By now, most of us have been hypnotize by Lorde's single "Royals." A friend says the song makes her think of an excerpt from "The Gay Gods of Hip Hop" that states:
"On the flip side, a white girl with a "ghetto name" hit a lucky homer with "Gucci Gucci." Kreayshawn's catchy hook over a traditional Oakland booty baseline temporarily turned designer damsels into basic bitches. The singer Jessie J also scored points against superficiality with the substance of "Price Tags." Then your boy Macklemore turned up the snub of materialism with the grand slam song "Thrift Shop." His lyrical content made him a certified player who would rather pull off a heist before paying $120 for Kanye's plain white tee. Have you seen the official unofficial video for "New Slaves?" It's interesting how these white artists switch tags while the black ones are willingly to pay for "rich nigga racism" just because they can afford it."
The message of "Royals" is definitely an extension of that. I have a polar reaction when the radio plays almost any rap song right after Lorde. There's a conflicted value system in our culture that's gone far beyond thug motivation.
"But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin in the bathroom,
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin the hotel room,
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams."
Everybody's guilty of conspicuous consumption to different degrees but something is seriously wrong as it relates to the realities of today's economic climate. There's a denial and disconnect. People are even making social, moral and talent judgment calls based on whoever appears to be richer. #winning
"But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece,
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash,
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair."
I know a diss track when I hear one. Who's going to respond, or deny?
I like opulent arrogance and talking shit, so let's have an honest conversation about the point Lorde is making without calling anyone a hater. Smoking my rent and rocking a mortgage in jewels is quite the accomplishment, but the abundance of it gets annoying and insulting. People want less commercials and more inspiration.
"That kind of luxe just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz."
Few rapper's discography have more depth than Kanye's body of work. That's what is most frustrating about watching him on Jimmy Kimmel Live speaking passionately about his obstacles in the fashion industry as if it was a crucifixion. Looking back at this satanic summer, is Yeezus talking about leather sweat pants with the relevance of a bloody hoodie? Is naming a clothing line after a popular brand of pots associated with cooking coke make it a high end version of State Property? So is the inspiration to create couture or a marketing strategy to sell like crack? Can Kanye even sew? I know it sounds cynical but I'm really asking. Perhaps the fashion houses had similar questions.
I hate focusing on him but his antics take up so much space. He starts off the first to admit being self-conscious but now speaks about his dreams in a way that makes the mission for G.O.O.D sound selfish and vain. I mean it's not like he was talking about starting a fashion school on the Southside of Chicago.
There's a difference between being a trendsetter and a fashion designer. Just like there's a difference between someone who has an idea for what a phone should do and what Steve Jobs actually did. Let's properly discern the vivid imagination of a dreamer vs. the visions of an architect. I'm not categorizing Kanye because in many ways, he is both. I'm saying our society's lazy vernacular sometimes uses the term "genius" when "brilliant" is probably more appropriate.
"We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen,
Life is great without a care, we aren't caught up in your love affair."
As far as defending his girl's honor, it was a romantic gesture (especially since she was backstage during the interview), but just because she's among the most famous people today doesn't mean the rules must change at the height of her success. One day, when Kim Kardashian eventually has a star on the Walk of Fame (that so many will take pride in defacing), there will be some ultra famous Internet sensations with the same gripes, referencing her to support their argument of popularity.
"My friends and I -- we've cracked the code.
We count our dollars on the train to the party."
There's an abundance of institutional warfare going on in America. Kanye is one the few who can be a general for injustice, yet, on this grand occasion, he'd rather take on the Walk of Fame committee as if Kim's plight was the contemporary equivalent to Marian Anderson in Constitution Hall. Does any of this have a deeper purpose than ego and stock value? Read a rep's response to Kanye bitching about her not getting a star. It makes sense and he often, just doesn't.
"And everyone who knows us knows we're fine with this,
We didn't come for money."
I'll end noting I believe in Kanye West, the man and the artist, but his somber thoughts can be that of a bad drunk. Interestingly, Lorde did a cover version of Kanye's "Hold My Liquor." He should think about covering her brilliant song while basking in his genius because that young lady of 17, just might, end up being the voice of her generation.
"And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule - Let me live that fantasy"