Leonardo Da Vinci once quipped “Art is never finished, only abandoned” but has Kanye West’s latest LP and the internet age helped defy that?
The digital cogs of an album release can be generated from a laptop in your PJs rather than going through the traditional means of shipping, manufacturing and distribution. With this, of course the game has changed. Surprise releases have become the norm proceeding to artists of a certain caliber. So no doubt Kanye West’s received that same ‘out of the blue’ treatment. However, the pushing, the pulling, the teasing, the constant fixing in its wake has just got irritating.
For somebody who labelled the new effort as “the best album of all time”, before going on to change it several times doesn’t suggest there’s the certainty within him which a statement such as this requires to deliver convincingly. With Kanye it’s a constant contradiction. It’s a wonder how he ever settled on baby names – which could of done with a little more editing.
So happy to be finished with the best album of all time pic.twitter.com/JBWa8OWvqw
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 25, 2016
What’s lacking is the certainty within West, which is reflective of his interviews as they flail off into the realms of his imagination which is fiercely entertaining as well as baffling and utterly confusing. Kanye is the King at touching on something profound before being swept up in his own ego and confusion.
Kanye West is without question an innovator – and his $53 million debt to his own creativity only further supports that. But to be the first person to have called back an album to later pull it back to be tweaked further just highlights a scatty work ethic. But are we all scatty?
Maybe the internet has trumped Da Vanci’s quote – as it does give us the freedom to constantly edit allegedly ‘finished product’. Like us all, West is a figure in the “information age” where a flashing phone or advertisement perpetually diverts our attention spans whilst trying to consume media – an article, a podcast or a Netflix stream. This mind-set is prevalent in 2016’s consumers but has now breached the borders of professional industries. This could also be perceived as a positive – does this mean we’re getting a more genuine product at the end of all this? With the creators embracing the misguided outlook like the rest of us?
West even touches on this point himself, if anything can explain West’s recent decisions then it’s himself in this video: “We’re so misguided because we’re so jacked up on our own egos and mainstream marketing, we don’t know what the fuck is real.”
The Life of Pablo has some real high points and is a superb record but you still can’t feel as if you can fully enjoy it without the lingering fear of another edit taking place somewhere in the glow of a computer screen – which is in fact reality. Kanye West is still plotting a further edit to be dropped later this week.
Is this the future of entertainment experiences? Is art ever finished? What do you think of The Life of Pablo? What are your thoughts? Tweet at us here! Tune into our latest radio show on Time and catch up with the rest on Mixcloud.