With all the multi-million dollar fashion shows, the celebrity spats, the sneaker drops, and the never-ending rants to his awesomeness, it is easy to forget that Kanye West is first and foremost a musician. And a groundbreaking, revolutionary one at that. Across his career of seven solo albums, Kanye has proven that no one in the history of hip-hop can make music quite like he can. And as a new in-depth analysis video shows, this can all be chalked up to a single, overarching element: his use of vocals.
Ever since he burst out of the production booth and into the spotlight with his first major single "Through the Wire," Kanye became known for his innovation with vocal sampling. But as the video shows, it runs much deeper than merely pulling an old soul sample. Take "Jesus Walks" for instance, which builds a fully-developed, multi-layered chorus entirely from a combination of Kanye's voice, multiple sample sources and vocoded version of John Legend meant to sound like a flute.
It of course doesn't stop there, as the video follows Kanye's evolution across each album to see just how transformative his full-lengths shaped up to be. His massive My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for instance, completely shattered the typical structure of a hip-hop song, and the coda to his iconic single "Runaway" is among the more impressive feats of auto-tune in recent memory. And he flipped the script again with Yeezus, using his tried-and-true vocal techniques to unsettle and disturb the listener as opposed to creating a seamless body of work.
Peep the whole video above, and go ahead and pull out all those old Kanye playlists. You'll be craving it.
In other music news, Vince Staples hopped on board a remix of James Blake track that was initially meant for Yeezy himself. Take a listen to it right here.