Now, I consider myself a fan of Kanye West. I think he’s a remarkable producer and an emcee who continues to get better. I even find him to be an entertaining personality.
But Kanye works great when he’s working with someone else. When he collaborated with Jon Brion on Late Registration I was slayed. And when Common teamed with him on Be it blew my mind.
His latest team up might be his greatest ever.
My best friend just clued me in on this.
Being a fan of both Kanye and Zach, it would be an understatement to say that I was floored. The only way for a Kanye West song to be better than the first time you heard it is to watch Zach Galifianakis interpret a video for it.
Now to say “this was the best video I’ve seen in forever” doesn’t really mean much because (a) I don’t watch videos that often and (b) lately videos have tended to suck. But this video kept my attention rapt. I couldn’t turn away and was afraid to blink.
I really wish that Galifianakis could reach a wider audience.
But this got me to thinking about interpretations, because just yesterday I picked up Pharoahe Monch’s Desire and Mark Ronson’s Version, both of which feature covers of some of my favorite songs.
Words can’t describe my elation to hearing Pharoahe’s version of “Welcome to the Terrordome”. That song meant so much to me when I was younger. It was practically my anthem. “Fight the Power” got all of the fame and glory, but I always thought that “Welcome to the Terrordome” matched my mindstate more. So to hear that Pharoahe not only put his stamp on it, but also remained true to the spirit and tone of the original, really impressed me. Not because I doubted Pharoahe’s ability, but rather because I cherished the original so much.
I was equally impressed with Version. I remember when Mark Ronson was a just Roc-A-Fella affiliate, so I’m pretty happy that he’s the only former member who’s actually successful. Though I had a few reasons to pick up the album (I was a fan of two of the original artists and two featured on the album), but no real reason to expect anything substantial.
The I don’t know what’s more surprising; that I dug the reworking of “Just” when I love the original, or that I kind of dig “Toxic” despite loathing the original. I guess it’s probably the former, because I love Radiohead. I’m one of those Radiohead fans who staunchly believes that The Bends was their best album and that most people who claim Ok Computer are just trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about.
Anyway, the track is surprising because it’s a departure from the original in that it’s got lush production. But it still retains enough of the spirit of the original that I can connect with it. Plus just hearing the lyrics reminds me of the video.
I mean the only way that video could have been better is if Zach Galifianakis had done it.
Bet, the talk of the video has brought be full circle. Nice.