Kanye: Unplugged

Heard ’Em Say by Vitamin String Quartet on Grooveshark

You’re up on the Vitamin String Quartet, right? In case you aren’t: they’re an L.A. based musical group that does instrumental covers of every artist you already know and love. Their oeuvre is massive, with everyone from the Tupac to The White Stripes, KISS and the Beach Boys, and their Spotify is always good for spending too much time choosing a song blindly and trying to guess it. Among their best, though, is their tribute to noted rapper, producer and former MTV News Man of the Year Kanye West. His tribute album, released in 2008, is outdated, but that’s a blessing in disguise: we’re back to teddy-bear-motif Kanye, where his sampling was wide and varied and his production was still meaty and intense.

We all know Kanye is complex — stripped bare, though, we see how nuanced his tracks really are, and we’re reminded who Kanye truly is: a genius/vessel/Shakespeare in the flesh/god/number 1 living and breathing rock star/blowfish/next Nelson Mandela/the Braveheart of creativity/robot/a cyclops when he puts his glasses on/just the espresso/the guy who believes in God but still really likes pussy/the rap version of Dave Chappelle/a pop enigma/a dude from Chicago with a hyper-creative mind, a brash, unconventional approach, and a really, really good ear.

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