Fucking Eh – Tyler Reviews: Kanye of the Stone Age

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Written by Tyler McLaurin

Kanye of the Stone age is a mash-up album by ToTom which combines the rap stylings of Kanye West with the riff driven instrumentals of Queens of the Stone Age. The album features mashups such as “Jesus Walks with the Flow”, No One Knows King Crimson’s Power” or “Runaway Into the Fade”. While there are a few misfires, many of these tracks come out sounding very cohesive, and ultimately complement each other very well. The rock instrumentals imbue Kanye’s lyrics with fire and passion, and elevate the energy levels of his performances. This is especially apparent on tracks like “Black Skinhead Does it Again”, where Kanye’s increases in pitch and excitement is supported by growling guitar riffs and thundering drums. Other tracks take a more subdued approach, but ultimately work out such as “Make it Wit Barry Bonds”. This song uses the jazzy and dare I say romantic instrumental of Make it Wit Chu with the braggadocios lyrics of Barry Bonds, which creates a very smooth listening experience.

“The only track that flat out doesn’t work is “Tree Digger”, which only turned me off because of the c-constant skipping through Kanye’s v-verse.”

I find the main value of this mashup as a hip hop fan is the way they reinvigorate the Queens of the Stone Age instrumentals. While Kanye’s passion and hater hating work tremendously well over these rock driven instrumentals, I was more surprised by how well the Queens sounded as rap beats. I began to suspect this after I heard Berzerk and Survival by Eminem, but guitar driven rock and rap flows are actually a good match. As much as I am a Queens fan, I found myself enjoying Kanye’s raps more than Josh Homme’s moaning falsetto. The only track that flat out doesn’t work is “Tree Digger”, which only turned me off because of the c-constant skipping through Kanye’s v-verse. That being said, when it works it works. The track “Better it Giveth” is a great example of this. The instrumental features a relentless rapid fire guitar riff, giving the track an energy and pace that wasn’t part of the original song. The verses work the same way, replaces the floating vocals with rapid fire flows, which manage to keep up with energy of the guitars. The way the verses roll into the hook is so good, it almost seems intentional.

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The bonus tracks flip the project on its head, combining Josh Homme’s vocals with Kanye’s instrumentals. These mash-ups also manage to go over surprisingly well. Many of the tracks use the same components as other tracks on the album, but with a different function. For example, “Power Know One Knows” is a direct remix of “Know One Knows King Crimsons Power”, switching the vocals and the instrumental around to make an entirely different sounding song. This gives the bonus tracks their own unique feel, and provide a nice contrast to the rest of the album.

If you’re a fan of Kanye West, Queens of the Stone Age, or hip hop with a rock and roll flavour, you should defiantly give Kanye of the Stone Age a listen. The album is pay what you want but if you want the bonus tracks you have to meet the average price, which I would recommend. It’s clear that ToTom has an ear for mash-ups, and he deserves all the support he can get.

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