Friday, June 4, 2010

Strange bedfellows: Kanye West and Robert Fripp

One is an American rapper and producer aged 33 who has had three albums go straight to #1 on release in the US, and has won 12 Grammys. The other is a 64-year-old guitarist from Dorset who has been the mainstay of prog-rockers King Crimson since 1968; that’s him on David Bowie’s “Heroes”. No #1 hits, no Grammys.

And what do they have in common? This: the former’s new single “Power” from his new album called (I am not making this up) Good Ass Job samples the riff from the latter’s 1969 stonking “21st Century Schizoid Man” which, arguably, invented heavy metal. I used to have it on a 45 rpm single. For true.

You are wondering what the lyrical content of the new song might be. Here you go:
My childlike creativity, purity and honesty/Is honestly being prodded by these grown thoughts/Reality is catchin’ up with me/Takin’ my inner child, I’m fighting for it, custody/With these responsibilities that they entrusted me/As I look down at my diamond-encrusted piece.
Next, Eminem samples “Siberian Khatru” by Yes, and samples “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” by Genesis. I, for one, can’t wait.


bob roberts said...


Cat's foot iron claw/
Neuro-surgeons scream for more

MacDoctor said...


"Nothing he's got he really needs/twenty-first century schizoid man"

Bang on.

And a very far cry from Kanye West's twitterings...

Phil said...

Or from the Ozzy (Prince of Dorkness) :

(from Iron Man)

He was turned to steel
In the big magnetic field

Paul said...

Yo Stephen, I'm really happy for you, I'ma Let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time!

Bloggulator said...

Perhaps this accidental "collaboration" is not as odd as it may seem to people whose brains have not been addled by decades of asinine commentary in the entertainment media, most especially the UK music press.

Some reality: The only two things King Crimson have in common with Yes, is that both bands evolved in a similar time frame, and Yes' former drummer happened to migratd to King Crimson in 1972. As far as Genesis goes, any similarity ends with the time frame issue.

If King Crimson is "Prog", the Yes, Genesis and all those bands lumped into that category, are obviously not. It thus follows that if King Crimson is not "Prog", then Yes and company probably are. King Crimson seem to have more in common with Kanye West, or even Punk, than Genesis, Yes and that ilk.

Then, consider, what does "Prog" really mean? If it is an abbreviation of "progressive", then how do Yes, Genesis etc . etc. etc. fit that description, and how did that misleading term get applied to a host of bands playing music which never developed over the years? King Crimson, on the other hand, changed from album to album, constantly morphing, changing and developing over a period of 4 decades?