I miss the old Kanye, I miss the sweet Kanye, chop up the beats Kanye. Many people have echoed this same statement over and over. But why? Why is the evolution of an artist seen as the turning point in an artists career. This is too often the case when the expected formula that has gained an artist Grammy's and multi-million dollars in album sales becomes the very thing that the artist stirs from. But what is this thing that makes people go 'I miss the old Kanye.'? Some factors could be; 1) Growth, 2) That first introduction, 3) Too Too Much Sauce
Lets start with Growth, growth is defined as; "The process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually." In my opinion to be an artist is to truly have continuous growth and evolution, your last album should not sound like your next album. A famous quote states "A man who views the world the same at fifty, as he did at twenty, has wasted thirty years of his life," Muhammad Ali. And with music being truly a reflection of an artist's reality and mentality, an artists who sounds the same year after year has just wasted the chance to grow and evolve. To put it into more real world terms, mediocrity and the monotony of staying the course is not living. The fry cook at McDonald's that is still a fry cook 3 years later has lost the opportunity to grown and exceed at other things, as well as learn how to bake frys. I'm not saying quit your job, but I am saying it should be the norm to peek outside of your norm and look for opportunities to grow. And recognize that as you also grow and develop, and try things outside of your self, so do artists. Like Kanye.
But Growth can't be it. And I would agree. That first introduction is definitely a factor into this crazy equation. Things such as your first break up, or the song you and the homies turnt up to in the car on the way to the club, or that song that came on when you first.............Practice....... whoa keep it PG. This ain't that type of blog. In this case Wale is all too familiar with this. With break out songs like "The Breakup" on his mixtape 'More About Nothing' boosting his career and creating a loyal fan base. Wale has been quoted as saying that we as consumers hold artists to this standard of recreating that first introduction, that first time they fell in love, or the first breakup and expecting this feeling to last forever. But all to often artists don't make the same record just like just like the feeling that doesn't last. But back to Kanye, the natural division between the old Kanye and new Kanye is arguably 808 & Heartbreaks. But at the same time one of the most influential albums in hip-hop has been 808 & Heartbreaks, if you doubt me then ask Drake. It was the new Kanye, but it was soooo Kanye. Set on his goals Kanye.
Lastly but not least. Too Too Much sauce. For years music and drugs have been synonymous, with most people claiming that drugs have the ability to open up a different chamber of the mind as well as a different way of feeling and hearing. But what happens when your favorite artists gives up the sauce and goes cold turkey? In recent news Gucci Mane has confessed that he was addicted to lean (narcotic cough syrup) and was smoking a pound of weed a day before being incarcerated. After his forced detox, mostly due to his incarceration, many fans felt like Gucci Mane changed even as going as far as saying he is a clone. This is do to recently tracks and interviews that seemed to be a complete 360 degree turn from his normal drug induced, and also congested flow. As well as his newly found love for fitness and health. The rockstar lifestyle is so envied that any deviation from the norm is seen as a change for the worst. But this is not to say that the clean drug free rap doesn't appeal to the masses, in the case of Kendrick Lamar and his song 'H.O.C.', he celebrates knowing that he himself is already on the level that other smokers and users are trying to get to. In the terms of Kanye many would point to drugs and also women (the craziest drug of all...) as being the reason why he changed. The bad mood Kanye, The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye.
I go in studio sessions and feel like a nerd
So lets go over the formula again. Growth + That First Introduction + Too Too Much Sauce = "I Miss the Old Kanye". Right? Like all math problems it ain't that easy, and it don't always equal 2. But recognize like you, artist too must grow and evolve. Also, just like that feeling you had after a break up leaves you, so should the monotony of an artist making the same song over and over. And take sauce in moderation. So the next time you go "I miss the old Kanye", remember no one goes I miss the old fry cook at McDonald's, cause its' a thin line between fries and shakes. So "What if Kanye made a song, about Kanye? Called "I Miss The Old Kanye", man that would be so Kanye".