Weekly Download Vol. IV No. 32

Blood on the Leaves – Kanye West

“I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.”

-Kanye West

“He’s a jackass”

– Barack Obama

“Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it. I guess every superhero need his theme music.”

-Kanye West (Power)

“Only Kanye West would take an American masterpiece about a lynching and use it to back a song about what a drag it is to have to attend basketball games with a girl you knocked up sitting across the court.”

-Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone

“You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, ‘This is wrong.’ “

-Kanye West

“Dicks. Swallowers. Mandatory croissants and Malcolm X. Asian pussy and raspy patois. Ghosts. Blood on the motherfucking leaves. Angular, immediate, supremely abrasive and alternately claustrophobic and colossal. Joyless even. Dark and troubling and spilling over into self-parody until it’s terrifyingly convincing. It’s hard to talk about this thing in actual sentences, because it hits like a fucking sack of doorknobs–and yet, there’s a ruthless focus to it. As many hyperbolic adjectives as people can throw at this thing, it’s still hard to say they’re exaggerating.”

-Will Bundy, Wine and Bowties

“Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?”

-Kanye West

“One of my favorite things about Kanye is that there’s always some personal flaws in his lyrics. He’s not trying to portray himself as some squeaky clean, perfect person.” —

-Hudson Mohawke (Producer, Blood on the Leaves)

“My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”

-Kanye West

As on “Runaway”, there’s something palpably sad about the men in these songs, which twists them away from misogynistic assertions of power toward feelings that are ultimately more self-destructive. As contemporaries like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Justin Timberlake increasingly devote their music to largely winning tales of contentment, Kanye is unwilling or unable to settle for settling down.

-Ryan Dombal, Pitchfork (9.5)

“Soon as they like you, make ’em unlike you/ ‘Cause kissing people ass is so unlike you.”

-Kanye West (I am a God)

“Based on my experience (as well as friends who have recently taken the parenthood plunge), new dads tend to be consumed with two thoughts. The first involves endlessly taking stock of your life and obsessing over how woefully unprepared you are to take care of another human being. As a man, you know you are inherently selfish, and recognize that most of your life until this moment has been a pursuit of self-fulfillment. You are wracked with guilt over fatherhood, but you don’t know how to change. (West in “Black Skinhead”: “I’m aware I’m a wolf / soon as the moon hit / I’m aware I’m a king / back at the tomb, bitch.” Notice he said tomb and not castle.) This is immediately followed by the second thought: Maybe fatherhood can be my salvation. It has to be my salvation.

I can’t really relate to all of the nightclub blowjobs and extramarital zillionaire hookups in the Hamptons that Kanye chronicles on Yeezus, but I think I understand the impulse to put out a record like this on the eve of his baby’s birth: To purify yourself, you must come clean. Anyone who accuses Yeezus of misogyny isn’t heeding the context or the malevolent music; Kanye West the man may be a misogynist, but as an artist he was honest — or perhaps just conceited — enough to make an album about his misogyny that vividly conveys just how boorish and ugly he can be at his worst. Because he’s such a colossal egoist, West’s only concern is how this ugliness makes him unhappy.”

-Steve Hyden, Grantland

“I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.”

-Kanye West

“There’s no pedestrian fuckery on this album. People are working their asses off to make the best shit, and Kanye’s leading the pack.”

– Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)(Backing vocals on I am a God)

 “I’m so gifted at findin’ what I don’t like the most.”

-Kanye West (Runaway)

“The low-point on Yeezus, Kanye West’s sixth album, is “I Am A God,” a rhythmically rote electro-buzz that inflates Kanye’s legendary ego to (literally) biblical proportions. That Kanye’s anointed himself as Jesus’BFF isn’t surprising: After a decade of hip-hop domination and high-profile media spectacles, the dude’s made plenty of enemies—Jesus may be the final person he hasn’t totally pissed off.”

-Ryan Reed, pastemagazine.com

“They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus, that means guns, sex, lies, video tapes, but if I talk about God my record won’t get played Huh?”

-Kanye West (Jesus Walks)

“It’s not that Kanye likes Jesus so much, it’s that he’s scared of him.”


“Mr. West has had the most sui generis hip-hop career of the last decade. No rapper has embodied hip-hop’s often contradictory impulses of narcissism and social good quite as he has, and no producer has celebrated the lush and the ornate quite as he has. He has spent most of his career in additive mode, figuring out how to make music that’s majestic and thought-provoking and grand-scaled. And he’s also widened the genre’s gates, whether for middle-class values or high-fashion and high-art dreams.”

-John Caramanica, New York Times

“I knew when I wrote the line ‘light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson‘ [from the song ‘Slow Jamz’] I was going to be a big star. At the time, they used to have the Virgin music [stores], and I would go there and just go up the escalator and say to myself, ‘I’m soaking in these last moments of anonymity.’ “

-Kanye West

“I feel really white right now.”



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2 Responses to Weekly Download Vol. IV No. 32

  1. Itinerantplaybyplayman says:

    And this mutha phucker went to Stanford.
    “They say “Oh you graduated?” No, I decided I was finished.”

  2. TMatt says:

    Well, Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college either…

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