Anyone’s Business: Sweet Yeezus

By: In Our Words Staff

Saturday Night Live - Season 38

Welcome to Anyone’s Business, an article made by you.  We pose a question and your comments make up the piece.

Kanye West debuted two charged songs on the season finale of Saturday Night Live, “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves”.  Sparsely instrumented, West’s powerful and growling voice coated lyrics that spoke against anti-Black racism, classism, and the pervasive and corrosive assumptions about race and masculinity.  Accompanying visuals were equally stark– barking dogs, black hoods, and price tags flashing– as West was framed like a classic bust in the only spotlight; it was reminiscent of performance art and the cadence was similar to slam poetry.

Is this all purely radical posturing though?  After the glory and excess of “Watch the Throne”  and his relationship with Kim Kardashian– who in someways has become emblematic of the consumerism Kanye claims to be beyond– is this just trying a new persona to create revenue?  Though we can applaud him as a figure in pop culture speaking out against social problems, is he genuine? (Similar questions can be asked of rappers like Macklemore producing “Same Love”).

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One response to “Anyone’s Business: Sweet Yeezus

  1. I think Kanye’s music speaks for itself. His personal life, including political and relationship choices, are irrelevant to me. I loved both SNL performances (and I also shed a single Hader-filled tear).

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