Musical Appreciation

Musical Appreciation: Kanye West “POWER”


Welcome to Musical Appreciation. Let’s flash back to 10 years ago. Kanye West was the biggest name in music at the time and was at the forefront of changing the sound of hip-hop. He released 808s & Heartbreak, an album that divided everyone because of its huge departure in sound. Funny enough, people warmed up to that album since its release due to its influence on modern rap and pop music AND because of the circumstances that caused its creation. Kanye just lost his mom and his engagement broke off, which explains why 808s was emotionally broken and cold. A year later, the VMAs incident occurred and he became public enemy number one. Dude received so much backlash that it reached the point where President Obama called him a jackass. People really blew this out of proportion. Was he being douchey? Yeah, but the way people over-reacted was as if he got on stage and shot a puppy. Fast forward to 2010 and Kanye releases a new single which is today’s Musical Appreciation. You’ve probably heard this song in a million commercials. This is POWER.

This song was Kanye’s return to rap after 808s and he made one hell of a statement with this song. He was letting people know, “this is who I am and you don’t have to like it, but you’re gonna have to deal with it.” Brash, unapologetic, and doesn’t care what others think. This is the Kanye we all know and either love or hate. Anyone who’s ever made fun of him or criticized him are in his crosshairs, including SNL.

Fuck SNL and the whole cast
Tell them Yeezy said they can kiss my whole ass
More specifically they can kiss my ass hole
I’m an asshole? You niggas got jokes!

Yeesh. I mean, I understand not liking SNL since some of their material sucks, but damn. Kinda harsh, don’t you think? Anyways, let’s talk about the production and how epic it sounds. The vocal melodies combined with a shredding rock beat makes for a post-apocalyptic soundscape. Dwele also contributes vocals to the song. And it also contains a sample of 21st Century Schizoid Man by prog rock band King Crimson. That song was very critical of the Vietnam War and the politicians behind it.

POWER made people take Kanye West seriously again and would be followed by the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is considered one of the best albums of the decade. And the song would get played on nearly every commercial, movie, TV show, video game, etc. To no surprise, some people got sick of this song because of this. Me? Never. It’s still a fantastic song no matter the overplay.

And that was Musical Appreciation. Next time, we’ll talk about The Message.



Happy Wasteland Day-Open Mike Eagle