TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Kanye West has responded to Canadian music producer Bob Ezrin after Ezrin wrote a blistering commentary questioning West’s talent.
The Canadian music producer, who has produced for Pink Floyd, Taylor Swift, Lou Reed and Nine Inch Nails, posted a blog entry questioning if West’s music would stand the test of time. (The full blog is below.)
Ezrin posted his blog on the Lefsetz Letter, which is read widely by music industry insiders.
Ezrin wrote, “Unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now,” wrote Ezrin, in response to a recent New York Times article on the release of the rapper’s latest album, “The Life of Pablo.”
“In my opinion, his productions are his best work — and I admit I’m jealous of several of them — but I don’t think he’s on quite the same level as Timbaland and Rick Rubin among several others.”
“Real artists make stuff that changes the world and lasts,” Ezrin added. The 66-year-old music producer went on to say West’s skills were “sophomoric at best.”
West responded to Ezrin’s blog by asking, “Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???”
The rapper also added, “Bob please never speak in public again.”
West questioned what Bob Ezrin knows about rap music.
According to Yahoo News, Ezrin has co-produced Pink Floyd’s classic “The Wall” and Lou Reed’s “Berlin,” is also one of the producers on the 2004 Jay-Z documentary “Fade to Black.” Ezrin also produced the award-winning song “Wavin’ the Flag” for Rapper K’naan. K’naan tweeted:
“I know #BobEzrin & worked with him, I don’t agree with his assessment of Kanye as a talent, but what he says about the state of art is real!” the singer said in some of the comments he later removed. “So yea you can be angry that some old guy called u out, but the truth is, most things this generation is producing is expendable.”
Bob’s daughter Sarah Ezrin responded to West with a few tweets.
“I’m proud to be Bob Ezrin’s child. He taught me not to be afraid to have an opinion for fear of other’s reactions,” she said.
“My dad taught us not to respond to anger (with) anger. He wrote an opinion piece. You made it personal. You’re a leader. Choose love.”
Bob Ezrin’s Blog Text About Kayne West:
Sure, he made some great music for himself and others. But in spite of what the aspirationally-cool media keeps saying about him, unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now. He didn’t open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick. In my opinion, his productions are his best work – and I admit I’m jealous of several of them – but I don’t think he’s on quite the same level as Timbaland and Rick Rubin among several others. His songwriting – meaning the stuff with melodies – is sophomoric at best. I was embarrassed for Sir Paul – one of the greatest Artists of our era – by their collaboration, though it was pointed out to me that this got him his highest chart position in decades. So I guess he didn’t mind. But I kind of did!
Instead Kanye’s greatest achievements have been in the form of excessive behavior, egomaniacal tantrums and tasteless grandstanding. What he is a true artist at is living his life out loud – and shoving it down the throats of the rest of us whether we give a shit or not. He’s like that flasher who interrupts a critical game by running naked across the field. Is that art??? Maybe it is. Maybe as Caramanica says, life as “an unending data stream” is a new art form. But should it be, honestly? Hell, Forbes named this guy one of the 100 most influential people IN THE WORLD in 2005 and 2015!! Seriously??? Influencing WHAT exactly?
In the review of the endless new album, Caramanica wonders if “being slightly finished is the new finished.” And that just makes my blood boil. The great musicians, writers, poets, rappers, performers, dancers, players, conductors, directors and producers work all their lives for that one moment of complete perfection – that one brilliant performance, that one perfect song, that one enduring and life-altering work. 10,000 hours is peanuts in comparison to the real amount of time spent by true artists in their lifelong pursuit of excellence. But no one else that I have seen is this happy to have the audience watching all along the way. They are working to the culmination of something; to the exquisite feeling of completion that comes from working and reworking until that moment when their creation, or their performance, is as good as it could possibly be. This guy is just feeding the media machine and I’m not even certain to what end. Maybe he JUST needs the attention, like that flasher, and isn’t happy unless he’s the center of it.
What galls me the most though is the thought that he and others – especially the media – might actually BELIEVE that he’s an artist. With a capital “A.” That what he’s doing is of any real consequence besides for the sheer train wreck gawker value of it.
I don’t even know why I’m so angry about this. Except maybe I lament for a world where being truly, world-shakingly excellent at anything – at least in the field of popular music if not elsewhere – is no longer absolutely necessary. You can be a star today just by creating a public life that people pay attention to. That’s it. All you have to do is be interesting or likable or shocking enough and you can have your 15 minutes of fame…even if that means that no one will remember you or what you’ve done in just a few years. Line ‘em up. How many “popular artists” have come and gone in just the last decades. In my mind (which is a pretty busy as often too judgmental place, I will admit) real artists make stuff that changes the world and LASTS.
I haven’t heard it yet. Is that what The Life of Pablo is? If so, then I take it all back.
I just needed to rant to someone.
Kayne West’s Response:
“Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???
What the f**k does he know about rap…I’m tired of old people that have no connection with anything trying to comment on music! Do something relevant… Please don’t speak on me bro ever again!!! Your kids are ashamed of their dad… Sorry for speaking about kids… but could you imagine if you were Bob Ezrin’s kids…I’m so sorry for them… I will send them free Yeezys to make up for the embarrassment that you have caused your family! Bro you said Macklemore was more important musically than me… no offense to Macklemore, he’s a nice human being! Bob please never speak in public again… you are everything that is wrong with the old guard …it’s guys like you that run companies and don’t invest in Ye even if I’m your kid’s idol!!! Rock and Roll was stolen… Rap was exploited…I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne in one year and wasn’t nominated for either and you know who has 2 albums of the year. Welcome to pop culture!!! Ezrin I truly feel sorry for your friends and family that they have had to suffer an idiot like you for so many years…God bless the fools … all positive vibes!”