Kanye West takes on 2013 tour

Dan Bidikov, Editor-in-Chief

Disclaimer: if you hire a seamstress to make your clothes out of sewn-together hundred dollar bills, you will not benefit that much from reading this article.  If you are cash strapped and interested in live events by mainstream hip hop artists, continue.

Jay-Z and Kanye West are longtime friends and allies.  It was unusual and a little scary, then, when Jay-Z announced that tickets would go on sale for his latest tour the same day as Kanye’s, and that tour dates would overlap.  Unfortunately, the average concertgoer will only be able to see one performance.   Which one, though, and why?

Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) is one of the most successful and accomplished rap artists in history.  However, like the lazy Roman emperor Commodus, Mr. Carter has taken his victories for granted and run his empire without much concern for the quality of his work, putting out several subpar solo albums and relying on the talent of other artists to keep himself relevant.  His new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, is no exception, bringing nothing to the table but unexciting rap and Justin Timberlake’s vocals which, while great, do not an album make.

As Chicago’s least literary celebrity (Oprah at least runs a book club), Kanye West has established himself as the true king of popular hip hop music in his dynamic career.

In his discography, he has reinvented autotune, outclassed all other workout music, and offered more insight into college education than most high school newspaper articles.  Most importantly, unlike his aging rap monarch colleague, Kanye shows no signs of slowing down.  His latest album, Yeezus, is a musical tour de force.

Okay, his new album is better, but you are going to a concert for more than music. The most important thing to take into consideration is the quality of the performance.  Certainly Jay-Z, a rap legend with years of experience and a history of great performances, is going to beat his modern rivals who hide behind production value and guest appearances!

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Kanye West’s unparalleled lack of concern for anyone’s opinion of him turns his shows into more than just horizontal hand motions and occasionally bringing an audience member on stage.

Although he has performed live on different occasions, Kanye West has not been on tour in over five years.  That is not to say he is shy on stage. West’s recent performances have found him belting through a vocoder in solitude and complete darkness and reciting verse in front of color-negative footage of Ku Klax Klan activity.

Now married with a child who has received as much press as the crisis in Syria (first name North), Kanye West is ready to get back on tour.  He is so incredibly deranged, cynical and brilliant that no one knows exactly what to expect.  Will he pin himself to a forty-foot cross in the Barclay’s Center as he raps lines from one of his popular new tracks, “I Am A God”?  According to his  lengthy  and prestiged career in music, it certaintly isn’t impossible.