Kanye West turns 40 today and while the relationship between Kanye and some of his fans has soured a little bit recently, mostly out of straight up concern than anything else, Ye is still one of the greatest artists of our generation.
I remember buying The College Dropout in 6th grade and having my life completely changed by that album, playing it everywhere I went.
Realistically, I’m a Kanye stan. I’m willing to look past all the bullshit, the Kardashian marriage, the meltdowns, the beef with Hov, chilling with Trump (actually can’t really forgive that one), and appreciate all the beautiful shit he’s given us over the years.
I mean, dude still hasn’t made a bad album.
You may have your qualms with 808’s or Yeezus, but Kanye has always been ahead of the curve, changing the way we thought about hip-hop and hip-hop production.
Kanye inspired a whole generation of producers who were tired of sitting in the background, passing their beats off to more famous rappers.
Ye gave a lot of dudes the confidence to step out of the shadows and say their own bit.
Of course it’s become cliche to reminisce about the “Old Kanye,” Kanye even talked about it on “I Love Kanye,” but there is definitely some nostalgia for the old Pink Polo, backpack-wearing, soul sampling Kanye West of old.
It’s hard not to miss that Old Kanye, at least to some extent, when watching this video of Kanye chopping up Shirley Murdock’s “Cant Go On Without You” and turning it into one of his signature mid-2000’s beats.
He had such a distinct sound and style, no one was touching Ye on the beats during this period.
This video was taken during the recording process of “Graduation” in 2007, but the song Kanye spins up here was never even released.
Still, the beat is fire and you can see Kanye’s recording and writing process, how he gets the idea for the song based off the sample.
This video is a little window into Kanye’s process, but also his personality. Before all the stresses and tragedies in his life took place and he was just happily making beats, chopping up old soul songs, and wearing polos.
Kanye will always be one of our favorites and we’ll inevitably bang with whatever he makes next, as he’s supposedly holed up on a Wyoming mountain making his album. But, we must admit, we can’t help but fondly look back of the ol’ days with a little bit of sadness.
Happy birthday Yeezy, keep doing you.