I don’t sit around thinking about the album all day, although I do sometimes. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is just something I feel as if I’ll always like, love, and have for myself. It’s an album that I think presents a vast array of interesting problems and aesthetic pleasures — almost in equal turn. I really, emphatically love music. That’s such a teenager thing to say, and I’m almost thirty years old. But at no point in my life, I mean every single day going forward from yesterday to today to tomorrow, have I ever loved music more than I do at any given moment. Every day I love it more. There’s just nothing I’d rather do than listen to music, and nothing I like writing about more than music. It’s exactly as deep and thoughtful as you make it, and it’s always different and also always the same. It’s an extension of being, but it also helps form being’s parameters in that as an object, it helps you elucidate the form and limits of your own experience.
Something that’s sort of cool to me but probably nobody else is that a) Kanye was my gateway into hip-hop after Graduation came out and these days I consider him the greatest contemporary artist in popular culture, and b) B was the first writer on Tumblr I really liked and he’s still one of my favourite writers period, so him writing about Kanye was, y’know, pretty exciting. It’s not so much that he’s writing about Kanye but that his dogged and single-minded admiration produces uniquely insightful writing; nobody else could write about Kanye like B does because like he says earlier in the essay, they’ve probably no idea what they’re talking about (relative to him) but also because even if they were as close to the subject, it’s difficult to adopt a perspective that’s just detached enough to properly understand why it’s so resonant. All of his writing about Kanye manages an equilibrium between personal and analytical.
This might be why One Week / One Band is conceptually, if not always practically, my favourite website of all time. It’s invigorating to watch All My Friends document their personal affinity through a lens of critical analysis like an indie(-er) 33/3 series. Regardless of the artist at hand, the closeness of the writing and the optimism it inspires seems to remind everyone why we love music and that even though the whole exercise of writing about music can often feel cynical because the negative voices are typically the loudest, there is and always will be music to get excited about.