The Contradictory Sides of 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

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »