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Tuesday, December 02, 2008
1:29 PM

I Stan, You Stan, We All Stan


The thing about Kanye West is that while he often speaks the truth you don't want to acknowledge it because he has such a pompous and annoying way of wording things. In short: This dude proves a message can easily be lost by the messenger.

No matter how profound a given statement of his may be, he still manages to elicit responses like "shut the fuck up."

To that point:
"Nobody really wants to recognize that Beyoncé is a f***ing living legend and that she is just as great, if not greater, than the artists that we had in the past…that she’s probably greater than Tina Turner."
Judging from the responses I've read online, you would think he said I'll beat Tina worse than Ike. Already I've seen, "If not for Tina, there would be no Beyonce."

Duh. I don't think that's his point, though. Between this and the comments he made at the American Music Awards, I don't look at him as being disrespectful to Tina Turner and Elvis. Though it's hard to not argue that music has gone to shit, there are still quality acts out there. And when I hear him say Beyonce is a legend or he wants to be bigger than Elvis, I see it as him messing up legitimate points with his ego. But it doesn't take away from the truth of his comments.

Like it or not Beyonce will go down as a legend. She is the premiere entertainer of her generation. Sure, I would love for her to be of more depth, but she's an entertainer -- I don't look to her to explain the meaning of life while shaking her ass. Besides, there are plenty of older acts that are lauded now who never created anything like Songs in the Key of Life.

If people in their 40s and 50s can still break out into the electric slide while they wait for the microwave to go off I don't see why people won't be dancing to "Get Me Bodied" in a couple of years.

Whenever I hear people rant about the good old days, and "real artists," or who's better than x, y, z I laugh because it's exactly what the people before them said. Basically: Some people in their 20s and 30s are turning into their parents.

We look at Aretha Franklin as the Queen of Everything, yet you can find a couple of older folks who will tell you she doesn't have anything on Etta James, or that Gladys Knight's catalog is better. Some folks swear Florence Ballard trounced Diana Ross, and there's always some old fool lurking around that swears he was better than Marvin Gaye.

In the end, the narrative is the narrative. Beyonce will go down as a legend, so will Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson impersonators like Justin Timberlake and upgraded Bobby Browns like Usher.

And even if I don't agree with it, Kanye might be remembered as one of the biggest voices of generation given the fact that only three major artists these days seem to have an opinion about anything.

More times than not artists aren't acknowledged for their excellence while they're at their peak. We like to wait until their two weeks away from death to applaud them, which is why so many older acts way past their prime are given big kudos at the Grammy Awards about two decades too late.

Kanye doesn't believe he and his peers ought to wait for seniority to be acknowledged if they're killing it now. Why should they?

P.S. Welcome to B-Unit, 'Ye.

The Cynical Ones.
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