Yeezus rose early: To the delight of many music lovers, Kanye West’s much anticipated new album was leaked this afternoon prior to its upcoming Tuesday release date.
As expected, Yeezus as a whole is dark and rife with pathos, with West evoking everything from the anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” to the violence in his hometown of Chicago. But if you extract a list of all the people, places, brands, and pop-culture icons mentioned by the rapper on the album, the subject matter starts to look a little less intense. Michael Douglas, Deepak Chopra, and Chewbacca? All make appearances in Kanye’s lyrics. And the rapper also finds time to give a shout-out to Bobby Boucher, Adam Sandler’s character in The Waterboy.
Unlike Watch the Throne, which featured West and Jay-Z rapping shamelessly about their lush lives, the proper nouns on Yeezus are more often used for punning or weaving together complex lines (“Your feelings like Zulu, then nothin’ is a Shaka”), rather than as an extravagant shopping list or sheer braggadocio. Nonetheless, seeing them all together does help sketch Kanye West’s endlessly fascinating cultural landscape—and, in a sense, ours. After all, Kanye understands culture. He is the nucleus.
Every Specific Person, Place, and Thing Mentioned on Yeezus
Jeromey “Romey Rome”
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