- VH1 Soul is dead, long live Centric posted on March 29, 2010
- The ten most popular indie-rap artists… posted on January 11, 2011
- Digable Planets fracture, cancel tour posted on March 22, 2009
- Superlists!: Top Ten Femcees posted on March 24, 2009
- The Plug One Q&A: Flying Lotus posted on June 10, 2008
- R.I.P. Paper Thin Walls posted on August 29, 2008
- Zion-I tour dates posted on February 25, 2009
- Review: Atmosphere, “To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy” posted on September 9, 2010
- Warp loves labels posted on December 15, 2008
- Vibe’s demise posted on July 1, 2009
Tag Archives: Kanye West
Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Def Jam To understand why My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy earns its title, sounds both sensuously epic and a bit of a dick joke, and manages to combine deep melancholy and triumphant hubris … Continue reading
“Love Lockdown” is the latest stylistic shift from Kanye West. It’s a predictable move similar to West’s prior co-opt of French electro-house (“Stronger,” ironically just months after his beef with Justice) and Portishead-style downtempo (“Diamonds from Sierra Leone”). This one … Continue reading
Last week, Kanye West drove the Internet nuts with his latest proclamation: an upcoming spring arena tour. Dubbed the “Glow in the Dark Tour” and co-sponsored by Absolut Vodka, the North American jaunt will further West’s ambition of becoming the … Continue reading
Kanye West celebrates the good life on his third album Graduation: designer fashion labels, oodles of cheese, and blond dykes. Continue reading
I wish that I cared more about the SoundScan charts. If I did, then Plug One would have been one of the hundreds of thousands of websites that gleefully announced Kanye West’s opening week numbers for Graduation on Wednesday morning, September 19. (In fact, Billboard announced the news on the Tuesday night beforehand; SoundScan numbers are usually announced on Wednesdays.) Unfortunately, I don’t. But it’s hard to escape the implications of West’s achievement.
Graduation moved 957,000 copies in its first week. It was the most CDs sold by an artist since 50 Cent’s The Massacre moved 1.1 million units in March 2005. Graduation‘s sales dropped 76 percent the following week, but still managed to move 226,000 copies.
To his credit, West executed Graduation‘s pre-release promotion strategy flawlessly. He issued a teaser single, "Can’t Tell Me Nothing," that won him respect among hardcore adherents and mixtape DJs; and then cleaned up with "Stronger," which sailed to the top of the singles chart. "Stronger" capitalized on the burgeoning popularity of Daft Punk, which may be this year’s version of the Pixies (a.k.a. a band that builds its comeback through buzzworthy shows.) Then he milked the attention with countless "leaked" versions of the album and conflicting tracklistings, as well as more acclaimed mixtape cuts (such as "Big Brother.")
Yes, I know that I’m extremely late in posting the news about Kanye West’s third album (although, like everyone else, I’ve been writing about it all year.) At this point, a whirlwind of hype and buzz has already enveloped Graduation.
One of the tracks, "Stronger," sits on the Billboard top ten singles chart. Another, "Can’t Tell Me Nothing," gets constant airplay in urban markets. Two more, "Big Brother" and "Barry Bonds," are mixshow favorites. Meanwhile, 50 Cent, perhaps in a bid to pump up his failing fortunes, has announced that his Curtis dud will compete for the number one slot when both discs arrive on September 11. Even lame country singer Kenny Chesney has joined in the fun.
All of this fake noise is to ensure that West’s Graduation actually goes platinum; alarmingly, it would only be the second hip-hop album released this year to do so. Place your bets, Soundscan nerds! The track listing is below.
Well, it’s not even the end of May yet and the hype machine is revving up for Kanye West’s much-anticipated third album.
According to Island Def Jam via an MTV.com report, West’s Graduation will drop in September of this year. A Billboard.com story reported that a teaser cut produced by DJ Toomp, "Can’t Tell Me Nothing," has already leaked online in snippet form. Other anticipated cuts include "Homecoming" with Coldplay leader Chris Martin (who the New York Times’ Jon Pareles memorably called "the most insufferable band in rock") and "The Glory."
As if the prospect of dropping another mega album wasn’t enough, the most arrogant man in hip-hop is claiming major credit for two upcoming opuses, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III and Common’s Finding Forever. (West’s work on Common’s first single, "Say Something," has already found major favor with the bloggerati.) Apologies for my snarkiness…but when you’re confronted with someone as supremely talented and confident as West, you’re going to make sure he meets the bar. Regardless of how good it is (or isn’t), though, I have to admit that West gets a ghetto pass for life for dissing President George W. Bush on national TV.
I don’t care that Kanye West is making a show with Seinfeld’s producers or is throwing some temper tantrum at a European awards show (although Justice’s comeback was pretty funny). I let the pop culture dorks document his flipping-out-brat antics. But Kanye West actually earning a living by making new music? That’s news to me.
Yep, Kanye is back in the studio working on what will eventually be called Graduation, the third chapter in his ongoing advanced education saga. According to a recent story on Billboard.com, the album is already slated to feature every mainstream rapper’s favorite rocker, Chris Martin of Coldplay, whom will star on the tentative first single "Homecoming." (Past artists in the "mainstream rapper’s favorite rocker" position include John Mayer, Alanis Morissette, Limp Bizkit, etc.) Also featured is multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion, who helped produce Kanye’s Late Registration. Hopefully Graduation won’t be as over-produced as that chestnut, which mistook The College Dropout‘s grace and elegance for histrionic pretension.
But hey, enough sarcasm. Though he sometimes overdoes it, Kanye West is a great artist, one of the best of the new millennium, making his third album a major event. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for later this year — probably late summer/fall.