Listen, I could talk bout this video all day. I could talk about how this video makes “Wish you Would” my favorite song of the summer (much in the same way Pusha T’s video for his Young Money diss track took that song from “stepped on” to “raw as fuck”), or I could talk about how Rick Ross’s improbable reign is probably over and that his spot will be taken by 2Chainz of all people, or I could talk about how much I love Hype Williams or I could talk about DJ Khaled’s roll as “every rapper’s friend,” or I could …
But I’m not going to talk about any of that.
So this seems like a good time to talk about Thunderdome Kanye.
There have been, in my estimation, four versions of Kanye West over the course of his career. They are:
1) Backpack Kanye (or Kanye 1.0) – This Kanye is the one that produced “Heart of the City” and “Down and Out” for Roc-a-Fella. KW1.0 was still focused on maintaining an obvious level of social consciousness. Every song on The College Dropout, and a couple of songs on Late Registration, is by Backpack Kanye.
2) Stunna Kanye (Kanye 2.0) – This Kanye has a little more money, a little more fame than KW1.0. He’s accomplished a lot and is willing to take a victory lap, but is still anchored in his soul-sampling beginnings. This Kanye is a little more jaded, a little more materialistic and a little bit harder along the edges. This is the first Kanye to do cocaine. All of Graduation is by Stunna Kanye. “Gone” is his theme song.
3) Heartbroke Kanye (Kanye 3.0) – This is probably the best Kanye. His mother is dead. His love life is falling apart. He’s putting himself on the line and getting emotionally slammed for it. None the less, he’s making some of the best, most honest, most imapctful music of his career. He’s also making 808s and Heartbreaks but, hey, we all got to work through some shit. This Kanye legitimately fell in love with Amber Rose, had it fall apart then made the best parts of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The last time we saw this Kanye publicly was when he took the mic from Taylor Swift. America reacted poorly to that and in return, Kanye became …
4) Thunderdome Kanye (Kanye 4.0)
This is a great, great Kanye. This Kanye is at the top of his game and popularity in the rap world. He moves mountains. Everyone wants to be on his tracks. He makes jobbers like Big Sean and 2Chainz into household names. He is absolutely done fucking around. You aren’t on board? Fuck you. He runs the Thunderdome.
He is a Monster. He leads a Hell of a Life. He bought his whole family whips, no volvos. He’s so appalled he doesn’t even sound like himself anymore. Needless to say, he watches the goddamn throne. He hides behind poles in a parking garage only to jump out and make Cyhi the Prince a rapper.
This Kanye is the result of hurt turning to anger. This Kanye uses his powers as a weapon. This Kanye is Magneto. Other Kanyes wanted us to love him.
Now he’s going to make us love him.
I love Thunderdome Kanye.