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* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** 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.
** 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.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: See [[AwesomeMusic/KanyeWest this page]].
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** The beat drop in "Blood on the Leaves". [[TropesAreNotBad Not that there's]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome a problem with that.]]
** In the middle of "Niggas in Paris", the entire song comes to a screeching halt in order to play an excerpt of dialogue from ''Film/BladesOfGlory''.
** "Pt. 2" includes a section with a bunch of female synthetic voices singing over each other.
* 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.
** Kanye's overall demeanor. There is no denying that he is a complete and total {{Narcissist}}. But whether you find his ego [[AwesomeEgo endearing]] or [[KnowNothingKnowItAll insufferable]] is another story.
** ''The Life of Pablo'', so far. The complaints don't seem to be about the quality of the songs but moreso its bloated tracklist, apparent lack of construction compared to previous albums, and generally weak lyrics. Reviews have ranged from saying it's his second best album next to ''MBDTF'', to mid-tier, to his worst yet.
* 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 Music/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 like ''808s.''
* CriticalResearchFailure: "Black Skinhead". 300 is a number associated not with the Romans but with the Spartans, and the Trojans were not, in fact, the enemies of Rome but of Greece.
* 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".
* 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."
** As far as his albums go, ''808s and Heartbreak'' and ''Yeezus'' have gained cult followings, both being [[VindicatedByHistory Vindicated By History]] as well as [[DarkerAndEdgier Darker And Edgier]] than the rest of his work.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: ''Yes.'' While not necessarily a ''bad'' guy, Kanye sure loved his mom in spite of all his [[GeniusDitz dumb]] and [[JerkAss insensitive]] antics.
* EvenBetterSequel: ''Late Registration'' was seen unanimously as a step up from ''The College Dropout'', with critics especially commending its more textured production (as in not relying on samples).
* FountainOfMemes: He was the first (and [[Memes/DeathGrips for a while]], 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 autotuned 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!
* HeelRealization: Kanye posted a blog reflecting on how he's working on tampering down his ego back in 2008. What prompted it? The ''South Park'' episode "Fish Sticks."
* 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 second child with wife Creator/KimKardashian.. who first got famous after a "leaked" sex tape by an ex-boyfriend.
** "Gold Digger" also had the line "My psychic told me she'll have an ass like Serena / Trina, Jennifer Lopez", which was later fulfilled when Kanye got with Kim ("Break the Internet", anyone?).
** Another common one 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.
** When asked to "humanize" himself for a Series/SaturdayNightLive skit in 2013, [[http://www.missinfo.tv/index.php/kanye-west-rants-about-saturday-night-live-in-nyc/ Kanye retorted "I ainít runniní for office. I ainít kissiní nobodyís muthafuckin babies. I drop your baby and you muthafuckin sue me and shit."]] At the 2015 Video Music Awards, Kanye announced that he's running for president in 2020.
* InternetBackdraft:
** His infamous line off of "Famous": "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous." Although it was later confirmed that Kanye included the line with Taylor's permission, there was still inevitable backlash that was galvanized by Taylor indirectly addressing the controversy in her acceptance speech for Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys when she mentioned people that would try and take credit for your success. Kim later released a video which showed that Kanye had consulted with Taylor before the line, and she had signed off of it, which drove deeper wedges between the two's fandoms.
** Speaking of which, the "Famous" music video, which includes a number of celebrities all naked in the same bed, including Kanye, Kim, Taylor, Music/ChrisBrown, Creator/GeorgeWBush, Music/{{Rihanna}}, and Creator/DonaldTrump.
* JerkAssWoobie: On one side, you have an arrogant, egotistical bastard who pretty much has been known to be very rude and shown to be very vain, but on the other spectrum, you have a calm, intelligent, and even ''nice'' guy who obviously doesn't know how to show his love of music in a normal way, obviously is ''still'' hurting with the death of his mother, and has an immense dedication to a [[Creator/KimKardashian woman]] that [[HappilyMarried he's happy to be with]].
* 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.
* MemeticMutation: Enough to warrant [[Memes/KanyeWest an entire page]].
* 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.
* NarmCharm: There are a lot of corny-as-fuck lines in Kanye's songs, but let's be honest, they're memorable for that very reason.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** In 2009 Taylor Swift won an MTV Music Award for Best Female Video. During her acceptance speech Kanye barged onto the stage and declared that Music/{{Beyonce}} (who also had a video nomination) had one of the greatest videos of all time. That this incident caused him to become the target of extensive mockery doesn't seem to bother him, because he did it ''again'' when Beck won the 2015 Grammy for Best Album.
** 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.
** A lot of people aren't willing to forgive him for his..er..''interesting'' cover of [[Music/{{Queen}} "Bohemian Rhapsody"]] at his Glastonbury 2015 set.
* 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...]]
** The album covers for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy are all rather creepy looking, aside for the normal one with a grassy hill, a crown, and a sword. The other album covers are Kanye's mascot, the Dropout Bear, with multiple heads, the cover for Power is Kanye's head cut off, screaming...
* 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''.
** Kanye also appeared in some music videos before his debut, such as Music/JayZ's "Izzo (HOVA)" and Talib Kweli's "Get By".
** 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''.
* RidiculousProcrastinator: Most apparent with his last two albums. Many of the [[MemeticMutation most memorable]] lines from ''Yeezus'' basically came out of Kanye writing the lyrics at the last minute.
* 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'': "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 "Homecoming"
*** ''808s and Heartbreak'': "Heartless" or "Love Lockdown"
*** ''My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'': "Power", "Dark Fantasy", "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.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: "Facts" is like Kanye's own remake of Music/{{Drake}} and Future's "Jumpman".
* 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.
** The entirety of "Only One," which serves not only as an ode to his late mother, but a message to his young daughter too. Especially sad when his voice audibly breaks from emotion at the line, "I just want you to do me a favor."
** [[http://images.rapgenius.com/912dcc93ada78bae42f65d784a581fe3.295x328x1.png This image]] of Kanye in the hospital after the October '02 car crash that broke his jaw. (Nothing graphic, we promise.)
** "Roses", which is about when Kanye's grandma being hospitalized under conditions so severe that she could die at any minute, and her doctors can't even do their procedures since anesthesia will put her even more at risk of death.
** And now we have "Real Friends", which is about Kanye having become distant from friends and relatives in the wake of his rise to fame. The mix of sympathy and resentment, combined with the gorgeous instrumental, really makes this one hit home.
* ToughActToFollow: ''Music/MyBeautifulDarkTwistedFantasy'' got ultimate reviews. ''Yeezus''? Positive, but not to the point of MBDTF.
* TroubledProduction: After nearly three years in development, multiple title changes, singles that didn't even end up on the record, a release date which kept being pushed back, and Kanye generally [[RidiculousProcrastinator waiting until the last minute to get anything done]], ''The Life of Pablo'' finally saw the light of day.
* 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.]] It also doesn't hurt that it's Kanye's most influential album by far, more or less single-handedly reinventing the modern R&B scene and influencing artists like Music/TheWeeknd, Music/{{Drake}} and Music/JCole.
* 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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