Look, I respect Kanye West and all, and I respect your musical opinion, dear reader, but this song--"Love Lockdown?" Hell nope.

You might really like this song, but I can't dig it. Ask Axe me about any other song Kanye has produced and/or performed; I'll probably defend it as either great, good or misunderstood. This one is just weird, and seems similar to the news of Palin being picked for VP, not very well planned out and intended for shock value. And Ye's taking a huge risk by having the extremely-overused vocoder voice effect featured so prominently in yet another currently radio-friendly "rap" song. Speaking of which, where's the rap? Eff that, where's the beat?

See... this song is so suspect that 50 Cent, who is pretty much dead in terms of relevancy in the realm of Hip-Hop, can mock it onstage. And sadly, the song is weird enough that 50 just might be able to catapult himself back into relevancy just by calling it out for what it is and getting fans to think he's trustworthy again. To me, Kanye got on some Palin-esque shit with this song, trying to fool the public with something outlandish. The scary thing is that it just might work, judging by the dumbness of the Hip-Hop audience and its readiness to accept anything that a marquis artist puts out with the assistance of the vocoder effect. And trust me, these artists would put out anything if not for true fans who voice honest opinions when it comes to G.O.O.D. Music. N.P.I.

I expect more; I expect better. I expect Hip-Hop. And I'm starting to feel towards Kanye the same thing I felt after Jay-Z put out Kingdom Come--like I'd be defending a guilty party if I said that the product wasn't indeed wack, which it kinda was. As much as I hate to say it, 50 might have a point with his parody of "Love Lockdown", because he's showing us that he's the ultimate stan, willing to challenge the artist he ultimately admires by making a point about quality.

I'm not saying that 50 deserves attention with this bullshit stunt he's pulled. It's just another desperate move among his many other feats of P.R. fuckery, proving that he can't just make a hit record anymore; I'm no dummy. But tell the truth: "Love Lockdown" sucks. And if a brand new artist that wasn't named Kanye West dropped that song, you'd never even consider downloading it for free, much less buying it. Call it whatever you like, just don't call it Kanye's best or even a hit record. "Flashing Lights", on the other hand, was a hit record, in case you forgot, and it didn't even need any hype or Hip-Hop debate to push it further; it was just dope.

All criticism aside, I do think Kanye is the new Quincy Jones, and he will end up furthering Hip-Hop music on the cultural time continuum, regardless of this understandable blip of failure. Hell, even Q has thrown up a recent creative BRICK. At least he waited until he was an O.G. to do what he knew was all about fast $, instead of half-stepping with his talent so comparatively soon when you look at other career successes. Back when he was Ye's age, he was all about keeping it creatively classic instead of safeguarded by standards. In my opinion, Ye went extra left with "Love Lockdown", and it could go down as one of his great, unfinished, undefined masterpieces that sank soon after sailing off the shore, unless the remix is extra wavy. And who's he going to get, other than T-Pain and Lil' Wayne? This one is way too predictable.


Before you try to pull my hater card, just know that I am a fan of Kanye, just as I am a fan of Cam'ron and Senator Barack Obama. All three are bricking something awful right now, and it's hard to cheer when you're alone in the bleachers, waiting for the seemingly extinguished fire to show some sparks of life. But I'm not saying that the next Kanye single won't be fire. I'm just saying that it'd better be, or it's going to be a cold winter.

Kanye, as a fan and a critic, I'll let you call me two-faced if I can call your new song wack as fuck and a half-assed attempt to steal Zapp & Roger's trademark sound, like T-Pain has done, with updated voice technology. Here's a free tip for aspiring artists thinking that "the robot thingy" is the way to recording industry success: If you can't sing, don't. Pardon the harshness, but I've always believed that an artist's biggest fans have the right to be the biggest critics, because they're brutally honest.


RAHZILLA said...

A true hip-hop journalist is influential, I see Kayne respect your voice and took you advice.



Rah, you know that shit's wack!

What's crazy is that the song played over and over in my head while I was in traffic court today, because I thought I was going to go to jail for speeding (85 in a 45).

That's the only time I can say I felt the song - when I thought it was a legal wrap for your boy. I say the remix shouldn't even be a remix. Just a new damn song. Same for "Jockin' Jay-Z."