By Lingxiu Chong
Everyone’s talking about the zany decisions Kanye West is making to diversify his creative work (designing sneakers, apparel, perhaps even furniture?). But here at The Hunt we’re going to zero right into his music, that often reveals the same experimental instincts at work, accompanied by a shrewd knowledge and passion for various genres of music. He uses sampling to build a web of cultural references beneath his tracks, with a knack for lesser-known cult sounds that turn his albums into an Easter egg hunt of sorts for music critics and nerds. Fact Mag pronounces Kanye West as the “master architect” of sampling, and clues us into the tunes scattered across his latest album The Life Of Pablo in this enlightening read.
Here are some gems:
He isn’t afraid to mix old and new.
‘Father Stretch My Hands’ takes its name and foundation from Chicago local legend Pastor T. L. Barret and pairs it with ‘Panda’ by Desiigner, a rapper so fresh his G.O.O.D. Music signing wasn’t made public until after the album premiered.
He has a sense of humour.
There’s the endlessly referenced ‘Jumpman’ meshed with Street Fighter samples before we’re thrown back into ‘Dirt & Grime’. It’s a funhouse of a song in the truest sense — disorienting, upsetting and confusing, but bookended by a grateful glimpse at reality.
He digs deep to relate music history on his terms.
The track ‘Answers Me’ comes from World Of Echo – FACT’s number one album of the 1980s. There are few singers with as much soul as Arthur Russell and the tragedy of his career is he was too ahead of his time for anyone to understand or appreciate it. Here — decades after his lonely death — West might finally help new listeners catch up to the man’s genius.
So there is method to the madness, and you’ll know what to add to the conversation next time someone geeks out over the Wests.
Want to try your hands on sampling? Take our introduction to electronic music production class at The Foxgrove.
(Via Fact Mag)
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