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Pitchforkmedia On Kanye West


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Kanye West wants nothing more than to be taken seriously as a rapper. In virtually every interview he conducts, he's all-too-eager to interject that he only got into producing as a means of providing himself with tracks to rhyme over. But if "Through the Wire" was a bit too gimmicky to convert nonbelievers, "Self-Conscious (All Comes Down)" should leave little doubt as to Kanye's skills on the mic, and he knows it: he's performed an a cappella version of the song for Russell Simmons' HBO series Def Poetry Jam, and is (at least as of press time) said to be using the track as the opening number off his heavily anticipated debut,The College Dropout.

For the self-proclaimed "first rapper with a Benz and a backpack," "Self-Conscious (All Comes Down)" is Kanye's stab at reconciling his own contradiction. His thesis here states that blacks only spend money on luxuries to hide their insecurities. A similar statement could be made for any race, of course, but that seems to be of little concern to West, who delivers passionate lyrics ("I'm so self-conscious/ That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches," "It seems we're living the American dream/ But the people highest up, got the lowest self-esteem") over a clipped loop from Lauryn Hill's abysmal Unplugged album that, remarkably, makes an absolutely killer instrumental. Hill has failed to allow sample clearance for the forthcoming album version, but this take, which is widely available via file-trading networks, is so strikingly refined and modest you might forget it came off Rocafella's talent roster. [Hartley Goldstein; January 22nd, 2004]

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest .::BeatFactory::.

Nice article... I didn't see it before, but good story. Nice mellow song with a good flow and rhythm.

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