WBEZ | David Samuels http://www.wbez.org/tags/david-samuels Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Kanye West gets an epic profile in 'The Atlantic' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/kanye-west-gets-epic-profile-atlantic-98551 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS2429_KanyeWest_Joe%20Corrigan-scr.jpg" style="height: 452px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="(Getty/File)">In the May issue of <em>The Atlantic</em> David Samuels <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/american-mozart/8931/#" target="_blank">profiles Kanye West in an article headlined "American Mozart."</a> After recounting his PR fiascos related to Hurricane Katrina and Taylor Swift, Samuels begins to arrive at West's artistic persona:</div><blockquote><p>"So it is worth noting, then, that while Kanye West is a next-level producer and rapper, a high-impact tweeter, a public consumer of chicken fettuccine, and whatever else he might be, he is also something different from a political leader or celebrity pitchman. Kanye’s emotional landscape may be troubled, but it is also a unified whole, which is the mark of any great artist. He is a petulant, adolescent, blanked-out, pained emotional mess who toggles between songs about walking with Jesus and songs about luxury brands and porn stars. Raised by his college-professor mother in Chicago, and spending summers in Atlanta with his father, a former Black Panther turned newspaper photographer turned Christian marriage counselor, Kanye united hard-core rap and the more self-aware and sophisticated inward style that had evolved in the early 1990s."</p></blockquote><p>Samuels draws distinctions between West and his "Big Brother" Jay-Z's more controlled, success-oriented persona. The two have had a mutual attraction and competition for years, ever since West produced Jay-Z's hit single "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)." Their recent collaboration, <em>Watch The Throne</em>, is the climax of Samuels' piece. He followed their tour and gleaned insight into the differences in their approach.</p><p>On Wednesday's <em>Afternoon Shift</em> we talk with David Samuels about Kanye West's place in the cultural landscape.</p></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/kanye-west-gets-epic-profile-atlantic-98551