Kanye West has entered into a new stage as an artist and as a public figure. On one hand, there is his public persona—outspoken self-promoter, generator of outrageous soundbytes, and Kim Kardashian’s baby daddy. On the other, there is Kanye the artist—one of the most accomplished rappers and producers in the history of hip hop, the man that single-handedly changed the way that hip hop sounded in the 2000’s, and now the artist that is making the most emotional and challenging albums in modern music.
With his latest album “Yeezus,” Kanye West has created an experimental, confrontational, minimalist, and genre-bending piece of work that requires repeat listens to fully comprehend everything that is going on. It’s a bleak, industrial sounding album that feels both expansive and claustrophobic; his rapping is often replaced by primal screaming, and his boasts are often followed by statements of insecurity and even self-loathing. The album features production from Rick Rubin and guest appearances from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Chief Keef, Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, and more.
On this weeks Artist of the Week station, we pay tribute to Kanye’s musical evolution–from his early mainstream hits and the College trilogy through his more recent experiments. You’ll also hear his work as a producer, his collaborations, his influences, and his contemporaries.
Listen to Kanye West as Slacker’s Artist Of The Week here.