Undertones Make It Pop

Stronger Revisited from Kanye West on Vimeo

I'll admit it, I get down on Kanye West a lot. I never understood why he got popular for speeding up R&B samples, a.k.a. "chipmunking", a rudimentary sampling tactic which had been going on long before he tried it. I have never cared for the blatant, just-add-a-drum-track style of sampling he often employs, either. And I personally don't see or hear enough original talent to justify his notoriously pissy arrogance. On top of that, it bothers me that someone of his disposition has come to represent the Chicago music scene to the masses. He's from upper-middle-class Oak Lawn, not proper Chi-Town - and folks* in the city of big shoulders just don't whine like he does.

That said, I find this clip sort of endearing. Kanye just can't get his drums sounding the way he wants, and has to consult eleven(!) different mixers... until finally Timbaland schools him about undertones and proper drum-tone layering. Watching it, I considered that maybe West is so desperate to win awards because it won't be long before people realize his naiveté. It's almost cute, in a way. He's really just trying to become a super-star.

But, back to my beef with him, that's the approach you expect from NYC or LA, not our beloved Illville. (I know, I know... then how do I explain Billy Corgan? I don't; he's another over-entitled rich kid from the burbs clamoring for attention over integrity.)

Clip courtesy of E.
[* Full disclosure: I'm originally from the "Chicagoland" part of NW Indiana, and truly dislike it when people claim to be "from Chicago" when they actually live outside the city limits, sometimes further from the actual city than I was growing up in Indiana.]

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