Good Things This Week

The Power Remix dropped. I love it. I’ve listened to it countless times. I wish Kanye didn’t regress to “don’t put out? I’ll put you out!” style misogynylol at the very end, but annoyance is somewhat ameliorated by how nice it is to hear what a good rapper he has become.

Seriously. Let’s talk about this now, because I don’t think I ever wrote a blog post about my fucking anger at how many times The College Dropout made best of the aughts lists over Kanye’s later albums, or was referred to as Kanye’s breakthrough-and-best. It’s not. It’s just not. If it’s your favorite, fine, and it’s a really good album and has its specific charms, but Late Registration and definitely Graduation (and, because I’m feeling bitchy, I’m going to argue 808s and Heartbreak as well, even) are all better albums. Kanye’s songwriting keeps getting better, his production keeps getting more ambitious and he keeps pulling it off. The most striking thing to me is his rapping, it keeps improving by leaps and bounds. On TCD I liked him as an emcee, which went a long way, but his rapping was only okay. Now he has verses that are better than Jay-Z’s when they go head to head on a song. What is that? His rhymes are better and more versatile, his flow has become a distinct, serious weapon, and he keeps switching it up. It’s something. It’s pretty inspiring, really, the man keeps pushing himself as an artist in the way few who taste pop success with what could be formulaized do. He could have become College Dropout kitsch, but he keeps moving forward in accordance with the artistic waves that seem to genuinely inspire him. I wish that Gaga/West tour would happen now. Or, better yet, a West/M.I.A. tour, the Hated On tour. It would be great.

Anyway, apart from the brief sexist detour, the song is just great. Really. Five mics. I wonder if all those pics of Kanye and Swizz and Mos Def in the studio were a fakeout, as I didn’t hear anything about Jay being on the track ’til I actually heard the song. It’ll be nice if Mos is on something on the new album, though.

Seriously though, I’ve listened t the thing like ten times today. It makes me feel so much better.

-If I weren’t listening to the Power Remix so much, I’d probably listen to this more:

It’s Jean Grae on a 2001 Mr. Len album called Pity the Fool. Matador put it out; I guess something went sour there because on Jean Grae’s own excellent solo debut, Attack of the Attacking Things, she has a track called “Knock” on which she wishes “a big ‘fuck you’ to bitch Chris Lombardi at Matador”.

Here is some sort of fairly official looking video, though Jean Grae is not in it, It’s also not the full 9 minute song, which is very worth hearing in its entirety. But, if you’re interested:

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