Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kanye West-Family Business

More than presents, more than the snow outside the window in Itakoski, Finland (my mother’s hometown, a stone’s throw away from the Arctic Circle), Christmas has always been most about family for me. Especially after I went to college and my family moved back to Ghana, I typically have seen my family only twice a year-Christmas and summer break. Christmas was usually a blur of jetlag and the Finnish traditions that we still keep, but mainly it was a time to catch up and just kick it.

Kanye’s latest is getting accolades from all over the place, and the blogosphere has pretty unanimously named it the best album of the year. It probably deserves it, but I would still much rather listen to The College Dropout over MBDTF any day of the week. While Kanye has become much more polished and intricate with his production, and his flow has come a long way, his first album still holds a special place for me, and I think marked a significant transition in rap history. On this jamandahalf, Kanye brings the entire family along. Over a perfectly lazy beat, Kanye talks about the ups-and-downs of all families, the good times and the times when you wish you were anywhere but with your kin. His stories are instantly relatable, because I know we all have enough tales to write a song about each of our families, but then again, that is your family business. You can always choose your friends but you can’t choose your family, and that’s the best part. Merry Christmas everyone. 

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