Pharrell/Kanye - Number 1 Video
The video isn't that bad but goddammit that song fucking sucks. It's really a shame to see how these two went from two of my favorite producers/rappers into enormously pretentious egomaniacs.
Kanye had that whole soulful hustler vibe going, rapping about hating his job at Gap and loving Jesus and not how cute his handbag is. I still enjoy College Dropout, it's a raw album and filled with shit we can all relate too. He never claimed to be anything BUT a common man and that was part of his appeal. All this shit got to his head though. He thought weak ass Be was a classic, overproduced the John Legend CD (if you want to hear a true showcase of his talent, peep his live joints), and is now trying to push Consequence aka I-Wasn't-Good-Enough-For-ATCQ-And-Am-Still-Trying-To-Relive-It on us. Then came the self indulgent Late Registration, which I sort of liked at first, but hasn't found its way repeatedly into my cd player the way Dropout can. Why would a pretentious producer (Kanye) enlist another pretentious producer (Brion) to help make his album? It transformed his work into a soft lush soundscape which I don't want to hear. It went from brilliance - the panning of the strings and sample on Gone - to let's put some slow strings over a beat and pretend it's good - the abherration that is Bring Me Down. Now he just prances around like Karl Lagerfeld
and dresses himself up like Jesus for photo shoots. Basically, stop trying to pull this jiggy shit and get back to making GOOD music which is what you were supposed to be doing in the first place.
I clearly enjoy the music of Pharrell Williams. I named my site after a song he sings, and salivate over new Neptunes material. Yet his decision to eliminate Chad Hugo from his forthcoming CD puzzles me, and every song I've heard from it, well, sucks. I remember going to the first NERD site and playing the snippets from the album before it released over and over and over. When I first heard Super Thug, with its attacking guitar and snares that invaded the speakers, I was hooked. The Neptunes used their nerdiness to their advantage - taking sounds no one else would think to use (besides Timbo, and that's an argument for another day) and making them hot as shit. Who the fuck else could turn mouth clicks into the hottest song of the year? They went from a rock/rap hybrid production team into a creative in-house production machine (Lord Willin' still knocks and Grindin' remains the crowning achievement of their career) into a space funk phase, dropping jaws with the drums on Light Your Ass On Fire and the depths of It Blows My Mind. Even when they stayed within the boundaries they had set, it never really got boring. They had the uncanny ability to re-use a sound without tiring it out to some extent; listen to the similarities of Hot Damn and Young Boy, or the live instrumentation of Ma I Don't Love Her and Beautiful. Even the Vegas shit they've brought out recently was okay - it had it's moments (Excuse Me Miss) but even still they were pushing the envelope (Excuse Me Miss Again and the delightfully weird Fly or Die album). And then Pharrell met Nigo and BBC dropped and a whole bunch of bad shit happened. Every song I've heard from In My Mind has sucked, sounding like throwaway beats and being boring and predictable. The BBCIcecream mixtape was unlistenable - the only time Pharrell really killed a track was over Incarcerated Scarfaces, only to have Pusha come in 15 seconds later and annihilate it (that verse deserves a post of its own). I can't say if it's Pharrell & Chad that have fallen into a ditch or just Pharrell, but as all this shit got to their head the music sounds uninspired. As frustrating as that may be, it's even more frustrating when you consider the fact that they can still make a dope beat by doing shit they haven't done before - see: Mr. Me Too. Unfortunately, all of In My Mind looks to be the same routine, the beats sounding like Touch and Pharrell singing like a bad Prince/MJ collabo. I could go through and list all the songs that I hope
it will sound like, but that won't happen so I won't.
Anyways, that was a long rant without much structure and rather pointless and it may seem like I'm dickriding, but I'm rather upset that my favorite production duo (The Neptunes) and a producer who used to be fresh as fuck (Kanye West) have eschewed their creativity for cookie cutter tracks because they know the public will buy it because they are Williams and West. I could go into the whole "selling-out" thing (that's three spinoff posts I can do already) but I won't. I would just like an album or some beats or some shit that I DIDN'T know these guys could do.