Kanye West must have the world’s most negative Google Alerts. He somehow found a review that doesn’t agree with the overwhelmingly positive consensus on his new album The Life of Pablo and he used it as the jumping off point for a rant against out-of-touch music industry types and Taylor Swift.
The review came from longtime music producer Bob Ezrin, who worked with such dad-ly favorites as Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd. Writing for Bob Lefsetz’ music industry newsletter, Ezrin said Kanye failed to live up to hip-hop greats like Tupac, Biggie and… Macklemore?
“Unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now. He didn’t open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick…What he is a true artist at is living his life out loud – and shoving it down the throats of the rest of us whether we give a sh*t or not. He’s like that flasher who interrupts a critical game by running naked across the field. Is that art???”
Ezrin also said that West’s production wasn’t on the same level as Timbaland and called him a “sophomoric artist.” Kanye noticed in a big way.
Then, Kanye got personal.
After that, Kanye went the historical route. He pointed out that views like Ezrin’s are symptomatic of outdated ways of thinking that relegate rap to second-class status come awards season. He mentioned that Ezrin’s views of hip-hop were outdated and attempted to welcome him to 2016. (Oh, and he made reference to some up-and-coming artist named Swift.)
Kanye finished off the rant with his own version of “Serenity now.”
The problem that Kanye West has is he speaks out so often that people are quick to label everything he does as “crazy.” Even in a situation like this one where he’s absolutely right.