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FIGHT! Kanye West vs. Producer Bob Ezrin. It’s Already Gotten Weird.

In one corner, it’s Yeezy, the self-appointed Greatest Artist Who Ever Lived™. In the other, Canadian producer Bob Ezrin, the guy who worked with Alice Cooper, on all those KISS albums in the 70s as well as a little record called The Wall for Pink Floyd. You might have heard of it.

Like a lot of people. Bob has had it with Kanye’s craziness, arrogance, rudeness and petulance, something he expressed in Bob Lefsetz’s industry newsletter. At issue was a front-page story in Sunday’s New York Times that framed Kanye’s nuttiness as “art.” It reads in part

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.

The whole rant can be found here.

Kanye caught wind of this criticism and went on his own rant on Twitter.

Yeezy vs Bob 1 copy

Yeezy vs Bob 2 copy

This led to an assault on Bob’s Wikipedia page by persons unknown. You can see the entire evolution of the new edits here. Childish, yes, but still kinda funny.

Yeezy vs Bob 3 copy


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38324 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “FIGHT! Kanye West vs. Producer Bob Ezrin. It’s Already Gotten Weird.

  • I’m so sick of hearing about this imbecile. He he has no talent, musically or otherwise, it’s like listening to fingernails down a blackboard, in fact, i think I’d prefer the fingernails. However, i think he’s pulling a page or two out of Madonna’s marketing book, make noise, make scandalous noise, make sure everyone is talking about how crazy you are, how much nonsense you spout, how annoying you are, but they are talking about you, embedding your name into their minds, it becomes a household word. Sadly, we’re all playing in to this, even with this post I’m playing into it. Bob’s rant is refreshing to say the least. KW will play it for all it’s worth, and increase his exposure, while we keep fueling the fire.


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