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* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Kanye heroically saved the world from the [[http://carlsagansdanceparty.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/heroic-kanye-saves-the-world-at-video-music-awards/ evil machinations]] of Taylor Swift and her clandestine backers.
** Apparently he's also a [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark gay fish.]] Answered by Kanye himself in "Gorgeous", which contains the line "choke a ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' writer with a fishstick".
** Is he an eccentric genius or is he [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/what-if-kanye-west-is-retarded/ retarded?]]
** In general, is he a tortured, introspective genius who just happens to have remarkably poor self-control, or is he just an arrogant bigmouth? It often seems that the former opinion will prevail, until Kanye says something stupid again.
** [[http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/kanye_west_is_the_cassandra_of_our_troy/#When:11:27:00Z He could very well be our Cassandra.]]
** Kanye claims to be an alien in the KatyPerry song "ET".
** Kanye hates LilWayne. This explains why his videos cause seizures because Wayne has epilepsy
* AwardSnub: Despite receiving rave reviews practically everywhere upon release (see SoCoolItsAwesome below), being in almost everyone's list for best albums of the year (often topping it), and being ranked on Metacritic as the ''best reviewed album'' released in 2010 (with a 94 consesus rating), "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" failed to even get ''nominated'' for Album of the Year at the Grammys. The general feeling among critics was that it not only deserved to get nominated, but that it was the first time that Kanye genuinely deserved to win.
** It should be noted that MBDTF wasn't nominated for 2010 because it was released after the October cutoff date for those Grammys. The same thing happened to {{Drake}}'s "Take Care" in 2011, and to KendrickLamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city" in 2012.
* BrokenBase: Initially caused by ''808s and Heartbreak'', but the rift has healed since then. This hasn't really happened among the fandom with ''Yeezus,'' oddly enough- it's largely casual fans and the mainstream audience that were turned off by the album.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: See [[AwesomeMusic/KanyeWest this page]].
* CriticalDissonance: ''808's And Heartbreak'' was praised by many critics (even appearing on many "Best Of 2008" lists) but garnered a mixed reception from fans, who took issue with the album's heavily processed/mechanical sound and Kanye's subpar singing. Nonetheless, [[VindicatedByHistory it gradually rose in esteem,]] to the point where it's now considered a fan favorite. It's also credited with setting the course for hip-hop during the late-00's and early-10's, with many rappers adopting a similar R&B/hip-hop mix and synth-heavy sound.
** ''Yeezus'' seems to be going down the same road. It's received more acclaim than ''808s & Heartbreak'' but the general public has been divided on its industrial influences, with some unfavorably comparing it to DeathGrips. At any rate, both albums received a LoveItOrHateIt reception, and it's too soon to tell whether ''Yeezus'' will be as well-regarded in the long term ''808s.''
*** It certainly seems to be heading in that direction, with ''many'' critics naming it the best album of 2013 (or, at least, in the Top 3) and the album being ranked the third best album of the year by [=AcclaimedMusic.net=] Fans also appear to be warming up to the album.
* CultClassic: ''808s and Heartbreak'' and ''Yeezus'' were too bizarre to achieve much mainstream success (outside of the boost that simply being Kanye West albums gave them) but found audiences in more offbeat musical circles.
* EarWorm: Not so much his songs themselves but the hooks are dangerously catchy, particularly "The New Workout Plan", "The Glory", "Heard 'Em Say", "Power", and "Devil in a New Dress".
* EightPointEight: Despite getting 9's and 10's from just about every other major publication, [=AllMusic=] "only" gave ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'' four stars out of five.
* EndingFatigue:
** ''College Dropout's'' "Last Call" and ''Late Registration's'' "We Major" have this effect on some listeners after dragging these otherwise good songs for far too long. "Last Call" could've done away with the eight-minute portion of Kanye talking about how he got discovered after a great four minute song. "We Major" would've also ended stronger without the final two minutes.
** ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'''s "Runaway" has had a similarly polarizing reaction. You think the song's over, then Kanye plugs in the vocoder...
** "Cold" (aka "Theraflu") also falls victim to this, with DJ Pharris shouting out pretty much every Chicago 'hood (even a few that don't exist anymore) in the final minute and killing the momentum from Kanye's verses.
** Does ''Blame Game'' really need 3 minutes of Creator/ChrisRock talking shit about watches and a girl talking dirty? No.
** Mercifully averted on "Lost In The World," the lengthy excerpt from "Comment #1" that caps off the song is made its own track, seperate from the song itself on the CD.
** "Send It Up" doesn't really need a sample of Beenie Man at the end of it.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Kanye's in-house vocalists are [[strike:ridiculous]] [[MemeticMutation fuckin']] [[ItsPronouncedTroPAY ridicklisss.]] John Legend was able to turn his guest spots into a successful career, so the title of darkhorse belongs to Kanye's cousin Tony Williams. As Kanye says, "He sings quite beautifully, don't you agree?"
** Non-single tracks that nonetheless remain very popular among the fandom include "Family Business," "Street Lights," "Coldest Winter," "I'm In It," "Devil in a New Dress," and "Send it Up."
* FountainOfMemes: He is the first (and so far, only) musician to have his own [[Memes/KanyeWest meme page]].
* FridgeBrilliance: What's up with Kanye's various attempts to rile up the religious right on ''Yeezus'' (the title, "I Am a God," etc.)? Simple: it's an IndustrialMetal album, and [[Music/MarilynManson pissing off]] [[Music/{{Ministry}} fundamentalists]] is a time-honored industrial tradition.
** Further confirmed by the ultra-theatrical ''Yeezus'' tour.
** A lot of people apparently didn't get that Chris Rock's skit on "Blame Game" is intended to represent what Kanye heard on the phone. When you realise this it makes the whole thing even better and gives a tragic element to what otherwise seems like a misplaced comedic skit.
** Several reviewers noted that the [[IndecipherableLyrics unintelligible]] auto-tune solo in "Runaway" is probably intended to represent Kanye's difficulty in expressing himself verbally.
* FridgeLogic: The album cover of *My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy* was a manufactured attempt by West to stir up controversy, and indeed, many digital outlets would only display a blurred version of it. However, the blurring of the image obscures the fantastic elements of it (that the woman is a harpy or (ahem) [[OurMonstersAreDifferent "phoenix"]], making it so all you can make out is a man and woman having sex, which is arguably more offensive.
* HarsherInHindsight: In 2005, on his song "We Major", Kanye rapped "Better than some head on a Sunday afternoon/Better than a chick that say 'yes' too soon/Until you have a daughter/That's what I call 'Karma'/And you pray to God she don't grow breasts too soon". Fast forward to 2013, when he has a daughter himself...
* [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks He Changed It Now it Sucks]]: The reaction to the heavily Auto-tuned and instrumentally sparse album ''808's and Heartbreak''. #7 on [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/now-im-bored-and-old-27-deliberately-confounding-f,31695/ this list]].
** ''Yeezus'' is a choppy, blaring, rough album, and may mark more of a shift in Kanye's style than even ''808s''. Let the BrokenBase commence!
* HilariousInHindsight: In "Hell of a Life" (2010), he sang "I think I just fell in love with a porn star.. [..] One day I'm gon' marry a porn star..". Fast forward to 2013 and he's expecting a child with girlfriend KimKardashian.. who first got famous after a "leaked" sex tape by an ex-boyfriend.
** Another common HiH related to Kim is the lyric "18 years, 18 years/She got one of your kids, got you for 18 years" from "Gold Digger" (2005); this is due to some people assuming Kim trapped Kanye with her pregnancy.
* IncrediblyLamePun: Depending on your tolerance level. It's a safe bet that he didn't include any lyrics ''because'' he thought they were lame, but some can be quite face-palmy.
* LoveItOrHateIt: ''Yeezus'' inspires as much passionate anger as it does intense love.
** Kanye himself. Either he's one of the best people currently in the rap game or an egotistical fame whore with polarizing opinions.
* MagnumOpus:
** ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.'' Universal acclaim. Metacritic score of 94/100, and 10/10 and "Album of the Year" from the notoriously fickle {{Pitchfork}}.
** In particular, "All of The Lights (Interlude)" and "All of the Lights", featuring an AllStarCast.
** Within the hip hop community, ''The College Dropout'', his debut album, is considered a classic, possibly moreso than ''Fantasy''.
* [[MemeticMutation Memetic Mut]]-[[InterruptingMeme Yo, TV Tropes, I'm really happy for you, and I'mma let you finish,]] but [[Memes/KanyeWest this page]] has one of the greatest meme lists of all time!''' His outspoken nature inspired quite a few.
** Kanye's characteristic grunt, "Huh?"
*** "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN?"
* MisaimedFandom: A unique selling point about Kanye West is that his ego lends itself to the creation of new memes. Thus people actually want his ego to INCREASE as they speculate it would lead to even more memes. Some people gleefully watch as he ruins moments and makes outlandish comments simply because they're entertaining.
* {{Narm}}: In his 2013 SNL performance of "New Slaves", Kanye half-heartedly censors the "nigga"s himself, resulting in him saying an odd, mumbled "nnnguh" noise.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** Just guess.
** Also notable was an incident during a Katrina benefit where he randomly blurted out "George Bush doesn't care about black people!" appropos of nothing. Mike Myers, seated next to him, looked quite embarrassed. Fortunately, it stopped after "Imma Let You Finish" happened.
* NightmareFuel: The video for "Monster". It contains a large number of dead women and [[SarcasmMode other delightful scenes.]]
** The part of "I Am A God" where the beat stops for a second so Kanye can belt out an ''ear-piercing [[CarefulWithThatAxe scream]]'' followed by nothing but very heavy breathing. Then ''another scream'' after some punctuated silence, followed by more screaming over the distorted, heavy beat from earlier in the song.
** "Blood on the Leaves." At first it's just slightly ominous, with Kanye singing about isolation and gold-diggers over a piano loop- nothing that hasn't been heard from him before. And then Nina Simone's voice pipes up in the background, ''"black bodies swinging in the southern breeze..."'' and it becomes clear that this is not "Gold Digger" part two.
** This [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuhl6Ji5zHM SNL perfoormance]] might explain why Ben Affleck seemed so scared while introducing Kanye.
*** The actual music video for "Black Skinhead" isn't much better. Aside from the imagery of barking dogs and [[RuleOfSymbolism people wearing black pointed hoods]], it features a [[UncannyValley CGI model of Kanye]] who is either [[ShirtlessScene half-]] or [[MaleFrontalNudity fully naked]] between various shots, as well as baring whip marks and tribal tattoos towards the end. And then [[BodyHorror the animation glitches up...]]
* PoorMansSubstitute: Before he blew up, Kanye was usually described as "the cheaper Just Blaze". The roles have since been reversed; you won't hear anyone calling Just a low-rent Kanye nowadays, but it's definitely a lot easier to get a beat from him than from Kanye.
** Just Blaze produced Kanye's "Touch the Sky".
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap:
** A lot of people abruptly stopped hating Kanye West once he joined {{Twitter}}.
** And after ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy''... ladies and gentlemen, nuff said. He tends to be in a perpetual cycle of leaping onto the Scrappy Heap with his bizarre and narcissistic comments, then being rescued from it by his next album.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Why yes, Kanye did have a verse on Music/JayZ's "The Bounce" back on ''The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse''.
** For people Ye has given a ColbertBump to who have later become well-known in their own right - LupeFiasco guested on Kanye's "Touch the Sky" from ''Late Registration''.
* SignatureSong: Either "Gold Digger", "Stronger", or "Power".
** Each album generally has a few that every hip-hop fan will instantly associate with the album
*** ''The College Dropout'': "Slow Jamz", "All Falls Down", "Jesus Walks" or "Through the Wire"
*** ''Late Registration'': "Gold Digger", "Touch the Sky" or the remix of "Diamonds from Sierra Leone"
*** ''Graduation'': "Stronger" or "Good Life"
*** ''808s and Heartbreak'': "Heartless" or "Love Lockdown"
*** ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'': "Power", "All of the Lights", "Monster" or "Runaway"
*** ''Watch The Throne'': "Niggas in Paris", "Otis" or "No Church in the Wild"
*** ''Cruel Summer'': "New God Flow" or "Mercy"
*** ''Yeezus'': "Black Skinhead" "I Am A God" "New Slaves" or "Bound 2".
* SoBadItsGood: The music video for "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBAtAM7vtgc Bound 2]]". However, [[WebVideo/TheMusicVideoShow The Music Video Show]] doesn't seem to share think [[http://youtu.be/f1872kAdH0I this.]]
** A lot of ''Yeezus'''s lyrics wholeheartedly embrace this by taking typical rap boasts and making them as insanely over-the-top as possible, with [[MemeticMutation incredibly quotable]] results.
* SoCoolItsAwesome: ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'' got rave reviews upon its release. And by 'rave', I mean ''almost every single freakin' media outlet gave it either a near perfect or perfect rating.''
** There are several examples on ''Yeezus,'' including [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPyKAmKxOAw Justin Vernon and Kanye trading lines on the first chorus of "I'm In It"]] and the insanely groovy beat on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYUGI1mtt6c "Black Skinhead."]]
* StylisticSuck: The music video for "Bound 2" from ''Yeezus'', with its seemingly random nature-video montages and obviously fake motorcycle shots, is almost certainly cheesy on purpose given Kanye's usual production quality. From the same album, the "Black Skinhead" video has the CG animation deliberately distorted and suffering "errors" as the music builds up.
* TearJerker: Large parts of ''808s and Heartbreak'', especially the concluding track, "Pinocchio Story." After the deliberate iciness and polished nature of the other songs comes this lo-fi, mono, off-key, improvisational live track that serves as an epilogue to the album. Given the context of the album and the recording (it followed the death of his mother and a breakup with his girlfriend), there is something deeply sad about Kanye nearly in tears singing that he "just wants to be a real boy" while the audience screams obliviously. He originally didn't want to put it on the album, instead planning on concluding it with "Coldest Winter," but {{Beyonce}} convinced him to keep it on.
** Parts of ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy''. "Runaway" and "Blame Game" are particularly good examples.
** Some of his infamous on-stage rants can qualify. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkozQc6A3NI&t=4m50s His speech at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2013]] is particularly notable- about five minutes in he starts screaming about how he lost his mother. You get the impression that all his narcissism and publicity stunts are just his way of attempting to cope with a death that he's never really gotten over.
* ToughActToFollow: ''MyBeautifulDarkTwistedFantasy'' got ultimate reviews. ''Yeezus''? Positive, but not to the point of MBDTF.
* TrollingCreator: He outright says it on "I Am A God" ("As soon as they like you, make 'em unlike you"). He deliberately changes his style after each album, generally very successfully, [[LoveItOrHateIt but your mileage will almost certainly vary.]]
* UncannyValley: The video for "Black Skinhead" (or "BLKKK SKKKN HEAD") features a computer-generated Kanye that zigzags this line for the whole video.
* VindicatedByHistory: People have been a ''lot'' kinder to ''808s and Heartbreak'' after the success of ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'' proved that [[ObfuscatingStupidity Kanye knew damn well what he was doing the whole time.]]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Rick Rubin came in and stripped down a lot of ''Yeezus'' into what it is now, leaving many contributors' work on the cutting room floor (all of them still retained credits, however.) It can be fun to imagine what things originally sounded like before Rubin came in, especially because the 16-song demo version he was given by Kanye was ''three-and-a-half hours long.''
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: Among other things in the film for ''Runaway'', the dinner party scene has exclusively black guests with white servants.
** The video for "Black Skinhead" is either this or full of FauxSymbolism.
* TheWoobie: Dropout Bear is portrayed as this in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CHs4x2uqcQ the video for "Good Morning"]], as he has a hard time trying to not be late for his college graduation ceremony, including his car breaking down, having to contend with a long line for the bus, missing the bullet train and being inexplicably [[BreadEggsMilkSquick eaten by a cloud monster]].

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