Lou Reed on Kanye West: 'No One's Doing What He's Doing, It's Not Even on the Same Planet'

The singer calls West's latest release "majestic and inspiring."

Lou Reed on Kanye West: 'No One's Doing What He's Doing, It's Not Even on the Same Planet'
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Rock veteran Lou Reed gave the latest Kanye West release "Yeezus" several listens and summed up his opinions in an exclusive Talkhouse review. In a nutshell, Reed sang praises of the rapper's new effort, calling it "majestic and inspiring." "Kanye West is a child of social networking and hip-hop," he kicked off. "And he knows about all kinds of music and popular culture. The guy has a real wide palette to play with. That's all over 'Yeezus.' There are moments of supreme beauty and greatness on this record, and then some of it is the same old sh-t. But the guy really, really, really is talented. He's really trying to raise the bar. No one's near doing what he's doing, it's not even on the same planet." Reed continued, saying, "People say this album is minimal. And yeah, it's minimal. But the parts are maximal. Take 'Blood on the Leaves.' There's a lot going on there: horns, piano, bass, drums, electronic effects, all rhythmically matched - towards the end of the track, there's now twice as much sonic material. But Kanye stays unmoved while this mountain of sound grows around him. Such an enormous amount of work went into making this album. Each track is like making a movie." The singer also noted that Kanye is "just begging people to attack him" on several points on the record, calling some of his actions "a dare" or "braggadoccio." However, he ultimately confessed that some of the moments make his "hair stand on end." "It's all the same sh-t, it's all music - that's what makes him great," Reed concluded. "If you like sound, listen to what he's giving you. Majestic and inspiring." "Yeezus" dropped on June 18 via Def Jam as the rapper's sixth studio effort. With 327,000 copies sold in the US within the first week, it easily topped the Billboard 200 chart.

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    LEHJOHND
    Lou Reed on Kanye West: 'No One's Doing What he's Doing, It's Not Even on the Same Planet'..... is he talking about that kardashian girls ass?
    TryTheKetchup
    Should we wait for "LuKa"?
    piffy808
    haha, but seriously as far as rap music goes Kanye West is one of the only artists with lyrical substance who has managed to stay relevent
    TryTheKetchup
    I suppose it's relevAnt, but I'd rather agree - I've heard his stuff, it's more eclectical and interesting than the other rappers' one.
    Jozef23
    Late Registration was brilliant, lyrical wise and musically wise, but other than that he holds a pretty low standard. And that crap he did with Jay-Z was one of the worst collab albums of all time
    Burnzyburns
    I think he's the opposite of that. He's arguably the most important hip-hop producer of the last decade--the dude has definitely made some great beats--but his lyrics have always been juvenile and sometimes cringe-worthy.
    Desenova913
    Ummm...relevant? More like rip-off. I can name more rappers that not only sound better, but have been doing what he's done years before he was even on the map.
    solidrevolver19
    He used to be a good rapper with good messages on his first two albums until he turned into a gayfish with a huge ego.
    rgt42dx
    He has potential but I haven't heard anything compelling from him lately. As for lyrical substance + (commercial) relevance, I'd say Eminem's on top. Obviously Nas as well, but he's not nearly as commercially successful, not that that really matters anyway.
    Jozef23
    Agreed, the stuff on 8 Mile is brilliant lyrically. He really nailed that album. He's always been a strong lyricist, even if his later efforts got a bit repetitive
    sonicx2218
    After reading this, I legitimately gave Blood on the Leaves a listen, unbiased. Needless to say I did not feel the same as Reed here.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Hard to take Lou serious after the abomination that was Lulu to be honest. He had his share of good music (although his music is not my style) I accept that, but now he's just getting to old to think straight
    steveZ86
    Lou Reed was awesome a long time ago but i think just quietly he lost his mind somewhere along the way
    MetalNick
    I'm sorry, but he basically didn't write anything on Transformer, but he did Metal Machine Music shortly after. Reed has been a pioneer in drugs and experimental music. West might be an *****, but at least he's taking chances as a popular artist with his albums.
    steveZ86
    Well I think his stuff with Aluminium Bikerack in the 60's was excellent, not a huge fan of transformer, except Perfect Day. The AB years are so tragically overlooked.
    Flibo
    Surely this piece of news is here just for the sensation, but many respectable music reviewers have praised Yeezus for being daring and innovative. The most popular newspaper in Finland called Kanye West the new Prince. The record is really something else, but I can see why people dismiss it easily when I take the musical taste of an average UG user into account. And I'm not trying to sound like a musical snob, but just because it's hip-hop doesn't mean it's bad. Hell, even most hip-hop fans won't like the album since it pushes the boundaries so hard. I have tremendous respect for Kanye West for even daring to make a record like this. He could've done something much more commercially acceptable, but he chose to do this - out of passion for music and in fact, for art.
    kamal.aboulhosn
    In a lot of ways Yeezus is an inferior version of Saul Williams' "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust." Trent Reznor was heavily involved on the album. So if you like Yeezus, check out Niggy Tardust. And if you don't like Yeezus, check out Niggy Tardust.
    TheRevLives
    Wonder what Lou Reed would say if he listened to a real music album, like Colors.
    EyesWideOpen
    He'd probably come to the conclusion that while it is wildly technical, it's also pretty damn boring.
    alfie9000
    If Lou Reed says its good, then my music taste says that its probably awful in every way.
    jacobdubya
    The main base of this website seems to hate both Lou Reed and Kanye West. So I'm not surprised this article has been so down voted. But Yeezus is actually a really good album. And Lou Reed kicks ass.
    Mind Kill
    Hating Kanye is the new cool thing apparently. He's one of the most talented artists in the Hip Hop genre right now.
    The_Dayman
    That's completely untrue. There's much better talent out there that Kanye couldn't even hold a candle to. He's a decent producer, I'll give him that, but he's went from being an ok lyricist to a god awful lyricist in the span of a few years. He's nothing special at all.
    Mind Kill
    Still better than most other big Hip Hop artists. Kanye isn't my favourite in any way, but he's one of the better newer ones still.
    Josh100_3
    Yeezus is a great album
    Kueller917
    It was ok, but I think the more stripped down Kanye was a hit and miss. At least for me. Second half was a bit forgettable except the final track. I also disagree with Lou Reed. Kanye's a great producer but he's not really doing anything original. It's more like he takes some of the rising underground styles. Nothing wrong with that as I think it's cool for someone in the mainstream to actually be aware of the trends.