I first encountered this song properly when Seth Rogan’s parody suddenly erupted on my news feed like an unexpected spot at the height of puberty. The parody is simply gold and I will make sure to link you all at the end of this. However whilst watching I was also listening, and I heard something interesting. I do not enjoy this song, but after a long discussion with my housemate I have grudgingly started to appreciate it.
Now I have a soft spot for a bit of rap, grime and hip-hop (and all the influenced and interconnecting genres), and Kanye West particularly has had some really rather enjoyable songs. They are regularly well produced, well thought out and well composed. Bound 2 in this respect is…weird. The production just feels like it was half-heartedly thrown together. If this in unintentional, I expect more from such a highly regarded artist. If it is intentional on the other hand, I feel it is a horrible artistic choice.
Everyone is entitled to their views here, but personally I find “I’m making an artistic statement” to be a poor excuse for a poor sound. I understand that people might simply think I’m missing the point or am unready to be challenged, but that is simply not the case. In the same way that some might consider a clown shitting on their car to be art, and others will view it as some dude taking a dump on their Vauxhall Corsa, I do not consider Bound 2 to be good music. Even if it’s intentionally crap-sounding, I don’t think that makes it good music. It’s nominally interesting, abstract art, but it lacks a lot of what I personally look for in music.
The lyrics in Bound 2 are deep, meaningful and poignant, really making a change from the monotony of modern pop. I like the rap, even if I find the tone somewhat bland. The video I enjoy due to its re-appropriation of imagery more heavily associated with confederatism and the “american dream”.
In the context of the Yeezus album, this song does fit in. It’s so avant-garde it’s practically out-of sight, but I find this more pretentious than enjoyable. Other tracks are much more enjoyable, mixing Kanye’s oft-excellent lyrics with influences of Industrial, NDH, horrorcore and more. Bound 2 is just not as good as the other songs.
Kanye West is a very intelligent man, doing some very interesting things. However as this is a music blog, I find myself having to consider Bound 2 in a musical context, and I find it lacking. This said, I will not rate this song as I feel the poor rating I would otherwise give would not really reflect it as a piece of work.