Kanye West’s most recent Yeezy Season show as among his most well-received. Among the many looks were a few that used liberal amounts of fur. Singer and songwriter Sia, a supporter of PETA and animal rights in general, tweeted Kanye West soon after the show, asking him to stop using fur in his future collections.She attached a YouTube video to her tweet titled “Under The Fur Coats: Rabbits’ Screams of Death,” posted on a channel called Supreme Master Television. The title is… bombastic to say the least. We didn’t watch the whole video, but the first minute references an “Austrian telepathic animal communicator,” which is all we needed to hear.
Around the time the Graduation came out, I developed a philosophy for media consumption that I called the “Kanye rule.” Its premise was simple: judge art only for the contents Yeezy Boost 350 Pirate Black within, not for the extraneous actions of the artist. I used it to justify my adoration for Ye’s first two albums in the face of his controversial public image, which at the time amounted to his “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” quote and a few early award show capers (which now seem like small potatoes compared to the more infamous incidents that followed). As a teenager, I applied this “Kanye rule” to other artists whose work I enjoyed: Michael Jackson despite allegations of child molestation, film director Roman Polanski despite statutory rape charges, rock musician Elvis Costello despite his racist comments about James Brown and Ray Charles in 1979.Kanye’s first three albums are easy to enjoy without accepting his personal baggage— while largely honest and autobiographical, his boasts on wax (“I Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Triple White can stand there in a Speedo and be looked at like a fuckin’ hero," “Now everybody loves Kanye, I’m almost Raymond,” “Most you rappers don’t deserve a track from me”) paled in comparison to the statements he’d make in interviews and rants. But from 808s & Heartbreak on, each ensuing Ye album became exponentially more inseparable from the outspoken, brash side of his personality. By the time Yeezus arrived, he made it impossible to enjoy his work while rejecting the Kanye who says shit like “I am a God” and “Eatin’ Asian pussy all I need is sweet and sour sauce,” because he was actually saying those things on his albums! At that point, six years after Graduation, the “Kanye rule” had already begun to erode for me as I realized that I Yeezy Boost 950 couldn’t cape for people like R. Kelly, Phil Anselmo, or Chris Brown, no matter how much I enjoyed their music. Still, I didn’t give much thought to West’s egotistical and/or insensitive Yeezus lyrics, writing most of it off as a new father’s attempt at exorcising the last traces of his wild youth.The Life Of Pablo arrives after a monthlong shitstorm of a rollout process in which Kanye dominated the conversation due to pretty much anything but actual music. Constantly-changing tracklists and titles, vicious attacks on Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose, an awkward denial of assplay, that “album of the life” quote, the fake Rolling Stone cover, public defense of one man’s word against 50 women who’d accused him of sexual assault, and finally, interminable delays all weighed down on his seventh album before Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga the (incomplete) Madison Square Garden listening party even began. If I was to ignore all of this when it came time to actually hear the damn thing, I’d have to play dumber than ever.I ended up being shocked by what seems like TLOP’s most obvious attribute: it was made by the exact same dude who’s been wyling out in the past few weeks. And when I say exact, I mean that I really can’t detect a single instance of restraint or self-censorship on the album. Here he is, recklessly calling out Taylor Swift and Amber Rose, singing dumb shit about bleached assholes, asking “do anybody feel bad for Bill Cosby,” still editing the tracklist four days after release day, essentially boiling down his recent Twitter presence to 59 minutes of music. TLOP is Yeezy Boost 350 V2 great, and not in spite of these things, but because of them. His actions, persona and public reputation are key features of this album, which is a more complete portrait of a human being than almost any other full-length record in history.The struggle between his Christian faith and basest instincts has always been central to Kanye’s music, and TLOP is almost a straight-up concept album about that. Whereas Yeezus’ biting lyrics were backed up by grating, metallic electronic and industrial music, TLOP’s are thrown into Yeezy Shoes sharp relief by only the most spiritual forms of black music. Whether it’s Kirk Franklin and Pastor T.L. Barrett’s gospel, Nina Simone’s soul, or Kings of Tomorrow and Larry Heard’s early house music, most of the samples on here seem chosen for their uplifting and redemptive qualities (if you don’t think house can be spiritual, you’ve never heard Fingers Inc's “Can You Feel It”). Selection based on mood rather than style and sound definitely yields a more eclectic album than Yeezus, but TLOP seems more cohesive than most early reviews are giving it credit for. Sure, the tracklist may still be a work in progress, and the transitions aren’t as smooth, but it all (with the possible exception of “Facts”) feels of a distinct piece.
The 2016 NFL Playoffs are ready to go this weekend and it looks like adidas is outfitting their marquee athletes with a grey suede colorway of the adidas Yeezy 750 Cleats. These are similar to the grey/gum colorway of the Yeezy Boost 750 that came out in 2016, only this version features a turf/grass-ready cleated sole. Yeezy Boost 350 Should adidas release these to the public?