Kanye West: "Stronger"

Comments

10 comments posted
why do you have to read so

why do you have to read so much into it? its just a music video. you're being way to critical of it. plus you don't have to defend cassie shes a big girl and odviously she wouldn't of been in the video if she didn't want to.

just enjoy the video

??'s picture
Posted by ?? (not verified) on 5 September 2007 - 8:05am
wow nice grammar if you're

wow nice grammar
if you're not going to write anything helpful or interesting on this website, get off

amber's picture
Posted by amber (not verified) on 11 September 2007 - 9:44am
??

Just enjoy the blog ;)

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 September 2007 - 6:12pm
That's the funny thing about

That's the funny thing about music videos. Because they are shafted under the "entertainment" box, that means they cannot be critiqued. I like the way West's lyrics tend to only apply to himself. For anyone who doesn't know, this man has a MASSIVE ego, and can be quoted more than once boasting about how he is the greatest artist in the world. There is a trend, reguardless, in rap and hiphop, where male rappers will carry on about freedom of speech and, well, freedom in general, yet they strip away the power of others (women) whilst doing so. It was on this site too, I think, that revealed a great contrast in lyrics and video clips, and generally mixed messages within lyrics, eg Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend and Rihanna's Umbrella.

Polyestergirl's picture
Posted by Polyestergirl (not verified) on 26 September 2007 - 12:11am
i agree with your questions 100%

i actually found this page from a search for "kanye west" + dyke because I've been listening to his new album a lot and I've noticed him use that word a lot and I think its fucked up. I wanted to see what other people that about that. Kanye often tries to set himself apart from other mainstream rappers (ie. speaking about about homophobia last year) but I think he's guilty of the same misogyny that other rappers are, which is fucked up.

jon rybicki's picture
Posted by jon rybicki (not verified) on 29 September 2007 - 10:18pm
hmmm?

I disagree with the conclusions you draw at the end about how to make the song feminist friendly and marketable.

1) I don't thing "What doesn't kill me..." is the "originial message of the song." If it were, the song would just be another dull cliche. The song is about sex, or hooking up. This is a cliche too, but at least it's not as preachy.

2) I would agree that making Cassie the video-eye-candy is about the most sexist thing about this song, but I don't think a good solution would be to tack on another vocal line. Would it have been better if they'd used a woman who couldn't sing?

3) Secretary/Boss points to a sexist dynamic in society, but to play off of it in a song or a sexual act isn't inherently sexist. We can't (shouldn't) stop art from immitating life. If Kanye enjoys kinky sub/dom role playing games then I say he should be able to sing about em.

The line that perks my ears up the most in this song is "black Kate Moss." Why does a black woman need to be compared to a white woman to be sexy? But maybe by specifying "black," he's trying to say that black is beautiful, that he wouldn't settle for the regular Kate Moss.

The word 'dyke' is confusing too, but he has explicitly come out against homophobia. So I don't know what to think. I don't think dyke has to be a bad word, but it seems to come out of no where. Does anything else rhyme with Klondike?

b's picture
Posted by b (not verified) on 27 October 2007 - 11:12am
I think Kanye is doing a

I think Kanye is doing a couple of interesting things with "Stronger." I think he is on one hand talking about "what doesn't kill him will make him stronger, but he undeniably switches back and forth from that meaning, to one with sexual undertones. I think this is an intentional, yet organic response to the words, "harder, better, faster, stronger." He says, "What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger," but then he says, "You gotta hurry up, I can't wait much longer,I'M GETTING harder better, faster, stronger." I think it is a strange transition in regards to the message of the song, but he definitely does it pretty easily.

I agree with the points made about the sexist/homophobic undertones existing, but I don't think they are intentionally malicious, but malicious by ignorance. Regardless of how intelligent Kanye is, he is (by virtue of being a man) a recipient of certain priveleges that seem to block off a person's ability to differentiate "normative"/racist, sexist, homophobic language from harmless street slang. If a person has no personal connection to the pain and reality of sexism/homophobia, they are likely to say, "what's the big deal, it's just a song..." I can't judge if Kanye's words indicate that he is intentionally sexist (specifically againts black women)and homophobic. I think they more readily point to the fact that he (like so many others) are so far enough removed (or think they are removed) from the tragedy of sexism and homophobia that they have no second thought to using certain words, or imagery that evoke a loss of power to those of us still close to that tragedy. Honestly though, I think that Cassie resembles Kate Moss and wonder if Kanye referred to her as his "Black Kate Moss" because of that, and because of the fact that it rhymed with "Let's get lost tonight." I guess that is up for debate. A healthy response to this song, from a feminist perspective, is to NEVER back down from a healthy critique. It is a form of art, which by default is meant to be critiqued. That is what people with brains do with art. We absorb it, we analyze it, we figure out it's place in the world, and we try to figure out where we fit with it. It's the beauty of being human. When we stop critiquing art, we start becoming machines or better yet, recepticles of information. How boring.

What is most interesting about ALL of this is that Kanye's use of Daft Punk's song destroys the original context of the song! Daft Punks version seems to be a bit of a social commentary on the views of "work" being a never ending reality of life that is marketed to us as something that "makes us harder, faster, better, stronger." Reading the lyrics make it clear to me that the "harder, faster..." line is a somewhat cynical or sarcastic response to an ever increasing work obsessed culture. "do it faster more than ever our work is never over." I love hip hop and r&b, and I LOVE when it effectively taps into a song in a way that speaks to the original message of that song, in addition to using the beat. (a good of example of this is Mary J's "No more Drama"-she sampled the Young and the Restless' theme song...BRILLIANT) The fact is, Kanye failed to accomplish that. I still like the beat though;-)

Danielle Graham's picture
Posted by Danielle Graham (not verified) on 3 December 2007 - 3:52am
Now, now. Cassie is a big

Now, now. Cassie is a big girl and can make her own decisions. If she didn't want to be the eye candy of the video, then I dare say she wouldn't be in the video. Kayne West didn't put a gun to her head and say "Be in this video or you get it!" She made the decision herself. And honestly, if I had the body Cassie had I would flaunt it too. Besides, the majority of her songs are about sex. So why the hell can't she be the eye candy in whatever the fuck she wants?

And also, the original message of the song.. now, now. Did you help Kanye or whoever write it? Were you present in the room? Did you and Kayne get all close and personal to discuss it? Who's to say what the original message was or wasn't it?

It's a music video. It's a song. Better yet, it's a rap song. Must we really dig too deep into it? Stereotypical or not, Kayne has been responsible for alot of good music as well. We can't overlook Jesus Walks or the rest of his music. He's talented. So what if there's half naked chicks in his videos? It's his choice. And let us not forget that sex sells, no matter how much some of us would like it not to be what influences the sales of anything at all. That's just the way society is and has been for a long time now.

x3liar's picture
Posted by x3liar on 4 December 2007 - 7:03am
i don't know where the

i don't know where the problem is , it just a rapper trying to rap and some times the lyrics don't make any sense , cus they're just tryn' to make a rhyme, no matter what they've got to say , i don't know why are you so critical about it , its not like it is a presidential speech, its just a simple song

your name here's picture
Posted by your name here (not verified) on 23 March 2008 - 3:47pm
The Queen is Dead

"Kanye had a momma who taught women at Clark/ but when he raps he be tearin' young women apart." -- The Queen is Dead by Bambu

If you don't think Kanye is deserving of criticism, then do you believe he is an artist? Do you believe rap is an artistic medium, a mode of expression?

The same folks who want feminist and socially-conscious critics to "shut up and enjoy the music" are the ones that believe rap, as an art form, is deserving of free speech protection.

I believe hip hop is an art form, and I hold artists to a certain standard.

If you don't, that's your prerogative, but you only justify the critics who see no redeeming value in hip hop - people like composer Milton Babbitt, who claims rap is the "lowest form of popular music that ever existed."

Check out "The Hip Hop Wars," by Tricia Rose - it's all about this topic. Also look into "Beyond Beats and Rhymes," a documentary on the subject.

Royce's picture
Posted by Royce (not verified) on 29 July 2010 - 1:47pm