Author Topic: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera  (Read 658 times)

DukeDeMondo

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Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« on: November 24, 2019, 11:56:29 PM »
A Kanye West opera, now. Fucking hell. I only learned about this late last night. Tidal are running a live stream from the Hollywood Bowl, which, if my calculations are correct, is due to kick into life any minute. I managed to get the Tidal free trial into operation just in time. Reminds of the night spent waiting for Life Of Pablo to drop, and then disappear, and then drop again. And then disappear. That was one of the best nights of my life.

Anyway. Any minute now. I hope.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 12:12:21 AM »
Here we go! He's reading from Daniel chapter two over the top of "Every Hour" off Jesus Is King. "The Show Will Start Soon."

Fuck knows what we're in for.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 03:50:00 AM »
Well holy fuck. That was fucking demented.

Jesus Is King looped for two hours before it started. Two hours, now. Jesus Is King. A 27 minute long album. 27 minutes or 28, something like that? It's an album I like a lot, and when it first dropped I played it often, "Water" and "God Is" especially, but by the fifth or sixth time Kenny G started up again there tonight I was, aw man, I was all out of love for Jesus Is King. For the meantime. Anything else, now. Anything but fucking Jesus Is King. Anything. The sound of marbles being spat out into different things. The sound of postmen knocking at the wrong door for a signature. Jesus is King backwards. Anything but fucking Jesus Is King.

The thing itself, when it finally arrived and got its coat off and got going like it was meant to. Christ in eggshells. A massive choir arranged in a semi circle singing sometimes in ancient old tongues of whatever description, sometimes oooing through bits of "Say You Will" or "Wolves," all the while a deranged King Nebuchadnezzar races among them screaming and screaming and clad in what looks like a load of blue refuse sacks all stitched together. Like he's a load of bits of cement and concrete dug up out of a neighbour's garden one time bit roar into life now all of a sudden, just to scream and scream. Sometimes members of the choir will beak away and fight with other. One was standing upright on another's shoulders. Jumping over other's backs. Nebuchadnezzar screams and screams and over the PA Kanye reads from the book of Daniel.

"...and your houses shall be made a dunghill!"

The choir singing on, Nebuchadnezzar rolling about the floor. A golden idol appears, someone in a gold costume with a mask on, cooing the cooing bit out Wolves over and over and over.

This all goes on forever. Kanye reading and reading.

Then after an hour or so of this the camera pulls back to reveal that more choir members have assembled along the aisles of the Hollywood Bowl, all out of nowhere all Woman In Black style except white and all singing and raising their arms. Fucking, I dunno, a thousand of them.

Nebuchadnezzar crawls on all fours and screams his guts into the boards.

Kanye reads to the end and then that's it. That's the end of it. The choir are still singing, he comes on and laughs and raises his arms and bows his head.

Oh, at one point a table that stretched the length of the stage was wheeled out with all, like, olden days feast things. Load of apples and grapes and bits of pigs and plates with the arses of thing with all tails on. Some choir members are wearing these circular fucking weird old Midsommar masks. Nebuchadnezzar clinging to their ankles and screaming at their kneecaps.

The thing is fucking immense.

Was it worth the battle I now have to fight with Tidal for charging me £9.99 immediately for what was supposed to be a free trial? The answer is yes, but was I excited to see it again once it started looping from the beginning another time (as I assume it's going to do for quite a while)? The answer is no. Once was enough. For now anyway. Maybe another day.

Fuck me all the same. What a fucking palaver. Somewhere between "Stonehenge" and The Rainbow Children by Prince except without anything like "Last December" to properly blow you away and leave you reeling. The golden idol "Wolves" bit came closest, but it was still just a sort of "shits, here's Wolves next, somebody gold all singing it out."

He's busy making Jesus Is King 2 now, by the talk. Dr Dre is involved. This is what's happening. He said an album called Jesus Is Born would be dropped on Christmas Day but I won't be standing with my arms out waiting for it.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 04:05:31 AM by DukeDeMondo »

Twit 2

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 08:10:45 PM »
Why is it called an opera? As Kanye has no ability to write an opera whatsoever I can only surmise that it’s not one, but has been called one, or it’s sort of one and other people have written it.

Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 08:17:39 PM »
Was it worse or just as good as Paul Heaton's the 8th?

Sin Agog

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 08:20:55 PM »
I miss Lil B.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 08:21:45 PM »
I'm posting here if only to acknowledge that I read your account of this, Duke, but fucking hell that sounds like a heap of smouldering bollocks.

If only the greats like Del Shannon had realised they could spunk out any old piss while the iron was hot and ready to be pissed on and generate a whole load of pissy steam instead of failing to keep doing one thing and getting loaded every day out of sheer emptiness and then topping himself. Thank [redacted] we live in an age when an artist can truly do what they want, we're lucky to have our lives enriched by such a sheer lack of humility.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 09:36:13 PM »
Why is it called an opera? As Kanye has no ability to write an opera whatsoever I can only surmise that it’s not one, but has been called one, or it’s sort of one and other people have written it.

How do you know Kanye has no ability to write an opera whatsoever? Did he tell you? And since when was collaboration in pursuit of the realisation of an artistic endeavour any sort of anomaly or failing?  In any case, it was a capital O avant-garde Opera. It wasn't pop music in any shape or form. There were a couple sort of catch-your-breath interludes that came close - a woman played an acoustic guitar for a moment, the Golden Idol cooed the hook from "Wolves" - but mostly it was strange and abrasive stuff.

I mean, it was ramshackle as fuck, a halfways-realised sort of idea just peeled off his brain before it was ever even done being thought and flung on stage with folk racing around with Sellotape trying to keep the fucking thing in place as it progressed, and a lot of the same sort of thing kept happening over and over, a lot of Nebuchadnezzar just screaming at people and running around in circles. I didn't realise at the time that Nebuchadnezzar was Sheck Wes, but then I didn't know what Sheck Wes looked like. I listened to his Mudboy album a lot last year but I couldn't have picked him out of a line up of just him and a hedge.

But there were some bits that were jaw-dropping. The choir all falling to one side one after the other like dominoes as Nebuchadnezzar ran screaming among them. That was fucking stunning. There were a few bits like that where it was clear a lot of thought had gone into what was happening, but then there was also a lot of stuff that felt like they were just running about waiting for the next thing that they actually put some work into.

A lot of people have remarked on Kanye reading the line about "Nebuchadnezzar fell on his FACE!" three times because Sheck Wes didn't hear him and didn't respond appropriately. Kanye just laughed and carried on. I didn't catch that. I heard him repeating the line, but I assumed it was an artistic decision, not an accidental result of probably about fifteen minutes rehearsal an hour before the thing was meant to start. I wouldn't be surprised if the two hours late thing was because they were frantically making the half of it up backstage and hadn't decided exactly what to do yet.

Physically, I mean. Not musically. That was locked down.

His reading was pretty bad throughout. Sounded like he was reading the thing for the first time. Maybe he was.

But fuck it, I love it. I love that he just decides right, an opera next, and here it is within a couple of weeks. I mean, part of me wishes he would put a bit more thought into these projects he's dishing out at six thousand miles a minute. Kids See Ghosts seems like an aberration in his recent work, the only thing that comes close to sounding as fully realised as Life Of Pablo .I'm not counting Daytona or anything in that, just stuff where he himself is front and centre. Obviously Daytona is fucking stunning. But as far as solo or near-enough projects go, I don't think we're going to get anything else like that coming out of him for a long time. If this Jesus Is King 2 with Dre sees the light of day I don't doubt it'll be half-arsed too.

But then it's not half-arsed. It's over excited about itself and under-realised. It's not the result of laziness, it's the result of an artistic and creative restlessness and an imagination that won't shut the fuck up for two minutes and won't be happy working on one project when there's a thousand others that could be worked on instead. So we get a thousand projects that he was surely ecstatic about creating, but then his brain ran away with him somewhere else.

Saying that, what I'm listening to most is that Yandhi bootleg. I still put it on most days, for it sounds phenomenal and doesn't really sound much more "Unfinished" than Jesus Is King does.

Cuellar

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 09:44:18 PM »
Well, seen a clip or two of this. Looks like the prelude to a Jonestown type affair.

chveik

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 10:03:56 PM »
the old 'I have found God' trick. it's boring as fuck.

Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 10:04:24 PM »
not saying that Nebuchadnezzar can't be a significant piece of art but it's not an opera as there wasn't a libretto; Kanye narrated the story over mostly wordless vocals that didn't tell the story.

Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 12:17:43 AM »
In my book, it's not an opera because it didn't feature Elton John playing pinball in enormous stilt-shoes.

Twit 2

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2019, 06:57:03 AM »
not saying that Nebuchadnezzar can't be a significant piece of art but it's not an opera as there wasn't a libretto; Kanye narrated the story over mostly wordless vocals that didn't tell the story.

This was my point. I just highly doubt Kanye has hit enough of the criteria of an opera (or even an avant-garde opera) to get away with calling it one with a straight face. He’s just slapped on the name “opera” out of arrogance. Birtwistle is great on this (incidentally, check out The Mask of Orpheus, Duke before rushing into calling whatever mad theatrical stage show Kanye has farted out an “avant-garde opera”), lambasting the likes of Paul McCartney for their utter arrogance in thinking they can sidestep into a genre they haven’t paid their dues in and gain unearned credibility by pretending they’ve written a symphony, or whatever. Kanye West strikes me as a mentally ill narcissist. People like that often produce works of genius, but also plops and sometimes a bit of both. It will be an opera in name only. I say that as someone who knows little about West and a lot about opera.


Edit:

Quote from: Harrison Birwistle
It's total arrogance for someone like McCartney to turn his hand to writing a piece for chorus and orchestra. It's musical nonsense. Students would fail their PhD if they submitted that. I'd fail them for stylistic inconsistency and musical illiteracy. That this sort of thing can be taken seriously is a facet of where we have gone wrong.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 04:29:47 PM »
(incidentally, check out The Mask of Orpheus, Duke before rushing into calling whatever mad theatrical stage show Kanye has farted out an “avant-garde opera”)

Well I was thinking more of Moses Und Aron, which it reminded me of at times.

But, whatever it was, it was compelling for some of the time and not so much for some of the rest of the time. I think that's my says wrung dry, far as this Nebuchadnezzar goes. I think it would have been much better received, and much better thought out, had Kanye 2010 been behind it. But it was Kanye 2019 and that's all there is to it.

Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2019, 05:26:30 PM »
Kayne West has mastered twelve-tone? Bit I heard was just a wordless choir singing a minor second over and over while he writhes about

Re: Nebuchadnezzar - A Kanye West Opera
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2019, 10:00:00 AM »
he's announced another 'opera', the balls of this man are colossal