Monsters, both real and imagined have plagued the Earth since the very beginning. Aside from the mythical Lochness Monsters and Bigfoots that we can never manage to get proof of, we have whales, giant squids and wild animals that make our trips to grandma’s house a bit more interesting than it needs to be. Hip-Hop has had some lyrical monsters as well, whose verses have eaten up space in our minds and devoured our tape decks...well when we had tape decks anyway. Kanye West has a new track and he’s decided to bring out the inner beasts of Rick Ross, Jay-Z and of all rappers, Nicki Minaj is his Friday night feature “Monsters”.
The distorted attempt at a haunting chorus is corny and misplaced and doesn’t really add to the track. Once we get to the beat though, it’s straight hard drum and snare and fairly conventional with accents that pop. There is no obstruction in the rhythm to throw off anyone on their run. There are occasional ghoul effects to supplement the lyrical references.
Rick Ross serves as a simple intro with no more than 8 bars which leads to a Kanye refrain. Kanye’s verse is all style and very little lyricism but that seems to be his M.O. These days. It sounds good but it’s swag rap like ribs with too much sauce because they aren’t cooked right. Jay-Z has the best verse on the song, finally abandoning the stolen whisper flow and the breathy delivery from BP3 for a strong confident release on this track, which includes a shot at Beans. Having so many songs with Jay, Ross and Ye takes from this song though, which is why Minaj’s performance is so refreshing. She busts three different vocal styles on her part and is surprisingly assertive. She kills her cleanup slot with delivery if not much lyricism.
On his recent return, Kanye has been a monster himself, taking his song constructions and drawing them out with malformed extended vocal runs that don’t add anything to his records, making the tracks too long and diluting their energy. Such was the case with Rihanna’s vocals on “Run This Town” the “Power” remix and Beyonce’s vocals on “See Me Now”. This song should have ended with Minaj’s standout verse and the extension of the track diminishes it. That ambition worked on “We Major” under the watchful eye of Jon Brion and Stevie ambitions. Here, unchecked, they detract from some G.O.O.D. Music.
Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, Nicki Minaj “Monster”
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