The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Yeezus Christ and the Magna Carta Holy Grail

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Regardless of what you think or feel about Kanye West and Jay-Z, you cannot deny the fact that these are two talented men. Sure, you can think that Kanye has such an ego and a big head that he could resemble a Mii or that Jay-Z has reached the age where he could be boasting about retirement funds, but what we all know in is that these two musicians are innovating the Hip Hop game in ways that make a young teenager excited for what’s to come next. Kanye and Jay have released two albums almost back to back and the way they do it is some sort of genius. Yeezus and Magna Carta Holy Grail is their bold announcement to the world saying, “We’re on top! Yet we still rise.”

The special thing about these albums is that they both cover similar ground lyrically and content wise: commentary on society, vulnerability, bravado. But notice how Yeezus lacks the normal fanfare and orchestral sounds that Mr. West has given us. Yeezus is stripped down, rugged, raw, and minimal. The album art, lack of singles on the radio and Ye’s SNL performance is evidence that Yeezus is a gritty and angry album.

Then on the other side of things you have MCHG, which gets a lot more vulnerable than Jay is used to. We hear about his worries of fatherhood and his adapting views on the world he lives in. In “Oceans,” he writes an extremely charged song about his success as a black man while making references to how African-Americans were once treated in a world long ago. He takes on the same topics that Kanye does in Yeezus but the sound of MCHG is grand. With a name like “Magna Carta Holy Grail” you expect nothing less than opulence and decadence.

We have Yeezus and MCHG that sound like complete opposites but that work beautifully in tandem together. Put them in a playlist together and you’ll see the rough, jagged screams of Kanye fit in well with the smooth signature Jay constantly gives us. These two albums that they have given us stand on their own individually and they stand parallel to each other as well.

This summer, it seems like The Throne has been split into two kingdoms, but they don’t wage war on each. Rather, they’re watching each other from a distance to see how much one king can conquer.

About Alex Dang!

Alex Dang is an aspiring poet from Portland, Oregon. He has four things in common with Hamlet: words, words, words, and an affinity for stabbing curtains. You can read his work at wordsoftakumi.tumblr.com

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This entry was posted on July 20, 2013 by in COMMENTARY and tagged , , , , , .

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