Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lovecraft meets Hip-Hop

Kanye West - Reanimator

Mash-ups are curious creatures. I would be hard pressed to call them anything but a novelty. We can blame Seth Grahame-Smith for the literary mash-up..or at least for its popularization due to the mystifying success of Pride and Prejudice with Zombies. I am still precariously on the fence with such endeavors. At best they are delightful diversions bringing out the best of the genres and authors they salute

Kanye West - Reanimator is somewhere in between. It is definitely funny and entertaining and it does an admirable job of blending H. P Lovecraft's style with the peculiarities of hip-hop. Yet even at its much less than a 100 pages length, it feels too long. The author had fun with this, using Lovecraft's serialized fiction, "Herbert West - Reanimator " and turning Mr. West into the rapper/beatmaster Kanye West as he uses the beat and the mixes to revive dead bodies. There is a lot of references to the need for fresh beats and quite a few musicians and rappers take a beating, so to speak, from Biggie to Paul McCartney. Maybe this is an acquired taste.

And I think i may have hit on the issue. I love Lovecraft and I am a bit of a music freak from rock to jazz to soul. But I honestly know little to nothing about hip-hop. I did really get into the earlier days with Run-DMC, Public Enemy and up to NWA but then I tapered off. There is clearly a number of in-jokes here .and I think too many of them went over my head. Plus I took points away whenever anyone mentioned Kim Kardashian.

So this is my recommendation. if you are into rap and Lovecraft both, this might be "Da Bomb". if not, it will be a risky endeavor. But again, let's give credit to the author for a noble attempt and some very funny turns of phrases. As for me, I am best off waiting for a classic rock version. Maybe...Leslie West -Reanimator?

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