Fighting, Rising, Falling, Searching, Finding these were the main themes that were projected on stage every few songs during Kanye West’s Yeezus tour show at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
After seeing how amazing his prior night's performance at the Garden was and his 2 night performance at the Barclays Center, everyone in attendance at last night's show was holding their breath to see what Yeezy had up his sleeve for the night.
The concert started in typical Kanye fashion with plenty of theatrics, beaded masks, white women in nude colored bodysuits with nude stockings over their faces and of course jumping, spinning and laying on the stage. His whole heart and soul was in his entire 2 and a half hour performance and it showed through every single detail during the night.
First song was “On Sight” straight off his new Yeezus album. The distorted sounds in the beginning of the song were pulsing through the stadium as Kanye slowly crept towards the stage with bent knees, giving everyone the feeling that this guy isn’t really human. Wearing an American flag shirt with an eagle, leather pants and of course a blinged out mask, Ye and his cult of indistinguishable, expressionless white women blazed through "Black Skinhead", "I am a God", “Send it Up”, “Hold My Liquor”, “Blood On The Leaves”, "I'm In It", "Guilt Trip" with such energy and excitement it made even the crowd lose its breath.
As he stood on the edge of the stage it lifted up to make Kanye look even more God-like. He performed “Cant Tell Me Nothing” a throw back everyone was happy to hear. We were graced with even more throw back Kanye songs including “Coldest Winter” which he confessed was written about the death of his mother, “Flashing Lights”, “Through The Wire”. He shouts out Roc-A-Fella records while performing Diamonds and tells the crowd to through their diamonds in the sky.
After being completely absorbed into Kanye’s hypnotic energy, we got a look into the mostly secretive rapper’s life after he performed “Lost in the World”. The song, he says, was written as a poem and emailed to someone around the same time he moved to NYC for the first time. That someone he emailed was Kim Kardashian and it was significant to him that he could perform the song back in NYC with her in the crowd listening along. It was very heartfelt and you could really feel his passion for her during the song.
Kanye teased the crowd with the piano chords we all knew as the beginning to "Runaway". With a single note that is so classically the opening to one of his greatest hits, the crowd went wild and wanted more. He made his way around the stage and played the same chord a couple of more times still teasing us before performing the song fully.
Then the Kanye West we all know and love came out to play. We were ready to enter the Church of Yeezus for our sermon. Still in his mask he sarcastically said, "I'm scared of these corporations not giving me another deal that they already didn't give me...I'm so scared of what people say online. So scared." He went on to talk about a slew of different topics including more talk about his beef with Nike and Hedi Slimane. But he does not only just talk about them he pretty much annihilates them and all that they stand for.
He discussed how people call him a genius as if being a genius is different than being a rapper like the two can't go together. He shouted out to Jay-Z and Drake and calls them geniuses as well. "Rap is an amazing way to express genius." He said "If you're a musician and you sign a deal with a corporation to buy a bigger mansion, when you go in the studio watch your f*cking mouth 'cause you don't wanna lose that house, but when they write history books they not gunna talk about the houses we had. They gunna talk about the impact we had."
He also talked about the impact that Lenny Kravitz has had on his involvement with Paris fashion even adding, "There wouldn't be no Kanye West without Lenny Kravitz, but the only dofference between me and Lenny Kravitz is I turn up on them I don't give a f*ck about being cool."
He boasted about the industry not giving rappers or musicians a chance and schools us all on the hierarchy that exists in the industry. The architects look down on the arists who look down on the fashion designers who look down on the musicians. Not being marginalized is his biggest quam with the industry. He doesn't want to be put into a box.
While screaming "f*ck fashion" a few times Kanye also shouted out to Louis Vuitton for having insanely high prices, and even told the crowd he wants to work on a line that would be affordable for everyone. He explained how money is the reason we can't move around freely in society and when were being held down just scream out " I AM A GOD!". By the end of it all he prompted Google American Express, Disney and all big corporations to back him. He let everyone know they have dreams and they can say them out loud and go for them no matter how stupid or small. "If i can stand here and say my stupid dreams out loud so can you"
It was more than a rant at this point it showed a more vulnerable side of Kanye He finally opened up about a lot of things he was feeling and he let the crowd in. The usually shut out and mysterious Kanye intrigued us all and made everyone feel empowered. By telling us to follow our dreams, to keep believing and to not be scared of what you want in life it made the crowd feel safe.
When you read about him being angry or you see him beating up a paparazzi you automatically toss him in the angry rapper category, but it's easier to understand where he's coming from at a concert like this where you can see the passion that he has as being an artist. He just wants the world to hear him out and not mistake him for being ignorant. When you understand his passion you get why he would be so pissed at Jimmy Kimmel for mocking his interview with Zane Lowe where he expresses a lot of what he's been feeling lately.
At the end he performed “Bound 2” and you see a different Kanye. It is almost like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders after his rant. He was happy at this point and carefree. You could literally see the young rapper from Chicago circa 2006 with so much charisma that no one can get in his way. It came out as he smiled on stage and performed. He shook hands with fans and even gave the mic to a special fan in the audience so they can sing along. He smiled a lot and we all accepted and loved it. He genuinely is an artist that is unmatched in the industry. He has passion and heart and wants to share this all with everyone. He truly is a rockstar. He is the incomparable Mr. Kanye West and we thank him for sharing his art with us.