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    Entries in kanye west (7)


    Bawl So Hard

    Kanye West and Jay-Z's WATCH THE THRONE tour. An amazing double bill for a record that, at absolute best, is pretty ok. At a time when America is floundering, begging and pleading for an easier, cheaper way, our two best rappers, musicians who have transcended genre and race, have released an album that is, at essence, about how much money they have. And, at times, it's very good. "N****s In Paris", "Otis" and "New Day", specifically, are pretty brilliant. Too much of the record, though, is pure bank account masturbation from rappers that are, and have always been, better. 

    Live, though, it's a different story. The Throne, as they call themselves, are a force to be reckoned with. Hova and Yeezy know each other inside and out, backwards and forwards, and it shows. They move from joint songs to individual jams with a fluid motion (other than at the end, and we'll get to that), and they play to each other's strengths: Jay-Z is the stayed, stoic elder statesman, and Kanye is the potential loose cannon, emotional game of Jenga that he always is. While Hova worked through his ample back catalog of hits: "Hard Knock Life", "Big Pimpin", every other song you would know, Yeezy played it a bit rougher, only throwing down one song from his formative first record("Jesus Walks"),and choosing instead to focus on later songs. "Stronger" was powerful, as was "Flashing Lights", but it was the ...Twisted Fantasy tunes, like "Monster" and "Power" that came out the best, no doubt because that record was, ultimately, the most Yeezy record other than 808s, which was, probably by his standards, a commercial flop. By all accounts, though, two songs stood out: "Runaway", complete with a Kanye rant on love and loss, and "So Appalled", the accidental encore.  It's one of the things everyone's missing: there was another encore, one other than the three versions (THREE) of "N****s In Paris".  It was amazing and off-the-cuff, something not expected for a live show that's built on pre-decided intros and outros and transitions.  All of it was beautiful, but it was the punch of Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" followed by the aforementioned super-powerful "Runaway" that made me cry as though I'd never been touched. 

     Kanye, Runaway In Atl


    Watch...the Throne?

    From the ornate gold cover designed by Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci to the overblown, ear-punishing last half of the album, Watch the Throne is not what I expected from Jay-Z and Kayne West's colloboration. (I did indeed expect to be spending hours inscribing its lyrics onto pictures of cats, but well--everybody's life is weird in some ways.)

    Yes, I have your cats. Fresh lulz, straight from Watch the Throne, on which Kanye was even kind enough to drop an "lololol" to make it easier.

    I'm about to go H.A.M. (I mean, I really should get some ham, this is going to be a rough one.)

    Click to read more ...


    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy...explained in Lolcats

    Our serious analysis of the epic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album from Kanye West comes later. Now, though, we present the album as explained in the lanugage of our time: the Lolcat (or LOL Cat or Laugh Out Loud cat ).   Lolcats themselves should need no explanation.

    Praise, Critique, add your own Kanye Cats in the comments.  Most importantly, stay. fucking. tuned. to soldout.

    Until then, let's have a toast for the meow-meows.

     My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in Lolcats

    1.    Dark Fantasy

    Click to read more ...


    Toast. For the Douchebags. 

    On Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West did what it is that I love him to do: cut through the bullshit and brought the Art, with a capital "A", in the form of a new jam he's calling "Runaway". 


    "Runaway" is Kanye's self-lacerating "toast to the douchebags", those who can't watch their mouths in public or behave properly. It's also the most catchy of Kanye's new crop of self-leaked songs thus far. 

    In fact, it's such an absolute brain-leech that I'm thinking of opening a breakfast place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called "Toast for the Douchebags" complete with drinks for each of Kanye's called-out variations: douchebags, assholes, scumbags, and jerkoffs.

    "Runaway" Cocktails (courtesy Suzan Eraslan )

    Douchebags: Something in a cocktail glass. Vodka, whatever the trendy liqueur of the moment is (so, in this case, St. Germain), and topped off with a splash of champagne.

    Assholes: Toast to the assholes...that's got to be a bloody mary, but instead of horseradish, it has wasabi and instead of worstershire, it has a splash of shoyu, and it's made with soju instead of vodka.

    Scumbags:  Jim Beam, lemonade, sweet tea vodka, and Brooklyn pilsner.  

    Jerkoffs: gin, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, dry vermouth, and a twist."Jerkoff"? Because if you drink too many of those, you are DEFINITELY not going to be in a state to fuck anyone.

    So raise a glass to Kanye, the Dave Eggers of hip hop, running shit again with "Runaway"...seriously on track to be one of THE songs of 2010.  What was your take on "Runaway"? And, more importantly, do you self-identify as bag douche or scum, asshole or jerkoff? 


    autotune: how ke$ha will save us from ourselves

    If you don't love Autotune with all your heart, I will fight you.

    So-called music critics, hipsters and professional pop haters spend a lot of time and energy looking down their noses and tugging their trendy beards, aghast at how Autotune is used as a "cheap crutch" when an artist "can't sing." A few of these haters may have cut their teeth on Cher, and sneered a lot at T-Pain, but really began to warble when Kanye dropped 808s and Heartbreak, an outrageously solid album inexecusably missing from Pitchfork's Top 200 Albums of the 2000s. 

    Indie darling Nick from the Islands tweeted that "non-stylistic use of Autotune was ruining music, and also I can't remember the words to my own songs, and have you any cocaine for me, dear sir?" (Maybe I'm paraphrasing a bit.) 808s was the most appropriate use of Autotune to date: Kanye West suffers for all of us, chief among his outrageous arrows the pain of losing his humanity. (Spike Jonze famously showed us a video of Kanye surgically removing his soul.)

    The way I see it, the arguments against Autotune have nothing to do with style.

    Click to read more ...