I can’t say I know a lot about Kanye West’s music. I know that he is in the process of fathering Kim Kardashian’s “problem” and that he scores consistent credit for being weird and diva-licious. Nevertheless, even a quick listen to his older work indicates an artist with some hardcore meaningful rumbling taking place between his ears. The man can certainly rap and delivers undeniable creativity – both lyrically and with his beats.
Against that backdrop, his single, “Black Skinhead,” flashed up on SNL last night and I’ve gotta say, I really liked it. It was hard-edged, gritty and appropriately tinged both with rock sensibility and heavy metal madness. Indeed, at times he sounded desperate (as in the “I can’t be on the same Lear Jet as my Kim for another half an hour,” sort of desperate) yet also old-school NWA-style aggression. The song was more than sufficiently refined to keep me hanging around for repeat listens. In some ways, it reminded me of Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise” classic mash-up with Anthrax. And, without doubt, it’s certainly harder than any Beastie Boys I can remember.
As with much hip-hop, the first time I heard “Black Skinhead,” I could understand (in a contextual sense) maybe only about 30% of the words – the second time, probably 60%. (Pure honesty here – I’m working at it) And that’s the thing – I’m now more or less convinced this one track may well be the kind of ear-worm capable of drilling itself into my very thick skull until I’m actually able to rap (realism check – “recite the words”) – although, gosh darn it, if I could rap Kanye’s lyrics, I’d FINALLY be able to drop this whole “white-guy preppy private banker gig” and at long last become the REAL Frazer I always knew I could I could be . . .
So point is this: If crazy and prolonged exposure to Kim worked for you, Kanye, sign me up.