Okay, so I'm going to make an attempt to discuss a modern hip hop act on SH.tv (!). This isn't an appreciation thread per se, so positive and negative discussion is welcome, but please, DO NOT criticize "Power" or Kanye West on the basis of the terrible state of modern, "talentless" music/hip hop. This is not the thread to complain about how hip hop used to be "real" back with A Tribe Called Quest. Nor do I want to see empty Kanye-West-is-a-jerk statements-- this isn't the thread for spewing empty, hate-filled statements of the man. If you think he's an idiot because of the Taylor Swift incident or just in general, BUT have something interesting to say about it, go for it. If you think his flow is weak, his concepts bad, etc., that's fine, and I want to hear about it. And so let's talk about his new single, released on iTunes yesterday: "Power," featuring Dwele. It's his first solo "rap" track released since 2007 with Graduation. I'm one of the ones who thought 808s & Heartbreak was an intelligent one-off experimental album, but even I'm thrilled to have the "old" Kanye back. More than that, though, I'm excited to hear him be his old polarizing, half-self-critical/half-egotistical conceptual self. It's what made The College Dropout the best hip hop album since The Marshall Mathers LP and Late Registration the best hip hop album since The College Dropout. Because no one does introspection like Kanye (you say KiD CuDi? That's called college seminar introspection and it's boring as hell). It's the key to good hip hop and good music: present strong, well-thought-out ideas, and even if they're galvanizing or contradictory, they'll be received if delivered properly. That's why I didn't like Graduation. Yeezy slowed things down to a drawl and became so totally self-obsessed that his music became way too glitzy. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" was the only exception. I still haven't quite decided on whether or not I love "Power," but it is certainly a good track. Yes, Kanye's ego is still huge, but the chorus tells the truth: despite the man's self-importance, the song is ultimately about his fall from "Power" (note the cover art alluding to Macbeth). And just listen to that very un-hip hop outro with Dwele and the ambiguous lines: "Now this'll be a beautiful death / Jumpin' out the window / Letting everything go." What do you think?