Planet Ill Breakdown — 04 November 2010

By Odeisel

There have been an inordinate amount of guests on Kanye’s recent string of hits, from usual cohorts Jay-Z and Charlie Wilson, to Pete Rock, Raekwon and Justin Beiber. Creativity makes for strange bedfellows and the latest leak from Kanye is a veritable orgy as John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Rihanna & Elton John come together for Kanye’s “All Of The Lights.”

The track is ambitious if not coherent with grandiose horns heralding the intro and combining with a high speed tribal drum and the dry thump of background drums. The beat is a messy, high art attempt at deconstructing those southern trap songs, with the tribal drum replacing the snare drum and the big horns replacing the tuba. The rhyme scheme is even aped by both Kanye and Fergie in their verses with that slow Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross-on-“MC Hammer” flows. It’s a bit too big for its own good because the horns bring so much gravitas that the weak rhymes fall flat against the backdrop. The drums create too much urgency.

Rihanna does a solid job manning the vocals. There’s nothing that takes her somewhere she can’t roam.  Most of the other people on the track are jumbled or there for decoration. Fergie’s verse is as forgettable as Rick Ross on  “Monster,” Kid Cudi can be heard for about four bars, and Elton John is all but invisible as is The-Dream. Charlie Wilson is present as usual but there is just too much going on with this track to give Keys’ limited vocals any real time to shine.

“All Of The Lights” features all of the sounds, all of the singers, and as a result it is all of a mess. Not a trainwreck mess, but a waste of all the star power assembled. You be the judge. “All Of The Lights.”

Kanye West Feat. John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Rihanna & Elton John -“All Of The Lights.”

All Of The Lights (Feat. John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Rihanna & Elton John)

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