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  • Kanye West Article!!!!Good Read!!!

    Oh, you will believe in him. You have no choice. Tonight Kanye West is going to get props or die trying.

    "I'm asking you all, I'm begging you all," Kanye, standing on a table, pleads with the conviction of a civil-rights leader leading a march. "If y'all feel this is a zero, give it a zero. If you feel like it is a five, give it a five. If y'all believe that this is the future, which is what I believe ... If y'all feel like this is what the game needs right now, if y'all feel that this anticipation ... I delivered what y'all all been waiting for, then let it ... what's the word? Reciprocate? I dropped out of college, can I have a thesaurus?"

    The 26-year-old is speaking to a gathering that includes John Mayer, Common, a handful of journalists and other music-industry tastemakers inside New York's Sony Studios. They've all been privileged enough to preview his debut, The College Dropout, almost a month before its February 10 release.

    "I'm asking you all not to let the future pass you by and be a part of history, 'cause this is history in the making, man," he says before playing the first track.

    Kanye is going to do more than just play the records. He's going to be lip-syncing, singing and yelling his raps like it's the finale of a sold-out, three-night stint at Madison Square Garden. He's going to jump on tables, pound his chest like an athlete who just made a winning shot, pose in a b-boy stance and flail his arms, all with enough vim and vigor that you'd think he was ready to fight.

    He is.

    Hip-hop's latest purveyor of common-man music not only wants you to feel his music, he wants you to feel his struggle. If he thinks that he doesn't have 150 percent of your undivided attention, he's going to put you on blast. A couple of times at the listening session, he stopped a song and started it over when he thought there might be someone in the room who was not getting it.

    "Abby, remember when they ain't believe in me?!" West, standing on a tabletop and pounding his right fist into the palm of his left hand, rapped a cappella before talking. "How many months ago was that? What did it take? It took 'Slow Jamz' to have 9,000 spins. Or it took 'Through the Wire' [to become a hit]. Do y'all remember when they ain't believe in me?!"

    If it seems like Kanye has a chip on his shoulder, it's because he's had to labor to the brink of exhaustion to tell the world what he's believed since he was a kid: Given the chance, he could change the rap game. His words would do more than strike a chord, they would give listeners flashbacks to when they'd seen or felt the same situation he talked about. And his beats we all know about his beats. So soulful and rich they've been known to make people rejoice like it was the last day of school.

    "I'm a pretty smart dude. I knew that if I could rap even anywhere near the caliber of my beats, I would kill the game," Kanye, a couple of weeks removed from the listening sessions, surmised modestly. "Murder the game."

    He seems to be on the right track. "We've heard him from a production standpoint for a minute, and he's always come through in a major way," Alicia Keys said recently, "but he really has crazy rhyme skills. The way he puts his thoughts together, the way he puts everything in this mixture, it's something everybody can feel."

    That's exactly the idea, West said. "I try to see how I can express things in my life that other people will relate to and feel like, 'Man, I'm glad that somebody said that.' There are so many people that vent through other stuff other than shootin'."

    His regular-Joe ditties have emerged at perhaps the perfect point in hip-hop. With the game mired in G-Unit wannabes more concerned with piling up a lyrical body count than writing witty punch lines, West is making tunes about being frustrated with his job as a cashier, being self-conscious and overcoming racial stereotypes.

    "I saw his show at [New York club] S.O.B.'s and I was like, 'Man, hip-hop is back again,' " Common said. "It felt so good that it was coming through this brother. I'm honored to be on his album and geeked what the brother is bringing to hip-hop. I don't think nobody is coming with beats and rhymes, putting that package together like this right now."

    In its first week in stores, The College Dropout debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 441,000 copies, while "Slow Jamz" is the #1 song on Billboard's Hot 100, and "Through the Wire" is #15. The blockbuster record he produced for Alicia Keys, "You Don't Know My Name," has been a top 10 staple the past 15 weeks, and the record he produced for Ludacris, "Stand Up," reached #1 a few weeks ago and has held firm in the top 30.

    "It's all a matter of a turning tide," West said. "Compared to movies, there's a time of mad gangsta movies, then it's comedies, then it's family films, then it's back to gangsta flicks, [because] we missed the gangsta flicks. I'm doing this little wave [of music], it's going to make people fiend for good gangsta music again after my wave is waving goodbye. I realize that time will happen. I enjoy it and I realize that it's all entertainment."

    "[When] we worked together on 'You Don't Know My Name,' " Keys said, "we'd be in the middle of doing something and he'd break out and start rhyming. This is how passionate he is about what he does. He'd be like, 'Feel me on this,' and start putting together this idea he's working on. That's what I love about him. You really feel the genuine love from him."

    The Cliffs Notes version of West's life goes like this: He started rapping in the third grade and started making beats in the seventh grade because he didn't realize that most mic rockers hired people to make tracks for them. When he was 15 he met famed Chicago producer No I.D., who supplied the tracks for many of Common's early records. While No I.D. mentored him on sampling soul artists like Kanye's favorite group at the time, the Ohio Players, West further cultivated his love for hip-hop.

    "[A Tribe Called Quest's] Low End Theory was the first album I bought," he remembered. "I was like, 'Oh shit, [they] have whole albums? They don't just have the singles?' I was like, 'I'mma start buying a bunch of shit.' "

    Years later, after a short stint at Columbia College in Chicago and a brief learning period under the wing of Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, just about the time Kanye's name started buzzing around the music industry for his flawless production on most of Jay-Z's The Blueprint, he started his campaign.

    He was bringing back the heart-grabbing soulful samples that RZA so cleverly mastered in the early and mid-'90s, and people were starting to do their homework on him, finding out that he'd been putting in work for years on such classic cuts as Beanie Sigel's "The Truth" and "Nothing Like It," Jay's "This Can't Be Life" and Nas' "Poppa Was a Player." But Kanye didn't want anyone to get it twisted. He wasn't a producer who rapped, he was a rapper who produced. Still, people slept on him.

    "Man, people told me that I couldn't rap, that I couldn't sell a record, that I didn't have a chance. And it hurt me. Nobody believed in me."

    West was undaunted. He visited the offices of every hip-hop publication and played his music, shook hands and even rhymed for editors. When he wasn't getting his own publicity, he shopped his demo to labels and almost hit the jackpot with Capitol Records in 2002.
    http://www.youtube.com/v/03fo6CQpiAw
    The G-MEN
    BEST IN THE NFC

    7-6.... vs Philly
    WE BAAAAAAAAALLLLLLIN!

  • #2
    "Kanye was never down on himself," said Joe "3H" Weinberger of Capitol's A&R department. Two years ago, he came oh so close to inking a deal with West. "He'd be ready to rap on the spot, ready to tell his story on the spot, ready to make a record on the spot. He was probably the hungriest dude I ever saw. Whatever it takes. He wasn't all caked up yet, but he still had his Kanye swagger. It was definite star quality the day I saw him. He played me three songs and I was like, 'What!?' His flow was different, his beats were great, he was performing the whole time. The energy was there, it was some real star-quality stuff."

    The Capitol deal was all but signed, and then at the 11th hour, 3H said, another person in the company got in the ear of Capitol's president and the deal was nixed. "He told the president, 'He's just a producer/rapper. Those record won't do well. He'll never sell.' "

    Luckily for West, Dame Dash saw enough potential in him to offer a deal. The two had already built a relationship via West's production work for several Roc-A-Fella acts.

    "I was definitely feeling a little bit of anxiety 'cause my man Jay-Z is retiring," Dash said. "People were on me like, 'What you gonna do after this?' I personally signed Kanye, and I wanna take credit for that because I feel good that I believed in him and I saw his vision. What I didn't see was how big his vision was and how he was going to attack it himself. He's like me and Jay put into one. He's a businessman, he's an artist, he's a producer. On a bigger level, he's positive."

    Kanye's positive attitude has certainly been tested over the years. As he would find out, securing a recording contract wouldn't mean an end to the problems life throws at you.

    In the blink of an eye my whole life changed," West said of his October 2002 car accident in Los Angeles. "From me trying to get out of the way of this car, I ended up in a head-on collision. Then I remember looking in the rearview mirror and seeing my jaw cracked in three places. These teeth right here in the middle, I'm surprised they lined them up so well being that they didn't put the whole jaw in the right place."

    Hence West's jaw being a bit puffy on the right side.

    "I remember calling my girl, and the first thing I said to her was, 'I'm sorry for hurting myself' 'cause I knew how it would affect [my loved ones]," West said. "So she called my mother, and my mother called back and said, 'Ah, baby, are you OK?' I just remember saying, 'It huuurts!' like a little kid. It hurt bad as hell."

    West said the agony he was going through with his injury would be nothing compared to the heartache he'd suffer if he couldn't tell his story on wax. So as soon as he was physically able, he took some painkillers and recorded "Through the Wire" with his mouth wired shut.

    "All I kept thinking about was D.O.C., how he was in a car wreck," Kanye said. "I was at the concert in Chicago that he was supposed to go to the night of his car accident. I was just at a Hip-Hop Summit with D.O.C., and while he was sitting up there giving his speech, man, it almost brought me to tears. At the point before the accident, my whole goal in life was to eventually be able to do nothing. Now that I see the type of impact I'm gonna make on music and the community, my responsibility is now to do everything for the fans, for the community."

    "Through the Wire" wasn't the only painstaking endeavor he had to go through while making his self-produced The College Dropout.

    To get 16 members of the Boys Choir of Harlem on "Two Words," he had to spend $10,000 for their appearance fee and travel hours into the woods of upstate New York just to record them. He didn't have to pay Ludacris to get him on the chorus of "Breathe In, Breathe Out," he just had to give up three of his much-sought-after beats for free, one of which turned into "Stand Up."

    It took West six months to draw inspiration just for the second verse of "Jesus Walks," while it took more than 70 hours to make "The New Workout Plan." "We Don't Dare" had its title changed from "Drug Dealer" and had to have its three verses cut down from eight. "School Spirit" was in serious jeopardy of not making the album because of trouble clearing the sample from Aretha Franklin's "Spirit in the Dark," and at the last minute Lauryn Hill reneged on clearing the sample from her "Mr. Intentional" on "All Falls Down." West had to get singer Syleena Johnson to re-sing Hill's lyrics.

    And when all that was done, Kanye still went back and reworked the entire album because it had been bootlegged and leaked on the Internet.

    "It's so much that goes into one of these records," West explained of what some say is his tendency to be overly sensitive about his music. "It's not contrived and it's not a copy of anything. It's also so from the heart, and I feel so connected with it. When it comes out, I feel people are going to be connected with it."

    West has trumpeted himself so passionately, some have labeled him arrogant a rep he's all too aware of and quick to defend against.

    "Would it be arrogance or confidence?" he questioned. "Because I'm outspoken? Or because I feel confident? I feel like I have the right to tell you. My thing is, I just like to debate. I really like my raps. ... But it's not from arrogance, it's from me just debating and wanting to get my point across. Like, 'You all need to understand.' Any situation I'm in, I just wanna stand out."

    Kanye is mindful that the more popular he gets, the more his boastful behavior will be dissected. So he's trying to play like Larry David and curb his enthusiasm at least a little.

    "I think I've got a lot of growing to do," he admitted. "I've got a lot of energy. I'm growing and growing every day, and I'm finding out ways to wear my success with more dignity. The younger you are, the newer your money is, the more ignorant you're gonna act. I need to learn and have the opportunity to be around people like Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey."

    Although he doesn't yet have Jones or Winfrey as mentors, the musical double threat is picking up some ***els from the Jiggaman.

    "He consults me about handling fame, about shutting down malls and dealing with so many people pulling at you," West said of his talks with Jay-Z. "Different moves, what records to go to next. Some of the stuff I wouldn't even put it on the air. It's stuff for me to personally have in my mind. 'Cause if I give away the secrets, people can go around it."

    Lord knows nobody has made it easy for Kanye, so why should he make it for anyone else?
    http://www.youtube.com/v/03fo6CQpiAw
    The G-MEN
    BEST IN THE NFC

    7-6.... vs Philly
    WE BAAAAAAAAALLLLLLIN!

    Comment


    • #3
      i cant stand the hype around kanye and now i see where it comes from
      . . .himself
      his music is great but comeon
      he thinks he is the future?
      what kind of a man would say seomthing like that about himself?
      its up to others to say something like that
      but yet again
      he brings quality music to the table like only a few others do
      but his rapping isnt that special
      thanx for the article
      nice long piece

      Comment


      • #4
        i hate his fuckin ego, dude is so gassed, he isnt even that good....the future my ass...
        http://www.soundclick.com/bands/7/kavehthamc.htm
        ^^that's me, give the music a listen.

        "We still crackin' and smashin' for some real action
        I'm the best thing to happen to LA since Phil Jackson"
        -Crooked I

        "I want a piece of the limelight, when the time's right
        Hundreds of dead emcees should be my 3-year hindsight"
        -Kaveh

        ^^Two dope emcees trying to put the Big West back on the map^^

        Comment


        • #5
          That was a cool article, thanks man.

          Im still not sure wether I like college dropout or not tho...

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't know about future, but he definitely speaks from a "common man" point of view and says a lot of things I am glad to hear said.
              Would you let the system sit (shit) down on your head again? NO, DREAD, NO.
              Would you let the system
              make you kill your brother man? NO, DREAD, NO
              .

              Comment

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