October is nearly done and I've realized what a slow year it has been for music. There have been a handful of strong albums but only Nas' Untitled stands out.
Kanye West hopes to change that. His latest album, 808s & Heartbreak, will be released Nov. 25. But I have news for Kanye - his album is gonna suck. And he knows it.
It's hard for me to come to the realization that Kanye's on the verge of dropping a brick. 2004's The College Dropout might be the best album I've heard in the past 5 years, regardless of genre. Its follow-up, Late Registration, is nearly as good. And while last year's Graduation doesn't measure up to the first two, it was still extremely strong.
Oh, but times have changed.
I'm sure you've heard his latest single "Love Lockdown" - if you can make it through the end without stabbing your ears with the nearest sharp object. And I just had the (dis)pleasure to hear what apparently will be the second single, "Heartless." It's another auto-tune abomination, like a whinier "Love Lockdown," if that's possible.
The thing that blows my mind is that he HAS to realize these songs suck. Kanye has produced or released some of the best songs in the past five years, he has to know crap when he hears it.
In fact, I believe he's trying to convince himself that this album won't bomb. Check out this first-person tidbit from someone who attended his album release party, courtesy of music.news.com:
After waiting in an area with an open bar and a DJ, we walked up a driveway illuminated by fluorescent lights to a darkened room where we saw 40 nude women. Most of them were wearing strange masks made of wool. The models stood in the middle of the room - black girls at the front and white girls at the back. Then the entire album played without any introduction or explanation.
That's the most blatant smokescreen I've ever seen. "Don't listen to my album, look at the naked ladies!" It's like trying to test drive a used car but the seller keeps talking about how pretty the paint is.
Check this out:
Kanye insists the women were "live performance artists" who appeared as part of an arranged art show he masterminded with Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft.
He calls them "live performance artists." In the hood, we call 'em strippers.
And one more thing:
After the playback, in front of 700 fans and industry professionals, had finished, Kanye appeared alongside the model and launched a foul-mouthed tirade against critics who are considering giving the album a negative review.
Complaining before the album is even released? Ah yes, he's lining up his excuses already. I can hear him now:
"I'm just being creative!" No, you're stealing T-Pain's gimmick, who stole it from Roger Troutman. And T-Pain SUCKS, by the way.
"I'm a veteran in the game, I deserve respect!" If you're a veteran, you should know better.
"If you don't like this, you don't like good music!" No, we know good music, this just ain't it.
Kanye's been running his mouth for years, but since he's consistently released good music I couldn't fault him. It's put up or shut up time.
Prove me wrong, Ye.
Do you think 808s & Heartbreak will tank? What albums are you looking forward to this fall?