Of course, it’s always been a thing that Kanye West isn’t that great of a singer or even that great of a rapper.
But that’s never bothered me, because he’s always owned his technical limitations, and on a production as large as “POWER” they serve to humanize his otherwise outsized music, and his otherwise outsized public persona.
In fact, it would actually make his music worse if he were better, because there would be nothing to bring him back down to earth and reveal him as not just an insecure, arrogant asshole, but an insecure arrogant asshole who lives to make this music.
And in the case of “POWER,” the opening verse of which — with it’s “ahhhh, heyyyy” gospel chorus opening vocal riff,” precise use of The Handclap Rule and Kanye’s ultra-excited vocals — just detonated with forward momentum, the music he was making was so exciting and so personal that it both earned and transformed its classic rock sample, musically and lyrically.
No one man should have all that power
The clock’s ticking, I just count the hours
Stop tripping, I’m tripping off the power
Till then, fuck that, the world’s ours
And they say
[21st-Century schizoid man]
And of course when Kanye sang “No one man should have all that power,” you could hear the asterisk and the “but me” footnote in his “ooooooh” and the absolute joy in his voice throughout the song.
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