Friday, October 10, 2008

The Weirdo: Kanye (Love Lockdown)

Anyway, I've had an abundance of Ye posts lately most likely because I've been intrigued by Love Lockdown. To be honest I don't really think its the best song ever but I like analyzing shit so that's what ima do. In my last post I was discussing whether or not I felt that Mr. West uses a mask. To cut to the chase I think he does a lot of hiding in plain sight but yes there is a mask. He uses cadence and emphasis to disguise that he's rhyming in platitudes. And it's a technique that makes the mundane seem significant and the personal, impersonal.

As I mentioned before, Kanye has suffered some personal upsets and tragedies this year, the likes of which one would expect an artist like him to discuss. But, anyone with an ego like his is going to have a hard time laying himself completely bare for his audience(remember we want the suit zipped closed.) His verse on 'Put On' was powerful and has been lauded as intimate but what is more interesting is the vocodered smoke screen of it. He starts off silly/obnoxious and then the brief emotional reveal ("Lost the only girl in the world that know me best"), then back to bullshit and in and out. It fits his take on the song which is essentially the reality and art and necessity of fronting. Pretending your good when you're so not.

But 'Love Lockdown' is supposed to be a heightened level of intimacy. It sounds like the monotone forlorn depression, interspersed with the racing thoughts one has when watching their relationship slip through their fingers but, the lyrics don't say much or reveal much even to that effect. Obviously rhyming is not Ye's strong suit but the generic vagueness of the lyrics in my opinion reveal that Kanye isn't able to be revealing about the topic. Reading the song lyrics is like reading a teenager's Myspace Blog entry about a breakup. The author has a lot to say, a lot of emotions, but doesn't want to say anything specific because to do so would leave them feeling naked...and because the person the entry is about probably still reads their shit. So they try to use metaphors and flowery language that captures the essence of how they feel while disguising the reality of what they mean. This song must have made Kanye feel very naked because he cloaks the actual meaning in turnarounds and obscure metaphors and of course, the fucking vocoder. Anyone who has heard the original studio version knows he even went as far as to mumble the chorus (I was not amused.)

So, I really do like the song, and I even like the video even though it does the same trick of feeling like something but not saying anything. But, it seems like Yeezy doesn't have enough cognitive dissonance between his person and his persona to go too deep without hurting himself.


Motorcycle Fairings said...

i love kanye west, i'll buy that one

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