…and, I was pretty impressed by the two songs he debuted, although I hope that his whole album doesn’t sound like this…

Kanye West, the rapper everyone loves to hate, debuted two new songs from his upcoming YEEZUS (rolls eyes) album on Saturday Night Live. They’re definitely a bit of a left turn if you were expecting music akin to “Gold Digger” or “Jesus Walks.” Both “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” have a strong electro feel. The former song is only peripherally “hip-hop,” but both songs are well-produced and lyrically provocative. If they become hits, they’ll certainly be the oddballs among whatever else is in the Top 40.

Even though I’ve cooled on Kanye the last couple of years, the fact remains that he’s one of the most intriguing figures in contemporary pop music today. He’s not pandering or dumbing down, although his focus and message has changed. Purists may malign this development, but truthfully: are you the same person you were ten years ago? If you are…you’re the one with the problem; not the person who’s changed. Kanye may not be as relatable as he was back when he was sporting polos and a backpack, but he’s gotten no less interesting. Pretty daring shit, if you ask me. Way more Depeche Mode than Mos Def. I’m more interested than I have been in a while to hear what he comes up with next.

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