Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Kanye West's Big Mouth Painted By George Condo

condo kanyeMan, when you're on a roll. To accompany his comeback single "Power," which has many people standing up at their computer terminals to shout out loud and type extra hard about how much they love it, Kanye West went and got the renowned New Hampshire-born artist George Condo to paint his portrait for the cover. Kanye has often rapped self-reflectively about his ego and big mouth (famously calling himself an "international asshole" on 2005's "Diamonds From Sierra Leone") but to see the self-criticism depicted visually like this, and after his foibles landed him in so much trouble at last year's VMA's, it's pretty cool.


Meanwhile, the rest of the hip-hop world just tries to keep up. R&B singer/songwriter The-Dream bites the artwork from Kanye's last album, 808s & Heartbreak, for the cover of his new album, Love King.

love king


And Eminem goes in for some art-appreciation at a museum in France:
em mona lisa

8 Comments / Post A Comment

Art Yucko (#1,321)

But if we can hump dead animals and antelopes
then there's no reason that a man and a MonaLisa can't elope

deepomega (#1,720)

Whose scratchy straw hair is E standing next to? Is that a broom?

flossy (#1,402)

George Condo is awesome. That is all.

Such an eminigmatic look to that last one.

Dave Bry (#422)


Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Eminem? Dude's been rocking that Blue Steel for a good four years now. Remember when he used to make all sorts of goofy faces when he started?

OK, motherfuckers. I didn't want to get into it, but…

Here's the thing about Kanye: If he wasn't all of himself, you wouldn't get any of the good parts. Kanye's "big break" was all those beats he did for Roc-A-Fella at the turn of the century. Nobody thought he could rap well and most people at the top (Dame and Jay) didn't even know he could rap. He could've easily spent a career just making one-off beats for the Roc's roster or, at most, making his own production lane like Just Blaze has done.

But Kanye knew he could do more.

The only way he could power through all those people telling him to stick to the beats was to create that super ego. That's what allowed him to save all those good beats for himself, start making his own album and put out his own work. The College Dropout was materialized through sheer force of will. Shit, Sheer Force Of Will could've easily been an alternate title for The College Dropout.

Furthermore, that same super ego is what allowed Kanye to push even farther, resurrecting Common's career with Be, getting Jon Brion to exec. produce Late Registration, taking hip-hop to a whole new world with Graduation and going completely, fearlessly left with 808s.

If you want the genius, you have to deal with the madness, too. Forgive me for another Prince/Kanye comparison, but if you want all those amazing Prince songs, you have to deal with the ass-pants and the Jehova's Witness-ism. I know everyone wants their heroes to be perfect, but it takes so much to get to the point of genius, that you need that madness to get there. Especially in hyper-competitive hip-hop. We either get all of him, or we get none of him. I prefer my heroes to be themselves and don't get upset when they're not more like me.

This is just the tip of my Kanye-Stannery iceberg.

The man said it himself:

"Now I could let these dreamkillers kill my self-esteem/Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams/I use it as my gas, so they say that I'm gassed/But without it I'd be last, so I ought to laugh…"

curatrix (#871)

I wonder if Murakami is a fan and advised him to do it. At least it's not another Kehinde Wiley portrait.

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