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Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

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Music

The 60 Best Songs of 2010

Journey back to 2010 for 60 slices of musical greatness highlighted by one of the most delightful expletive-ridden hits in pop music history.

Music

Kanye West's New Sunday Service Choir Sings... A Lot

Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir create a debut, Jesus Is Born, that's powerful and, at times, repetitive.

Music

Yeezus vs Jesus: Kanye West's Faith in 5 Songs

Kanye West's rap is rooted in gospel right from The College Dropout days. These five songs, which explore the relationship between Yeezus and Jesus, show that his recent album, Jesus Is King, isn't an aberration.

Books

Satire's American King Bret Easton Ellis Whites Himself Out with Alleged Work of Non-Fiction, 'White'

Let's pretend for a moment that Bret Easton Ellis is capable of such a staggering feat of truth-telling, and read White as if it is indeed a work of nonfiction.

Music

The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018

From Kanye tweets to Drake and Pusha T diss tracks to literary masterpiece "This Is America", 2018 was quite the year for rap. But if we had to boil it all down to just 10 albums, we think these are the cuts that truly rose above and summed up 2018 the best.

Music

Nas Is Ineffective and Ungrounded on 'NASIR'

On NASIR, Nas is completely overshadowed by the musical performances of Kanye West and his collaborators.

Music

Kids See Ghosts Will Be Remembered As the Climax and Most Enduring Record of Ye Season

Ye Season continues with what will be remembered as the most uplifting, cohesive, spiritual, and sonically excellent episode of Kanye West's serialized works.

Music

Kanye West Attempts Some Life-Affirming Love on 'ye'

Although not a masterpiece like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, ye shares an abbreviated, yet complete look at Kanye, both the highs and the lows.

Music

Kanye West: The Iconoclast Gives In

How the allure of newness is leading Kanye West astray.

Culture

Dispatches from the Sunken Place: Kanye, Kim, and Cosby

Get Out's Sunken Place is not at a distant location -- it subsists and persists in the here and now. Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Bill Cosby should know this.

Politics

Mind-Melding Meetings Between Jesters and Kings: Elvis and Nixon, West and Trump

Where Elvis meets Nixon is the narrative of a poor boy smothered by the star-making machinery, Kanye meets Trump is a mixture of bi-polar manic depression, hubris, and misdirected energies.

Music

2016: The Final Year of the Surprise Album (Hopefully)

Dropping unexpected albums is a growing trend and one that should be done away with.

Dan Kok
Music

Form Follows Function: 'The Life of Pablo' and 'Blonde' Challenge the Notion of an Album

Kanye West and Frank Ocean have created imperfect perfect albums which invert our notions of flaws and challenge our perception of the album as an art form.

Music

Nicolas Jaar: Sirens

Sirens is a masterpiece. Melding pop and experimental music, it reflects the uneasiness of our difficult times.

Music

Kanye West - "Fade" (Singles Going Steady)

Kanye West samples some of the best house and soul from the second half of the 20th century.

Music

Digitalism: Mirage

As Digitalism continues to bring back the ghosts of old songs, Mirage demonstrates the duo’s willingness to welcome new ghosts, promising them a more audacious future.

Music

Kanye and Mingus: Gifted, Complicated and Proud of It

Charles Mingus and Kanye West represent an extreme form of the complicated-and-proud-of-it black man, within a society that prefers its black men as uncomplicated and untroubling as possible.

Music

Time of Absence: Documenting Kanye West's 'Life of Pablo'

The Life of Pablo is an ideological attack against the pop institutions that continually try to mystify art and control the artist's identity for profit.

Music

Kanye West: The Life of Pablo

Because The Life of Pablo pulls from so many parts of West's career the end result, unsurprisingly, is an absolute mess.

Television

Guessing the Grammys 2016: Expect Weirdness

Speculating on the nominees' odds in a dozen big categories.

Music

PopTalk: Can You Separate Art From the Artist?

When it comes to enjoying great art made by not-so-great people, where can you reasonably draw the line?

Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
Music

Who Will Survive in America? Kanye West's Hybridization of Hip-Hop

Kanye West's melding of multiple genres into the hip-hop fold is a complex act that challenges the dominant white notions of what constitutes true "art" music.

Ed Ledsham
Film

PopTalk: Can Some Artists Become Immune to Serious Criticism?

In the eyes of critics, can David Lynch ever make a bad film? Or Kanye West a bad album?

Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
Music

PopTalk: The 2015 Grammys, "True Artistry", and Meme Culture

The latest PopTalk podcast takes a look at whether or not, as Kanye West suggests, the Grammys and awards culture in general can or should care about "true artistry".

Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
Music

The 2015 Grammy Awards: Ranking the Performances

If you missed “music's biggest night”, or just want to relive it, here are all of the performances.

Music

Pop Unmuted Podcast: Chart to Chart and Rihanna's "Four Five Seconds"

On Episode 8 of Pop Unmuted, we talk about the importance of charts both Billboard and the new collaboration between Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney, "Four Five Seconds".

Music

Counterbalance: Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

No one man should have all that power. The 97th most acclaimed album of all time is living in that 21st century, doing something mean to it. Counterbalance has a listen.

Music

Arca: Xen (Take 2)

Arca, Yeezus co-producer, produces the heck out of his debut album.

Reviews

Where Does Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' Stand in the Canon?

Kirk Walker Graves' mix of fanboy marvel and critical detachment will convince even Kanye West detractors to give My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a close listen.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 20-1

These top 20 records of the '00s feature some familiar faces, but also several that, over time, have grown more fondly in memory.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 40-21

From breathtaking reformulations of shoegaze to British soul revival, this batch of stellar recordings from the 2000s is an eclectic one.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 60-41

PopMatters' coverage of the 2000s' best recordings continues with selections spanning Swedish progressive metal to minimalist electro-R&B.

Music

The Future Is Now, and It Is Odd: A Retrospective on Hip-hop in the '00s

The historical unfolding of hip-hop bears a strong similarity to that of literature. With that lineage in mind, it's easy to see why the '00s found hip-hop taking on its postmodern stage.

Performing Arts

In Defense of Kanye West's 'Yeezus' Tour

Seeing Kanye West perform, I learned not only what it's like to see a master at the top of his game, but also what it is that makes the polarizing artist so fascinating.

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