Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

I don’t know if there’s been an album since that has had the same effect on me, other than perhaps Yeezus to a certain extent, but by Yeezus I was expecting something amazing and we got it. With this, I liked Kanye, but it was a slow build-up. He had a thing in the run up to this album, Good Fridays, where they’d put out a song every Friday, and during that build-up it was the last time, as a music fan, I was truly happy. There was rap I’d liked and I’d listened to grime, I’d never had that relationship with American rappers until Kanye and Drake. I’d give it a 10 out of 10, but it’s an imperfect album for all the Chris Rock ‘Yeezy reupholstered my pussy’ stuff. But it wouldn’t be a Kanye album without that. Also I think they sampled the wrong part of Aphex Twin’s ‘Avril 14th’. But I’m splitting hairs. It starts with Nicki Minaj doing a Roald Dahl paraphrase from Revolting Rhymes in a dodgy British accent… who could pull that off? To start an album like this then maintain your attention from beginning to end.

Kanye said that with this album, he wanted to show people he could make perfect music. And that’s what it is. Bear in mind this is a few years after he’d taken that award off Taylor Swift. Obama had called him a jackass. It was when he was on the wrong side of history. Anyone else would have been done. It takes someone with an ego the size of Kanye to come back from that. He’s definitely fallen off but I hope there’s still great music to come. But even if he doesn’t, for his first three albums, then this and Yeezus as a one two punch… I don’t know if there’s anything comparable. It was also in an era where the album as a concept was starting to lose importance due to the internet, until Kanye redefined it. Would Frank Ocean have the same attention to detail and spend as many years making his albums as he does without those Kanye albums?


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