Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kanye West feat. Raekwon & Kid Cudi-Gorgeous

I've played basketball for most of my life and I remember when I was young and watching Michael Jordan during some of his biggest games. Jordan played a level of basketball that not only was incredible to watch, but also one that was inspiring. I vividly remember times after watching Jordan put up 30 on a helpless defense going out to my basketball hoop and shooting hoops till the last light faded. The only cement that my "court" had was a small sliver of sidewalk that ran in front of the hoop, the rest was grass and dirt. Didn't matter. I was inspired.

Kanye's new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is like an epic Jordan performance. It's not only great to listen to, it's also a wakeup call to other rappers, saying hey fellas, time to go shoot some more jumpers. Kanye's verses have a hunger to them that I've never heard before from him, perhaps indicating a desire to be considered one of the best rappers in the game, rather than just as a great entertainer. Some of his best G.O.O.D. Friday tracks are on the album, but all are reworked and redone. Like expected, the production on the album is stellar, and many of the songs have a multidimensionality that I've never heard before (see "Blame Game"). My favorite track so far is "Gorgeous" featuring Kid Cudi on the hook (and sounding way more comfortable than he does on parts of his new album) and Raekwon coming in the 9th inning of the song and hitting a walk off homer. "Gorgeous" has three verses (three!) from Kanye and clocks in at almost 6 minutes, a quick indication from Kanye on the second track of his album that he's back to rapping, and is coming for the crown. As far as I'm concerned, it's his.

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