Kanye West…Some people are so smart, they appear stupid.
Most geniuses live a life of border-crossing the fine line into insanity. Its even worse when the focus of the mad man is music. I’ve watched Kanye West bloom and wither over several seasons throughout his career, and I’m completely inspired by the bipolar highs and valleys of his music and style. Kanye is a household name by now, and most can easily recall his confident personality without issue. We’ve seen him say and do some inconsiderate things, but the magic is how he manages to offset those actions with worldly acts and works of art that pioneer music towards a new horizon.
It’s like we can never know what to expect from the guy. And I love that about him as an artist. Is he going to hijack a Taylor Swift moment of success, or is he going to release a “Jesus Walks?” Is he going to ignore a teleprompter for an impromptu political assertion against George W. Bush, or is he going to make a new sneaker? Will he walk head-on into a metal pole in front of TMZ and girlfriend Kim K, or is he going to revolutionize PR strategy for an album release?
And he’s done just that. “New Slaves,” does not appear in any way to be a single off his upcoming album, “Yeezus,” but he nonetheless chose to do something special with the record. Rather than doing the traditional thing, where you release the audio of a song, or a teaser of the video, or some sort of snippet….Kanye chose to film a post-apocalyptic video, seemingly black and white, with high contrast and film grain destruction. And with the help of others scattered across the nation, Kanye managed to project this mini-music video against the facades of famous landmarks, simultaneously in major cities across the US. The beautiful part about this whole concept, is that Kanye never uploaded the film to his youtube or blog or website, but rather relied on fans and spectators to create a “user-generated” buzz that didn’t rely on blogs, billboards, and interviews. Once again, Kanye leads the pack with a new idea, that leaves every other artist in the dust, as if they are using some business model or music style from the stone age. The song appears to be an intro or interlude, and I’m excited to see what the rest of his album has in store, considering how exciting he made this release.
In fact, I was so happy to inhale this breath of fresh air, that I found myself writing my own lyrics to the beat, after only minutes of hearing the original version. I’ve long been a fan of the counter-culture, and I even believe there to be destructive forces at the helm of society. Call me a conspiracy theorist. “New Slaves” captured my attention and allowed me the avenue to pursue forward in the direction of conscious political rap, which often too bitter tasting for those seeking milk chocolate. But we live in a time where the music seems to be all frosting and no cake, and I think the people have over dosed on the sweet, and on a subconscious level, desire to be awakened. I can’t speak for Kanye, but version of the song is a warning, that the future is our responsibility, and a passive approach to social, economic, and environmental issues will certainly result in misery.
I go a bit further in my lyrics, brushing the surface of heavier topics like Monsano NK603 cancer corn, the Federal Reserve currency scandal, and the effect of post-colonialism on Black Americans. Food, currency, and race are huge problems for me and the greater American populations, and whole songs could be dedicated to each topic alone. But I didn’t want to preach on this record, I wanted to imitate my idols, like Pink Floyd and Radiohead and Sly Stone, who always managed to use subliminals and other clever techniques in their songs to allude to heavy topics without destroying the primer sheen of entertainment that shines on top.
So I hope that you enjoy, share, and repost my version. Remember that I make music for you!
(PS. Don’t forget to download the .MP3 below by clicking “Download” on the right side of the player!)