I have listened to a lot of music man. My addiction has gotten so severe that I can, with a fair amount of certainty, predict what a new song will be about, how it sounds, who made it, and who the artist listened to on the bus to school within the first thirty-odd seconds of listening. This entire process keeps me in an apathetic state, as I continue to chase the dragon that was the first time I heard an incredible album—formative LP’s like: Illmatic, Demon Dayz, Surrealistic Pillow, Nevermind, etc. 

While a good single here and there are enough to ease my withdrawal pains, the euphoric calmness rarely lasts for more than a few days. The creeping pit in my stomach gains more fervor and the excitement quickly begins to fade. Luckily, every so often a rare piece of art will come into my life and help me see through the fog of bull shit.

This analogy might make me seem like an old head, which is the worst thing you could call me. However, it isn’t so much that I think most music isn’t that good, it’s that I know you know that most music isn’t all that good. There is a reason why we all applaud great artists and musician, it’s because they are different and bring a standard of quality that their contemporaries do not.

I cannot think of a single artist that I would put in the same category as Kanye West for this reason. You can whatever you want about his personality or his dealings with a biased media, but to deny Ye’s greatness would be ludicrous. Every time Yeezy rises from the depths of Paris Fashion Week, with a brand new album in his hand, you know that music will not be the same ever again. He is batting one thousand right now (I’m not the biggest fan of Yeezus, but I respect its accomplishments) because he never fails to bring something new to the table and he is the premier producer in the game right now.

Kanye West is back and he is gearing up for his eighth album, aptly titled after the phrase all of hip hop said when it was announced before passing out: So Help Me God. If you were a multimillionaire rapper, with more Grammy awards than  your child’s age in 2033, what is there really left for you to do? Somehow Kanye manages to find an obstacle and push throw, leaving us with fire tracks in his wake.

In “All Day”, Kanye manages to capture and focus the manic energy that dominated Yeezus. Ye continues his Drill and Trap experimentation, most notably seen in the percussion with quick snare rolls flying emphasizing certain lines. Low End Central, you would be letting yourself down by not listening to “All Day” with a great pair of headphones. The bass is bending in ways that only Kanye and Neo can make it do.

Lyrically, “All Day” is incredible. I serve Kanye a lot of salt when it comes to his recent lyrics, but I can’t on this one. What he lacks in traditional bar heavy rhymes, he makes up in clever lines packaged in even better delivery. The hook is amazing, and will have party goers chanting screaming “All Day” all night (ha!). What Ye does with the Broadway scheme is phenomenal, quite possibly my favorite portion of the song. However, what is most compelling is the brashness and unapologetic nature of the track. Name dropping Minister Farrakhan and calling him sensei, which is typically taboo in society, but Ye gives no fucks.

Shouts out to Allan Kingdom, with the great feature. He is one of my favorite newcomers and he seems to be on the right track. I mean a Kanye West co-sign never hurt anyone, just ask Lupe, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Cyhi, Travis Scott, Jay-Z, and Estelle.

When I wasn’t having my mind completely obliterated in Kanye Standom, Wati Heru wrecking havoc on a much smaller scale. Wati is a Brooklyn emcee, who has a slightly different flavor from his predecessors. He still has that New York swag about him, but he isn’t drowning you under the weight of a hundred bars. Does he have rhymes, obviously, does listening to his music feel like an exercise in pretension and nostalgia, no.

I’m all for the mysticism themes and lifestyle, but that stuff can be a little overbearing. I have a hard time spending a lot time with Beastcoast music because of this small gripe of mine. Thankfully, Wati isn’t focused on that wave and keeps his rhymes rooted on his way of life. It was actually comforting to hear Fronto mentioned in a song, which is a way of life for a lot of my friends.

Wati’s flow is impeccable in its fluidity. On “BKWYA,” his delivery changed after each verse and he displayed incredible repertoire. The hook is way too cool and his nonchalant manner throughout make it seem like he hasn’t even noticed his skill. Combine his calculated aloofness with Wati’s Brooklyn aesthetic, you get a viable option and a great time. I played this track a dozen times this weekend, it doesn’t get old.

Kanye and Wati are on the opposite sides of the stardom spectrum, but both helped me through this long snowy weekend. Unfortunately for me,I’m going to need another hit in a week or so, but I’m going to have to wait for their albums to drop. I’ll have to find something else to ease my mind while I wait then.