Preview: Kanye Dig It?

If nothing else, the man knows how to put on one hell of a show

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 11 Aug 2007

There are plenty of reasons to hate Kanye West. He sampled Shirley Bassey, which resulted in even the biggest music snobs catching themselves absent-mindedly singing "Diamonds Are Forever". He tried to make Maroon 5’s head muppet Adam Levine cool by recording a single with him. He unleashed omnipresent screechathon Golddigger on the world, persuading Jamie Foxx to live out his Ray Charles fantasies just that little bit too long, and, well, he’s got a lot more money than you. If that wasn’t enough, he’s gone and sampled Daft Punk’s "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" on his new single, which, depending on your opinion of Daft Punk, is heresy or a stroke of genius (hint: most people are on Daft Punk’s side).

So what reasons are there to like him? He’s accessible without dumbing things down, and boy, does he know his way round a hook. His choice of samples are inspired: rather than get some random girl to pant throughout the chorus, he seeks out the weird and wonderful. And, while his ideas can be a bit hit and miss, it’s hard to argue with results like "Jesus Walks". Now, with Jay Z and Eminem noticeable by their absence, Kanye’s globe-straddling status seems unrivalled. He has more spark and originality than 50 Cent, is significantly less obnoxious than Akon and can pull off a party track with more finesse than Eminem ever managed. If nothing else, the man knows how to put on one hell of a show, and uncomplicated fun is pretty much guaranteed. His T On The Fringe gig being booked for the modest-sized Corn Exchange rather than Meadowbank Stadium is something of a mystery; you can bet that no one will be having quite this much fun with the Foo Fighters. Love him or hate him, he’s still achingly relevant, and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.