing out that one could argue that they are every bit as "corporate" as this

chrisafi (December 18, 2008)

i love these threads

falling upwards

I'm pretty high right now so a truce is mighty fine by me. I haven't slaughtered hip hop as a genre. only the people proclaiming its excellence way too aggressively in a 'open your eyes you stupid douche' kindaway, which annoys me. I don't care what people like, my taste of music has some very questionable things on the fringes, it's all cool - I like most people here have very close friends who only listen to the Killers and Razorlight - and man it pisses me off - but acting in a 'open your eyes' fashion would make me a complete prick so I don't do it and I don't like it when other people do.

As i've said in other threads I am totally ignorant about hip hop but to be told thats cus im closed minded is bollocks its because I think its shit. But thats just my opinon, but I ain't wrong, because that is what I think.

TROOF (December 18, 2008)

Shut your young know-it-all ass up. JK. `Seriously, what is the record number of comments for a review?

mikexdude (December 18, 2008)

Holy fuck, this thread is amazing.

It's funny, a lot of you all say how young I am, but the way you guys complain online is just incredible--considering you're all well... "adults".

Also, I completely back what Dante said about submitting reviews if you don't like these. I mean... half of this weeks batch are from 2 years ago.

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

NotPatriotic - I mean this with no disrespect, so please do not take this the wrong way. But you're showing your absolute ignorance of Kanye West's music - he has dozens of songs in his catalogue that directly address political, socio-economic issues (Against Me's White People For Peace is an indirect, vague "political" song).

He has so many, I can't post all the lyrics here, but I'll give you the names of some songs and you can look up the lyrics for yourself. Seriously though, I think if you gave him a chance and got past your fear of listening to a "corporate" artist (that's not Against Me), then you might like him.

Check out the lyrics to these songs, you might be pleasantly surprised (all of which have direct, liberal socio-economic messages):

Spaceship
Heard Em Say
All Falls Down
Crack Music
We Don't Care
Jesus Walks
Never Let Me Down
Diamonds From Sierra Leone

Just one example of what I'm talking about:
I get down for my grandfather who took my momma
Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain't want us to eat
At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sitins
And with that in my blood I was born to be different
Now niggas can't make it to ballots to chose leadership
But we can make it to Jacobs or to the dealership
That's why I hear new music and I just don??t be feelin?? it
Racism still alive, they just be concealin?? it
But I know they don't want me in the damn club
They even make me show ID to get inside of Sam's Club
I did deal dirt and went to church to get my hands scrubbed
That why I??ve baptized these 3 or 4 times
But in the land where niggas praise
Yukons and getting paid
Its gon?? take a lot more than coupons to get us saved


and thats not an obscure song - it was on a multi-platinum record and featured Jay-Z

NotPatriotic (December 18, 2008)

"Do you honestly listen to zero artists on major labels?"

Maybe not zero, but it is a small amount and most of the bands are not on major labels anymore. The difference between supporting Kanye West and supporting Against Me! Is that Against Me! still talk about the issues. Listen to White Poeple For Peace.

The more people who like Against Me! The better, they have released one album on a major label while Kanye has released 4 or 5. When people get into Against Me! they probably buy their back catalougue and support labels like No Idea and Fat. Also, they hear great songs with great messages, Kanye and Ludacris don??t have too many songs like these in their back catalogue and when you buy their albums that money goes to the corporations.

NotPatriotic (December 18, 2008)

Anchors, you made some claim how Immortal Technique uses the n-word, but you fail to mention Kanye West and Ludacris use the word in their songs as well. I don??t get it. You are going to call Immortal Technique out for using the n-word and then not call out Kanye West and Ludacris. Also, there are at least 3 Ludacris songs that include the word ??faggot,? including the infamous club banga ??MOVE BITCH GET OUT THE WAY,? WHAT A GREAT SONG.

Listen dude I??m fine with dissing rappers who use the word ??faggot? and other homophobic terms, it is commendable, but it is wrong to diss one rapper for using these terms and not diss another rapper who uses the exact same terms.

I??m not going to defend Immortal Technique, but I will say that the dude talks and addresses about important issues, issues which Kanye West and Ludacris don??t talk about. Immortal Technique would not raise a dollar knowingly for some pro-corporation pro-war pro-capitalism pro-privatization bourgeois folk. The same could be said for Blue Scholars. These socially conscious rappers get it. They understand the systems that are in place and they speak out against those systems. Corporate rappers don??t. Yes they raise money for schools and such, this is great, but when they have millions of dollars and go on MTV cribs and show off their stupid shit and at the same time are making money for the folks keeping the schools and inner-cities impoverished the charity comes off as rather, indifferent.

Also, while Kanye West has taken a stance against Homophobia, has he actually written a song about it? I kinda doubt it, FallingUpwards, please prove me wrong. I??ll say it again, the problem with corporate rappers is that their lyrics and messages within their most popular songs do nothing to enhance society. While punk has its flaws, corporate rap has just as many if not more.

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

NotPatriotic - let me just say that you are way too hung up on "corporate" this and "corporate" that. You're not giving me any specific arguments (for example, making the legitimate argument - which I completely agree with - that Kanye isn't that good of a rapper and has weak flow). Instead, you're speaking in vague terms about "corporatism" and such. Do you honestly listen to zero artists on major labels? If you do, well then, fine. That's your choice and I respect that. But if you do listen to artists on major labels, then you're coming off as a hypocrite. I don't know what you listen to, so I can't judge, but don't hate me for liking something different.

I really like 3 of his 4 records. Maybe that makes me a "fanboy", whatever. And I do think its ballsy to release a pop-emo record after 3 consecutive hip hop ones. How many fanboys does Gaslight Anthem have on this website? Dozens at least, by that definition. Again, some of you are so hung up on vague terms that it gets in the way of an intelligent discussion of music.

NotPatriotic (December 18, 2008)

FallingUpwards, there is nothing "ballsy" about Kanye West. Nobody is "ballsy" for releasing any type of album.

Being "ballsy" requires some type of risk. Releasing a record on a corporate label with corporate radio stations guaranteeing to play your album is not ballsy.

You??re a fanboy, thats cool. I'm a fanboy of Blue Scholars, the difference is I'm not telling people they are close-minded for not liking Blue Scholars and claiming Sabzi is a top 5 producer of all-time. This type of statement comes off idiotic.

People don't like Kanye West for hundreds of reasons, many of the reasons are completely legitamate.

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

No-one here cares what you like or what you listen to.
You like hip-hop? That's cool, who gives.


Obviously you do.
You lambast anyone who likes this kind of music in every single thread that it comes up in. If you didn't care, you wouldn't post in here about it.

I never said he's a musical god; he's not that great of a rapper, for example. His albums aren't perfect, I was pretty disappointed with his last one. But he's creative as hell, and he's very ballsy for releasing this album. And for that, I think he deserves credit. You don't have to like his music - I understand why people don't.

Truce?

SydBarrett420 (December 18, 2008)

Wow, cool Anchors, yuo're "staff". I know another person on another site that talks like you are starting to talk and i'm pretty sure most people here think he's a pompus ass.

chrisafi (December 18, 2008)

Please continue to attack my spelling, being pedantic is cool. I really don't care about spelling ,as long as I am understood its irrelevant.

Also, I am not claiming AFI to be the best artist of the decade nor objectively fantastic. Secondly, I registered for this site before AFI reached the lows of Miss Murder and Blaqk Audio (and I am not arguing they didn't sellout so stop acting as if i am...) So you're point is completely irrelevant.

I will make my actual point once more.
Please do try to understand it.

I am not saying Kayne West isn't a good hip hop artist/producer.
I am saying he is a tool. Which he is.
He is not the artist of the decade/our generation. (haha) He might be YOUR artist of the decade, but to claim he is some kind of musical god and that this is 'common knowledge' is utter arse.

No-one here cares what you like or what you listen to.
You like hip-hop? That's cool, who gives.

What people do give about however, is when you start saying how us 'punks' are ignorant to the genius of hip hop.

That we are blinded by our belief in 'punk ethics' or 'punk politics' to the awesomeness of hip hop artists.

This is all bollocks. Hip hop is not objectively good. Just like everything else, whether it is good or not is subjective and normative to the listener.

To spout bollocks about how hip hop is this and is that and that punk is 'the same power chords' and that Ludacris loves orphans is not only boring its all opinion yet you present it as fact.

Please carry on the reviews and your comments but stop preaching like hip hop messiahs and chill the fuck out.

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

ChrisAFI - you're making yourself sound like a fool.

First of all, its Dylan, not "Dillan"

Second of all, AFI is the definition of corporate sellout. They went from "Eastbay Hardcore" to Miss Murder and "Blacq Audio" or however the fuck you say it. AFI - more than almost any band ever covered on this website - sold their soul for cash. So you have NO room to talk whatsoever.

Finally, you have not leveled one single specific criticism of Kanye West's music. I doubt that you have ever heard a single one of his albums in your life. Anyone who knows a single thing about hip hop music - even the ones who hate Kanye West - acknowledge that the man is an extraordinary producer. This is accepted knowledge, whether or not you like his music. You have no clue about what you're talking about. Go back to class, lunch break should be over by now.

chrisafi (December 18, 2008)

Your implying I was saying I'm pissed off I'm gunna come beat you up, which I wasn't I was just apologising for having to have a go when I usually try and stay friendly and suggestive.

However Anchors your response indicates "you're" maybe not as mature as you think

My point is simple: I, nor anyone else gives a shit what you like and who you think is the best artist in the history of the world. If for some bizarre reason you believe that to be Kanye West then so be it, but to declare it from the rooftops and call us closeminded for not thinking the same is completely retarded

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

Hahahah watch out fallingupwards, you've really pissed of some anonymous kid on the internet!

And 'you are' hip-hop defending has gone too far!!!

chrisafi (December 18, 2008)

fallingupwards

I apologise in advance for this but you've pissed me off now.

you have been getting more and more retarded over the last few weeks of you're pathetic hip-hop defending.

He's in the top 5 producers of all time - not just hip hop, but any genre of music.

Then you say he is the voice of our generation. Never have I heard someone chat so much shit. To mention him in the same breath as Dillan shows how completely fanboy you are about the genre and Kayne in particular.

THEN you say FUCK YOU I bet you're a fanboy to these bands

This is irrelevant. We aren't running around boards jizzing all over artists and attacking people for not recognising their genius, nor are people making ridiculous claims to people's greatness.

Kayne West exists to make money, he has changed fuck all, the record company and industry behind him have changed all that. Kayne West is a tool.

Now shut the fuck up.

freesandwich (December 18, 2008)

this album is so bad that even the "black" radio stations where i live refuse to play it.

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

If you're over the age of 13 and are telling people "THIS ISN'T HIP-HOP IT'S RAP!!!" you are an idiot.

The whole misconception within punk that "hip-hop" is socially conscious, underground music and "rap" is mainstream music that people like 50 or Ludacris make needs to stop.

KRS-One said everything that ever needs to be said on the subject: "rap is what you do, hip-hop is who you are."

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

nocigar - i said several times that this album is not hip hop, its a pop album. so you're not insulting anyone by saying that.

and i'm sure you're a "fanboy" of some shitty bands too.

Syd, do you have nothing better to do with your life?

all of you bitching about "corporate music" like 12 year old kids that got their first Anti Flag record - i'm assuming that none of you listen to Against Me, Rise Against, AFI, or the Ramones, correct?

"Stop" - pop music written specifically for the radio
"Swing Life Away" - pop music written specifically for the radio
"Girls Not Grey" - pop music written specifically for the radio
"Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" - pop music written specifically for the radio

freesandwich (December 18, 2008)

kanye west is ruining rap

nocigar (December 18, 2008)

and for the 40th time: THIS IS NOT HIP HOP. THIS IS POP-RAP SHIT.

nocigar (December 18, 2008)

Well, all you dudes arguing need to stop. These two are clearly fanboys of kanye, especially fallingupwards..seeing as his comment down there makes it seem like kanye is a god. Fuckin A', go mold a gold statue out of him in front of your house to praise to every day.

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

Hey Syd, sorry to burst your bubble, but that little 'staff' icon means my rap reviews will get posted whether you and everyone else who hates hip-hop write 200 reviews a week or 0.

SydBarrett420 (December 18, 2008)

fallingupwards and Anchors, wouldn't you guys have more fun posting these reviews on ap.net where people might actually want to read them instead of posting them here and getting into a flame war each week with a bunch of orgers who aren't going to care about hip hop no matter how much you try to beat it into our heads or call us close minded?

Dante3000 (December 18, 2008)

The only thing more awesome than ignorant punks talking about punk is ignorant punks talking about hip-hop.
-Dante

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

Yes, these rappers have some instances where it seems like they may actually care about society, but then they go and make a huge corporate hit that continues to perpetuate these idiot song topics. This is the difference between punk and corporate rap. Punks almost always care about the public and are socially conscious, corporate rappers don??t.

I LOVE how you claim to know what's really going on in Kanye's heart. I love how you know that he's just bullshitting us when he talks about social issues that matter to him. And I love how you so ignorantly think that punks care more about society than hip hop artists. I was in a hardcore punk band for a couple years... and some of the biggest dicks I ever met in my entire life were "punks". You have a lot of nerve to go around claiming to know what is inside everyone's heart. I hope you take back what you said.

fallingupwards84 (December 18, 2008)

Some of you are incredibly hypocritical. CCSummers, I'm looking at you.
Immortal Technique - who has a lot of talent, but whose style is mostly angry and bitter - has violent, misogynist, and homophobic lyrics. Like Anchors pointed out, Technique has no problem spewing out homophobic lyrics about "faggots". And yet everyone here is bowing to him just because he's not on a "major label".

Meanwhile, Kanye has bravely spoken out against homophobia in rap - brave because homophobia remains a major problem in the black community.

From wikipedia:
"West spoke out against homophobia in hip-hop. He claimed that hip-hop has always been about "speaking your mind and about breaking down barriers, but everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people." He then reflected on a personal experience. He said that he had a "turning point" when he realized one of his cousins was gay. He said regarding this experience: "This is my cousin. I love him and I've been discriminating against gays." He drew comparison between African Americans' struggle for civil rights and today's gay rights movement. The following year, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, West further expounded his experiences with and views on the relationship between the black and gay communities:
??Well, my level of consciousness has since raised. And I actually think that standing up for gays was even more crazy than bad-mouthing the president. In the black community, someone could label you gay and bring your career down. But that was me showing what black people are really about today, or at least what we need to be about."

Kanye West is absolutely a positive influence on today's youth.
For years, I've read comments on this website criticizing rappers for misogynist, homophobic, violent, "thug life" lyrics.
Well you know what? Kanye West killed gangsta rap. He did EXACTLY what so many hip hop haters had been asking rappers to do for the last 20 years. He made being "respectable" cool in mainstream hip hop. He wears sweaters, polo shirts, and fitted jeans. He speaks out against homophobia. He writes "conscious" lyrics for a mainstream crowd. He talks about going to college and loving his family. He writes an album where he pours his heart out - something that would have killed his career just five years ago. But Kanye West changed the game, allowing for this album to succeed.

I think Kanye has every right to be egotistical. The man is an absolute genius. He's in the top 5 producers of all time - not just hip hop, but any genre of music. He's revolutionized the game completely, especially with this refreshingly original album. I don't think he's that far off when he says that he's the "voice of our generation" - much like Lennon and Dylan were the voice of the 60s. I never thought he would top College Dropout or Late Registration, but he did it. This is a 5 star album.

SydBarrett420 (December 18, 2008)

Anchors I take back my vulgar shot at you from erarlier. I am actually glad these reviews are popping up as I believe it will prompt orger's to write reviews more furiously now so that we don't have to see this stuff in the future.

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

*'is horribly misguided' should be at the end of the second sentence there.

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

Okay, I was wrong about IT not doing any charity work. My mistake.

That doesn't change the fact that your assertion that Ludacris or anyone else's charity work is somehow "less important" because they're a mainstream rapper.

SilentStorms (December 18, 2008)

"And I love, absolutely love how everyone on this site claims to take issue with misogyny and materialism that mainstream rappers propagate, but no one ever has a problem with Immortal Technique saying 'f*gg*t' all the time in his raps, or saying 'n*gg*r'
' despite not being black."

Dude, I know you're pissed at taking all this heat, but don't say "everyone" and "no one", as you are just going to alienate more people who will think you are a elitist prick. I like your reviews, and always have. I'm not completely convinced that hip-hop should be posted here, but that doesn't detract from the other reviews that I agree with musically. If you stopped saying that you will be doing underground rap reviews and not this mainstream garbage (my opinion), and actually post those reviews, I think it will make your rap reviews a lot more digestible. Score is for Kanye.

dante3000 (December 18, 2008)

You know what rappers never get enough airplay? The Insane clown Posse. Wicked clowns represent.
-Dante

CCSummers (December 18, 2008)

"Technique talks a nice game, but what has he done that's actually benefit anyone? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No reforms, no social changes have happened as a result of Immortal Technique songs. He isn't involved in any initiatives to help his local community, or anyone else."

This is just wrong. I'm curious if you tried to research this before talking out of your ass or if you just said, hell, let me try it anyway.
For shits and giggles (actually mostly just to prove you wrong) I hit up Tech's myspace page (yes I see the irony of him having a myspace) so I could school you on his Project Greenlight. But here, let me give you a quote:
"I am always contacted by different organizations who reach out to me personally and ask me to fight along side with them in their struggle. I have done so with immigrant groups, youth detention centers, with those organizing against police brutality, gang workshops, funding children's hospitals in Palestine and of course our fight to try and preserve the South Central Farm. So once again I am here to answer the call of my brothers and sisters, whether it comes from across the street or across the ocean. "
He then goes on to talk about his new project of building orphanages, clinics and schools in Afghanistan. You should check it out. Maybe it'll help you think before you speak.
Let me just quote you again: "what has he done that's actually benefit anyone? Nothing. Absolutely nothing."
Hah.
Oh, and yeah, I know. He's homophobic. As much as he's tries to defend himself on the subject, it's true. There's no excuse for saying f*ggot as an insult.
As for saying n*gga, you're wrong once again. This one could have also been solved by looking shit up before you speak, but the man is half Afro-Peruvian. That means black. I don't agree with using the word no matter what race you are, but I figured I'd help you stop acting like an idiot.

jesse (December 18, 2008)

It's easy to dismiss Kanye West and Ludacris if you don't take the time to listen to all their songs and lyrics. Take a look at the lyrics for "Crack Music" by Kanye, or "War With God," by Luda.

"How we stop the black panthers? /
Ronald Reagan cooked up an answer /
You hear that? /
What Gil Scott was hearin /
When our heroes and heroines got hooked on heroin. /
Crack raised the murder rate in DC and Maryland /
We invested in that it's like we got Merril-Lynched /
And we been hangin from the same tree ever since."

Putting a verse like that into a mainstream album raises a lot of awareness for people who wouldn't otherwise notice or care.

Hip-hop is a commercial genre, and has always been so. So unless you're Dead Prez, radio play isn't out of the question for any rapper, including Talib, Common, etc.

I'm going to back Anchors on this one (shocking!) and just say that

A) Most people complaining about the content of these songs should take a look at any pop-punk or emo album out there - those songs mainly demonize women in a different way, but they still aren't singing about or doing a whole lot of charity work

and

B) This album is all right. It's too brooding and sad to really take hold in me, but "Paranoid" is a killer beat. Kanye's strengths are in his beats, and he was trying a bit too hard to purposefully make something "artistic." I would have given it a six or so.

All y'all haters can eat it. I'm out.

Grue (December 18, 2008)

This is fucking horrible. Britney Spears makes better music than this trash. Guy can't sing, can't rap and his tunes suck ass.

And he has nothing to do with punk.

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

You think guys talking about guns and nice cars in their raps overshadows handing out Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families, starting clothing drives, and donating tens of thousands of dollars on a regular basis as many rappers do?

Brilliant.

Misanthropee (December 18, 2008)

By the way, I hate IT for being a closet-bigot hypocrite crank, so don't dismiss that shit, faggot.

Misanthropee (December 18, 2008)

I would bet my life on the fact that the negative influence of the misogyny, luxury-worship and gun-toting of all but the most progressive rappers/hip hop artists ultimately FAR overshadows the good done by their often-laughable attempts at philanthropy. Let's help out the community . . . unless you be a HO!

That being said, philanthropy is good. Rich artists removing head from ass and trying to give back is good. Kanye West can be good sometimes, too.

Just not this time. It's one of those circumstances where, were it just moderately better, the album would be great. But as it stands: self-indulgent turd.

Anchors (December 18, 2008)

What the hell are you talking about? Just because somebody is signed to a major label, all the charity work they do "doesn't balance out?" That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Not only does Ludacris routinely help the less fortunate in his community, he started his own foundation to help inner-city kids receive proper education and a good influence in life.

But that's for naught because his music makes some executive more money than an underground rapper makes somebody? That seriously makes sense in your head?

Technique talks a nice game, but what has he done that's actually benefit anyone? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No reforms, no social changes have happened as a result of Immortal Technique songs. He isn't involved in any initiatives to help his local community, or anyone else.

And I love, absolutely love how everyone on this site claims to take issue with misogyny and materialism that mainstream rappers propagate, but no one ever has a problem with Immortal Technique saying 'f*gg*t' all the time in his raps, or saying 'n*gg*r'
' despite not being black.

But hey, whatever's cool as long as it's not part of the "evil corporate machine," right?

SydBarrett420 (December 18, 2008)

"I had started to write hip-hop reviews for another website (that will remain nameless) but after writing three reviews, and having only one of them posted in a four month span despite politely reminding one of the guys who runs the site that it's been a while, I said fuck it. I wasn't trying to waste my time on something not seeing the light of day, you know?"

So you are saying you wrote reviews for this stuff at a place that caters to this type of garbage and they weren't interested in posting it, so you brought it here? Lucky us...

hayman (December 18, 2008)

This is Pop music. It has nothing to do with "hip hop" or "punk" ethics. It is disposable pop music. Bad at that, the dude is rich so why give him any more exposure. This is the filth of the music world and anyone who pretends otherwise is stupid, young or playing up to their 7 year old sister or girlfriend. Pathetic lame shit trying to be something it's not.

chrisafi (December 17, 2008)

anchors getting owned by the anti-corporatists/socialists

I love it. And they are right.

Xote (December 17, 2008)

I like the album title.

TheMarc (December 17, 2008)

I tried to get into this, but the first song was so boring, and the autotune was so obnoxious, I never got through it. Maybe I'll try again later.

CCSummers (December 17, 2008)

Hah. The irony of a man doing "good" while contributing to corporations fat pockets doesn't really balance out.
At least Tech doesn't help out the force that is fucking you over and then turn around and hang you a couple dollars. Tech calls for revolution. Luda calls for complacency.
Luda isn't there to help out his community. He's there because corporations realized that they can make money off of him entertaining America. He's pretty good at doing that, but that's about it.
Tech may not be some kind of revolutionary force, but at least the dude is fucking trying. The amount of money he's put into projects for the good of others is ridiculous considering how much money he makes as an independent rapper.

llmp (December 17, 2008)

To the guy that said "no one ever reads the bottom review":

The only reason I visit this site is for the "shitty" no name bands. If I want reviews of every genre or popular bands, I'm going to visit Absolutepunk.net. A site which hates the fact that they have "punk" in their name.

I do enjoy Absolutepunk, but for very different reasons. They do a pretty good job of having a little bit of everything concerning news/reviews. Whereas Punknews always reviewed bands more in line with my tastes and I generally got to read about a band I had never heard of every tuesday. That's the only reason I come to this site. I'm not saying I have a problem with mainstream rap/hiphop/country/whatever albums being reviewed...but every god damn week?

Oops...I don't actually care that much..I'm just drunk and prone to rambling.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

I guarantee you that Ludacris has done infinitely more for his community than Immortal Technique, Blue Scholars, MURS, or anyone in that vein.

http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/news/86467.php
http ://www.sixshot.com/news/6619/
http://www.rapbasement.com/news/lu dacris/ludacris-partners-with-harley-davidson-for-charity-auction .html
http://drewreports.com/2008/11/ludacris-doing-some-good-fo r-the-holidays/

While your hero Immortal Technique is busy calling everybody a faggot in 75% of his songs, "corporate rap Ludacris" is out doing more good than IT ever even thought of.

nocigar (December 17, 2008)

If you're going to post "hip hop" albums then post actual hip hop albums. This shit is like pop rap mixed with turds.

NotPatriotic (December 17, 2008)

Anchors, "corporate rap" is the correct term for Kanye West and Ludacris. Pretty much any music that is played on any radio station like POWER, JAMMIN, HOT, JAMS, etc. is corporate rap. THis music is almost always terrible, and almost always talks about trite topics like, "blah blah blah is a golddigger" "I'm cool, girl sex me up in this club," "i wear chains dang girl get with me," etc ect. Three main topics: girls/sex, clubs, clothing/apparel. This shit is dumbin down America and it is just what corporations want.

Corporations won??t play Blue Scholars, Brother Ali, Theory Hazit, Immortal Technique, Common Market and others because they don??t want the general public to hear these sorts of views. The system only works because the people believe in it, once that belief is gone the system falls.

Kanye West, Ludacris, and Lil Wayne don??t give a fuck about the people. Yes, these rappers have some instances where it seems like they may actually care about society, but then they go and make a huge corporate hit that continues to perpetuate these idiot song topics. This is the difference between punk and corporate rap. Punks almost always care about the public and are socially conscious, corporate rappers don??t.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

"Corporate rap," come on man, listen to yourself right now. Do you affix that label to any punk, hardcore, or metal band on a major label? Because there is sure as shit no way that literally everything you listen to is on an independent label.

And even if that was the case, many of the indy records are, at very least, using major-label distribution.

There are just as many, and probably more shitty underground rappers as mainstream rappers, and vice versa with mainstream ones. You kids need to get the whole "mainstream = bad" mindset out of your heads, because it makes absolutely no sense.

crackpotdemagogue (December 17, 2008)

eh? i wasn't meaning a phase in terms of your own personal listening habits... and i couldn't give a fuck if you find it 'challenging and rewarding' to review corporate rap records or anything else for that matter. the 'phase' i was referring to was the (hoped) phase of punknews posting reviews such as this.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

Sorry man, this isn't a "phase." I've been listening to hip-hop for years, I just now decided to start reviewing it. And to be honest, it's a lot more challenging and rewarding than saying the same things about the same fourth-tier metalcore or pop punk bands like I did for so long.

crackpotdemagogue (December 17, 2008)

but I'm not seeking out rappers who adhere to such a ridiculous and vague concept as "punk ethics."

way to be anal. you know what i meant when i referred to 'punk ethics' - which is why i mentioned 'subversive' in the same (virtual) breath. all this drama is too much for me. at the end of the day, we're all here by choice. if the editors decide to keep posting this pap... then we can all choose to go somewhere else. personally, i think it's just a phase. a bit like when dylan done the two gospel influenced albums. he just lost it for a while - he regained his sense of reality eventually.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

Dante, I understand what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. This is quite clearly not the best forum for hip-hop, but at the same time, I think it can be.

I had started to write hip-hop reviews for another website (that will remain nameless) but after writing three reviews, and having only one of them posted in a four month span despite politely reminding one of the guys who runs the site that it's been a while, I said fuck it. I wasn't trying to waste my time on something not seeing the light of day, you know?

So I decided to just start writing them here. I've been writing reviews for this site since I was 17 (22 now), and thought I'd do something interesting and expand the review base here. These kids can post "PUNKnews.org" all they want, but there are people here who are getting something from these so I'm going to continue.

Also, as I've mentioned, I'm going to start getting into more underground stuff soon so a lot of the bitching will probably go away.

Thank you for intelligently stating your viewpoint though, I appreciate that. It's more and more of a rarity here all the time.

lanemyer (December 17, 2008)

"nobody ever read the bottom review anyway... it was always some shitty no-name band that got zero comments. so what's the big deal?"

No name band reviews with zero comments are a lot better than reviews of mainstream albums with lots of comments just bitching about the fact the review even exists on this site. Why does Kanye fucking West need anymore exposure? You can find reviews of this album in numerous, easy to find places on the web and elsewhere. I'd rather some shitty no-name punk band get a little exposure from a review than you and anchors pretentiously trying to fill us uncultured punk rockers in on all the thrilling art being made on the pop charts. I have no problem with reviews from other genres, but you got to draw the line somewhere!

Dante3000 (December 17, 2008)

*sigh* I hate to be the dude who does this and I'm sure it has been said but here goes:
My issue isn't that this isn't punx or that it's bad or it's hip hop. I can support a lot of that. I like a lot of Anchors reviews and find them to be helpful and informative (I'm likely getting "Theater of the Mind") but that doesn't mean they belong on this site. This is a site that is centered around punk music and it's various subgenres and elements. Meaning if a Metallica album gets an occasional review, that's understandable because they're influential to many punk bands and were influenced by many punk bands. Even Wu-Tang Clan had a give and receive influence with punk (Look at Stza). But the longer these have gone on the more detached they've become from anything resembling punk rock or it's many facets. I suppose the case could be made that "808's and Heartbreak" is a very new wave (the genre not the music) influenced album. But many could make the same claim of most R&B if they really wanted.

What I'm ultimately driving at is, if you want to do these reviews, fine. I think they're great. I love the content. However, that still doesn't mean they belong on a site like Punknews. There are tons of general music sites and a ton of general music sites. These would be amazing there. But putting them on a site that is designed to focus on a specific area of music that they a clearly not part of is simply looking to cause issues. I hope you keep writing and if you post them elsewhere, please let me know, I do enjoy them.

Also, to everyone complaining, did you ever think these are going up because there's no other reviews? My Amanda Palmer review went up within 5 hours of submitting it. You got a problem, write a good review and fix it.
-Dante

feeeding5000 (December 17, 2008)

Don't review things like this any more.

You are wrong.

Punx out.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

Unfortunately I don't have the presentation on this computer or else I would upload it. Sorry dudes.

hayman (December 17, 2008)

My girlfriends 7 year old sister likes this album. I was driving to Sydney with them in the car hearing how much the little girls at school like Kanye. Why would you review mainstream pop music here? Just doesn't make sense to me when there is so much good music out there.

damnitsderek (December 17, 2008)

I did an entire powerpoint presentation in a class a couple semesters ago about how much I hate him, and how crappy a rapper is, but this is a record worth checking out.

You've gotta upload that presentation now. It sounds incredible.

fallingupwards84 (December 17, 2008)

"Welcome to Heartbreak" sounds like a Plus-44 song - the guy singing the chorus sounds exactly like Mark Hoppus

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

1) I'd be absolutely fine with country of any kind being reviewed by any of you. I personally don't like much of it, but there's nothing wrong with appealing to a wider breadth of people.

2) If you're looking for me to review something with "punk ethics," you'll be waiting a while. I've already said 78 million times I'm going to be getting to more underground rap, but I'm not seeking out rappers who adhere to such a ridiculous and vague concept as "punk ethics."

fallingupwards84 (December 17, 2008)

nobody ever read the bottom review anyway... it was always some shitty no-name band that got zero comments. so what's the big deal?

mikexdude (December 17, 2008)

"let's be honest... posting the mainstream corporate rap albums was funny at first, but now the joke is old, tired and fucking lame"

Old, tired and fucking lame? And you guys said these reviews don't apply the viewers and users of this site.

fallingupwards84 (December 17, 2008)

for those of you whining about another "hip hop" review... this is not even close to being a hip hop record. Kanye doesn't rap on the entire album - its a pop record with traces of emo.

absolutely beautiful album, i love it. score is for the album.

PMAtill_ImDOA (December 17, 2008)

wtf

SydBarrett420 (December 17, 2008)

Also, I agree with the guy who said he will be submitting country album reviews. If they are well written I expect to see them here, or this site is hypocritical bullshit. Don"t be "close minded"

SydBarrett420 (December 17, 2008)

These reviews are being posted for trolling factor. Now we have to have two hip hop reviews??

This site is getting kind of pathetic considering only Anchors and FallingUpwards get boners from hip hop

crackpotdemagogue (December 17, 2008)

let's be honest... posting the mainstream corporate rap albums was funny at first, but now the joke is old, tired and fucking lame. I just feel that there are so many other groups much more deserving of reviewage here. lets have some 'real' hip hop at least anchors? something subversive? something punk at least in ethics?

alpod4 (December 17, 2008)

fuck this album. i liked every kanye release but i hate the robo-voice

GlamBalam (December 17, 2008)

I don't understand people hatin' on bands like MCR and fall out boy and then listening to this.. oh well..

chrisafi (December 17, 2008)

silentstorm is so right.

I am honest about the fact i know and care very little about hiphop but I can still smell bullshit and this album reeks

Archangel (December 17, 2008)

Anchors - Upload that presentation immediately.

Anchors (December 17, 2008)

It sounds like the chugging of a train whistle, I couldn't think of a better way to describe it.

Also, don't keep yourself from listening to this because you think Kanye's a douchebag. He is. I did an entire powerpoint presentation in a class a couple semesters ago about how much I hate him, and how crappy a rapper is, but this is a record worth checking out.

I'm not guaranteeing anyone will like it, but you're not going to hear anything else like this this year, so it's worth giving a shot.

Bipedcasserole (December 17, 2008)

wow. i didn't know flutes could chug. Kayne must be a fucking wizard.

score's for his skills as an MC. otherwise, I think he makes some damn good pop songs.

asxyouxwish (December 17, 2008)

album sounds like a collaboration with phil collins.

read - album rules.

SilentStorms (December 17, 2008)

I'm being emotional, but what are you doing! You used to post actual screamo reviews and now I read your posts to see how much heat you take. If you are going to point Punknews in a smart persons' range please do it with GOOD artists, like Mos Def, Talib Kwali and Blackstar. Honeltly I know very little about rap music, but I do know when I hear a shitty fucking artist. Again, my opinion.

IamMclovin (December 17, 2008)

Kanye's arrogance turns me off so much I don't even want to listen to his stuff.

trolley (December 17, 2008)

Rating for Kanye's douchebaggery.

mclz (December 17, 2008)

this guy sucks and is a douche bag, end of story.

greg0rb (December 17, 2008)

"The whimsical chugging of the flute?" Confusing and intriguing... I kinda want to check this out but when I heard his atrocious first performance on SNL it made me not want to...

el_matt (December 17, 2008)

Stephen Colbert > Kanye West

CCSummers (December 17, 2008)

The dude's a crappy rapper. I dig his beats though. Should stick to that.

mattramone (December 17, 2008)

Kanye West tried to make a New Order record? Instant fail.

NO SCORE.

bluexmaslights (December 17, 2008)

Posted by Scruffy on 2008-12-16 22:29:06

And now I'm depressed that I've had what is clearly a bad enough week that I think today is Thursday.

Posted by Scruffy on 2008-12-16 22:21:12

I have to say the most obvious thing I'm feeling right now is befuddlement. Why is this being posted on a Thursday night? Weird.

i've been there before, this just made me laugh out loud

chrisafi (December 17, 2008)

Anchors drops below 8/10!

Unfortunatly, its for by far the worst record out of all of those he's reviewed and he only dropped to 7/10.

Do all hip hop records start at 6/10 guarenteed because tehy is sooo punx?

cyborgfrance (December 17, 2008)

oh, how did I get a Twitter update for this album but not the new Drag The River? In the words of the almighty Clay Davis, sheeeit.

cyborgfrance (December 17, 2008)

Album's okay. Some great moments on it - the breakdown at the end of "Robocop", the overwhelming sadness of "Coldest Winter" - but not one of the best of the year. It's just good.

And for the sake of saying it, he's not been running "Through The Wire" into the ground for a number of years. In "Graduation" he dropped much of the behind-the-scenes drama in his music and accidentally kickstarted this French-coked-up-house-rap-subgenre that was cool but needs to die now. It's reached its logical conclusion.

Dude needs singing lessons for live performances though. SNL was somehow amazing and awful at the same time.

mikexdude (December 17, 2008)

"what the fuck happened to this site..."

You stopped posting religiously and chaos broke out; I blame you.

FuckYouOiOiOi (December 17, 2008)

a fucking kanye west review with a link to buy the album?

what the fuck happened to this site...

eazyd3 (December 17, 2008)

stop reviewing this shit you fuckin fag its getting ridiculous. needs at least 50 x more cowbell.

ConsolationPrizefighter (December 17, 2008)

"My hatred for Kanye West grows even more with the fact that my girlfriend has her main ring tone as one of his new songs. So irritating, I want to punch her phone in the dick."

Fucking a. They literally make every cell phone accessory you could ever want or need now, don't they?

xshoutoutx (December 17, 2008)

This score is WAY too high for this release... dude has lost it.

tenwestchaser (December 17, 2008)

So I think I'm going to go ahead and out punk Anchors by reviewing country albums....and I don't mean Johnny Cash. Would you all like that about as much as I like seeing rap (not hip hop) reviews on punknews?

Tudor (December 17, 2008)

He cool another garbage mainstream pop album reviewed on punk news.

Start Anchor and Fallingupwards calling everyone close minded and stupid for not buying in.

cheesetits (December 17, 2008)

My hatred for Kanye West grows even more with the fact that my girlfriend has her main ring tone as one of his new songs. So irritating, I want to punch her phone in the dick.

freesandwich (December 17, 2008)

Words cannot express how much fuck Kanye West.

damnitsderek (December 17, 2008)

Does this guy also sing that "Around the world around the world, Around the world around the world, Around the world around the world, Around the world around the world" song too? This Kanye fool sounded like Cher.

My lulz meter just exploded.

mikexdude (December 16, 2008)

Post three: my spelling sucks. I've accepted it. Now I'm done.

mikexdude (December 16, 2008)

Oh, and i think I'm the only one who likes the Coillege Droput --besides "Jesus walks". Any song praising jesus sucks.

mikexdude (December 16, 2008)

You're slowly becoming one of my favorite reviewers; though I don't agree with your scores, your reviews are extremely well written and fun to read. Keep it up.

Anchors (December 16, 2008)

This is one of the last mainstream records I'll be doing (for a bit, anyhow.)

I have a Biggie review coming, then a Jay-Z review, then I'm gonna start with some more underground stuff. Charles Hamilton, B.O.B., Termanology, Crooked I, Big Lou, and plenty of other stuff. I'll keep it a mix of underground, classic records, and newer mainstream stuff so that all kinds of hip-hop are represented at least a little bit.

dante3000 (December 16, 2008)

Yeah...Let's get some vocal effects and make an album. I like a lot of his beats but this album sucks. It sounds like he recorded it over a 5 hour period.
-Dante

FrankReich (December 16, 2008)

I find half of this to be a good listen, the other half bored me. Auto-tune is so fucking annoying. Its ok in moderation but excess just takes the soul out of the music.

PizzaClaus (December 16, 2008)

A very well written review. And the guy who doesn't know who Daft Punk is sucks.

DuffB (December 16, 2008)

Anchors, I'm really not meaning to be an asshole with this comment, but how many more mainstream records are you going to review before getting into more underground things? Because I've heard this album in the record store my girlfriend works at, and I really didn't like it, but I'm pretty curious about less mainstream hip-hop and not really sure where to start. So like one or two more of these and then start the new year with underground stuff maybe?

rob_rob (December 16, 2008)

at least its a slightly clever album album title.

ozmanx (December 16, 2008)

First time i heard this guys music was on the most recent episode of SNL and what can I say it was pure shit.

Does this guy also sing that "Around the world around the world, Around the world around the world, Around the world around the world, Around the world around the world" song too? This Kanye fool sounded like Cher.

Scruffy (December 16, 2008)

And now I'm depressed that I've had what is clearly a bad enough week that I think today is Thursday.

Scruffy (December 16, 2008)

I have to say the most obvious thing I'm feeling right now is befuddlement. Why is this being posted on a Thursday night? Weird.

smelltheglove (December 16, 2008)

Let the shitstorm begin.

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