411 Music Fact or Fiction: Would Kanye Be A Good American Idol Host?
Welcome to the 411 Music Fact or Fiction! This week, Joseph Lee takes on Jeremy Thomas.
Kanye West would have been a poor choice to host the American Idol reboot.
Joseph Lee: FACT – Kanye seems like he’d be really uncomfortable trying to be happy all the time hosting a show like American Idol. When he’s not bragging about himself in concert or in interviews, he gives off a more withdrawn vibe. His ego also tells me that he’d be unable to resist the urge to make the show all about him.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT – Whatever I may think of Kanye West as a person, he’s a consummate artist whose music I generally enjoy. That being said, he doesn’t have the kind of outgoing personality that is needed to host a show like American Idol. Look at the man in interviews and the like; he is charismatic but he doesn’t have the gregariousness you would need to really fulfill the job of a host. A host is a hype person; for all people love to make fun of him for this or that Ryan Seacrest was a great host, and Carson Daly is similarly a great host for The Voice. West just doesn’t have that demeanor to him and I think he would have been an ill fit for the role.
It’s a good idea for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre to be involved with Tupac’s Hall of Fame induction.
Joseph Lee: FACT – They’re more linked to Tupac than most rappers around today, so why not? Unless you buy into those Tupac is still alive rumors from back in the day, there’s not a lot of options here.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT – I mean, Suge Knight’s not available so…all kidding aside, I think Snoop (and Dre, if he does end up being involved) are perfect inductees. They had professional and personal connections with Tupac and they are a big part of that era of rap’s representation. An induction and performance by them would be a great way to honor and celebrate Shakur’s legacy at the Hall of Fame. At this point Snoop has officially been announced to induct him, though Dre has not officially been announced as involved. Hopefully he does get on board for the performance, though if it’s just Snoop that’s fine too.
You enjoyed Gorillaz’ new video “Saturnz Beatz.”
Joseph Lee: FACT – I enjoy pretty much everything related to Gorillaz. This video was fun and the song was catchy, just like most of their videos and singles.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT – Visuals have always been one of Gorillaz’ strengths, and “Saturnz Barz” is another fun video from them. I always love a video that tells a story and this is a trippy, creepy little bit of narrative accompaniment to the track, which is itself pretty good. Jamie Hewlett put together a video with a lot of freaky moments right from the beginning (look at that face in the window). It’s probably not going to end up being as famous as, say, their video for “Clint Eastwood” for example, but I really liked it.
Rick Ross’ “Idols Become Rivals” wasn’t very good.
Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – I’m not going to say I loved it, but it was a decent diss track. My biggest problem with the track is that he really has to work to make some of the lyrics fit the rhythm, and that’s a problem. But lyrically its pretty decent; the delivery doesn’t have the fire you expect from a track like this but it tells a fine story and there’s no mistaking the shots he’s taking at Birdman. If you can get past Ross’ usual foibles (does he really need to throw that damned “Maybach Music” sample in every track?), it’s pretty good.
Joseph Lee: FACT – I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not well-versed in hip-hop, but Rick Ross is the nadir of the genre for me. I don’t like his lyrics, I don’t usually like his beats and that “Maybach Music” sample repeating all the time makes me want to shoot myself.
Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Pt. 4” was a disappointing track.
Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – It wasn’t at the level of some of Kendrick’s absolute best work, but it was right in his wheelhouse and stands strongly on its own. This track is getting a lot of attention for its line about Donald Trump, but that’s just a couple of syllables and the rest of the song is actually the more interesting part. With four separate beat changes, it’s typical Lamar in terms of not wanting to go along with a safe, conventional form. He takes shots at Drake, Big Sean and others with his usual standard of verbal flexibility. Is it on the level of “Swimming Pools,” “The Blacker the Berry” or “Alright?” No, but that doesn’t neceesarily make it a disappointing track either. It’s one of the better rap songs to be released in the first part of the year, for sure.
Joseph Lee: FICTION – Kendrick hasn’t put out a track that I haven’t enjoyed on some level. This one’s not his best work, but it’s still a good listen and the butthurt it caused over a couple of its lines (you know the ones) was funny. It’s amazing how quickly a dude loses all of his artistic merit just because he doesn’t like a dude you like. It’s like, I think Ted Nugent’s a nutter, but I’m not going to suggest “Stranglehold” was crap.
You’re not interested in the 2 Chainz’s upcoming collaboration with Nicki Minaj.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT: I am not a 2 Chainz fan and consider him one of the more inexplicably successful hip-hop artists working today, while Nicki Minaj’s potential as an artist has been unrealized for far too long for me to care about her music. Now, they could surprise me and come out with something great, and in that case I will definitely check it out. But I’m not holding my breathe. Honestly, Minaj’s collaborations tend to be the least interesting of her works and when paired up with someone like Chainz, I see no reason to have a lot of hope.
Joseph Lee: FACT – See what I said about Rick Ross and fill it in with 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj. Especially Nicki Minaj. I can’t think of a pairing I would enjoy less. Rebecca Black and Carly Rae Jepsen? Black Eyed Peas ft. Right Said Fred? Okay, maybe I can…but I still don’t want to hear what those two put out.
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