To me, the brazenness is endearing, not off-putting
Kanye West – We Major w/ Nas & Really Doe (full version) (mp3) – Yo! This shit bangs! At least for the first four minutes. The last three were more fit for a seperate track called “We Major (Reprise)” but then nobody would hear the “egomaniac” sharing the spotlight with Jon Brion and the other studio musicians. I’ve always suspected that Brion was brought into the fold, not so much to craft music, but to do Diddy to Kanye’s schmaltz, bombast, and understatement knobs, EQ them just right to produce something wholly fresh and signifying in a way that “the soul” and chipmunk voices couldn’t. They won! This one’s all layer upon dissonant layer. The lyrics are all “triumph” but the melody is all “regrets.” The drums are powerful and you feel you’ve heard them before… but never mixed this nearly this low. Funny how a loop can somehow meander. Kanye starts off ostensibly celebrating a litany of intoxications then sobers up real quick talking about the scrippers (again), the hoods all fucked up, and young black nouveau riche ain’t got no direction. Nas admits that he had no idea how to write to this beat. Should it be about the hos or the ice? […] Rap about big paper or the black man plight? See, these guys are two of the most successful around. But the hook needs reassurance that they are, in fact, major. And if they’re not, is anyone? Wow.
I’m sure everybody else will post about the Paul Wall track (it’s dope!) and the Common track (it’s dope too but isn’t an extensive Gil Scott sample on a Common song like wearing your own band’s shirt to the show?). And the Cam’ron song too (dope but how long will Consequence eat off the genuinely talented’s good will?). But I’m going to listen to “We Major” a few more times before I listen to the rest of Late Registration.