Kanye West Explored in 'New York Times' Profile

"Mr. West isn't content without feedback," writes Jon Caramanica

November 18, 2010 6:13 PM ET

The only people who spend more time talking about Kanye West than the man himself are members of the media, and it's hard to say which is more full of misinformation and bluster.

Video: Kanye West's Surprise Visit to Rolling Stone

Which is why an article like Jon Caramanica's feature in this weekend's Sunday New York Times is a breath of fresh air. In light of Kanye's controversial appearance on the Today show, the Taylor Swift/VMA incident and more, Caramanica examines one of pop culture's most confounding and contradictory figures and calls him out on his flaws, examines them and assesses why they help make him the great artist he is. In other words, he essentially says Kanye is a genius and a bit of a jerk at the same time, although not exactly in those words:

"In the future maybe [West] will become like Bono," Caramanica writes, "giving one or two interviews per album cycle, never revealing too much, waiting around long past the point of appearing intriguing. "Except that Mr. West could never be like Bono. Mr. West isn't content without feedback; his effort is valueless without response. Plenty of artists insist their work speaks for them, but as spectacular as his work is and likely will continue to be, Mr. West will never be one of them. A blowhard with subpar records wouldn't merit the trouble."

Kanye West, Still Unfiltered, on Eve of Fifth Album [New York Times]

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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