Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kanye West Rips off Tears for Fears

About a week ago, Stereogum posted a new track by Kanye West called “The Coldest Winter.” The song is built around “Memories Fade” by Tears for Fears. Now, we’ve always known that Kanye has been down with sampling stuff that’s a little more adventurous than what we’re used to in hip-hop (e.g. CAN, Paul McCartney and Wings, obscure 70s prog rock). But it seems as though Kanye has basically nicked the entire song! Hell, he effectively rewrites the chorus with his own lyrics à la Diddy.

Tears for Fears “Memories Fade” (Live on German TV)

Kanye West “The Coldest Winter” (Ripped from the radio, so apologies for the less than stellar sound quality).

I think that one commentator on Stereogum hit the nail on the head:

After heartless and love lockdown i listened to this and was like "awesome" and got some faith restored in him, especially the awesome "goodbye my friend." then i clicked on that tears for fears link and was like "nevermind" because tears for fears wrote that great hook. this isnt like rapping over a sample, this is just like covering a really good obscure song and taking the credit for it. good thing that tears for fears link was there.

I do believe that Mr. West is finally starting to run out of steam. In my opinion, the quality of his lyrics has been sliding down hill since Graduation. The man is no longer as funny and audactious as he used to be. Production wise, he’s still very much on point, but ultimately the thing that drew a lot of us to Kanye was the lyrics. He rapped about hard times, being broke and hustling for better things. Certainly the man has been going through some very difficult times due to the loss of his mother. But this song doesn't sound very inspired and it sounds more like a demo than a track on an album that's due out by Christmas.

And what's with the heavy use of autotune/vocoder ? You have all the time and money in the world, Kanye? Why not take a year off and learn how to sing?


Geihardur said...

This comment has nothing to do with kayne or tears for fears (though I did like this song of theirs).
I saw your comment on some blog when you mention that you played a gig with Desidia
(Sindri Eldon, and other guys from Iceland)somewhere in new york.
I'm one of those guys, Geirhardur, the one with long hair dyed black.
Just wanted to say that I had fun to at that concert actually I considered this the most fun concert I had ever played for some amount of time.

Are you still making music?
I and Sindri are playing in another band now called Slugs, (
And I occasionally post some solo songs on my own myspace page.

Stay fresh,
assuming that you still are after those years of separation.

p.s. you mentioned that you had some pictures of us since in the U.S.
I'd really like to see them if it's not very time consuming for you to send them.
my e-mail is

Laura Rae said...

robocop is even worse.

Anonymous said...

Has he made any original songs?