While you wait for Kanye West to drop that new G.O.O.D. Fridays joint tonight...
This dutifully and painstakingly conceived feature over at Vulture is a must-read for all Kanye fans:
Kanye’s career has always been about appropriation, and the moment when appropriation bleeds into synthesis. His best work takes something recognizable and bends it into his orbit. That can be a near-direct lift (Jay Z’s “Izzo” sees West add drums to a pitched-around version of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”) or more oblique--as in “Runaway,” where he takes the Backyard Heavies drum loop that Pete Rock famously sampled on “The Basement” and wrapped in salmon-colored silk and antipathy. But there’s always value in tracing the source material. [...]
Where Kanye’s appropriation behind the boards is a long and complicated story, his work on the microphone is a little easier to trace. His writing is distinct and often autobiographical, but one of its most enduring (and endearing) hallmarks is his obsession with pop culture. [...] Until now, those scattered references and shout-outs have never been collected in one place.