“New Slaves” and Kanye Controversy

kanye

If there are three things that Kanye West does best, they are the following:

1. Being provocative
2. Being dramatic
3. Being unintentionally hilarious

After making the entire musically-inclined corner of the internet explode by cryptically tweeting “June 18th,” which has since become the presumed release date of his new solo album, Kanye has been playing with us like a killer whale plays with a seal. (Deputy editor’s note: If you haven’t seen a killer whale playing with a seal, please watch this video. It is very graphic and disturbing, and it is very much like this moment where Kanye is the whale and Taylor Swift is the seal. Also, speaking of killer whales and Kanye West, this just speaks for itself.)

On the 17th, Kanye tweeted that his newest single would be premiering in a unique fashion – with installation art video performances at scheduled locations across the globe.

Why he always tweets in all caps is also a mystery
Why he always tweets in all caps is also a mystery

The song that premiered on the sides of buildings all over the world is the supposed first single off the new solo album – possibly titled “Yeezus” – and is called “New Slaves.”

Kanye has never been one to shy away from controversial statements about race in America or about life in general and this new track is certainly no exception. Juxtaposing the standards of life on the streets and life among the stars, “New Slaves” certainly follows West’s knack for stirring up polemic audience responses.

“New Slaves” is less personal than some of his other tracks have been, considering the fact that all of 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (one of my favorite albums ever) is essentially a musical therapy session over the loss of his mother and the fallout over the Taylor Swift incident but Yeezy’s characteristic self-awareness is still evident. He knows that he is firmly entrenched in the upper echelon he raps about, but he still sees the effects of racism even at the top.

But it’s Kanye, so it’s bursting with attitude and loud-mouthed swagger. I’m already obsessed with it. Kanye has mastered the art of using overwhelming narcissism and materialism to cope with self-loathing and it shows on this track.

I throw these Maybach keys / I wear my heart on my sleeve
I know that we the new slaves / I see the blood on the leaves

He performed the song again this past Saturday as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live along with another new song called “Black Skin Head.” There’s clearly a heavy racial element going on with his new tracks, which may make some fans uncomfortable if the theme continues on the rest of the new album, but I doubt Kanye really cares how you feel.
 

If you’re ever feeling down, y’all should really consider trying Kanye’s coping method. It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you walk around acting like the sun shines for no one but you. In the meantime though, keep your eyes out for the latest music and antics from the ever-controversial Kanye.

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