Veteran record producer Bob Ezrin recently wrote a lengthy commentary on Kanye West for Bob Lefsetz’s newsletter, the Lefsetz Letter. Ezrin, who helmed culturally impactful albums like Pink Floyd’s The Wall, KISS’s Destroyer, and Lou Reed’s Berlin, argued that Kanye is not worthy of equal critical acclaim.
“Sure, he made some great music for himself and others. But in spite of what the aspirationally-cool media keeps saying about him, unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now,” Ezrin wrote. “He didn’t open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick.”
Ezrin went on to say Kanye’s songwriting is “sophomoric at best” and his production skills pale in comparison to the likes of Timbaland and Rick Rubin.
“Instead Kanye’s greatest achievements have been in the form of excessive behavior, egomaniacal tantrums and tasteless grandstanding,” Ezrin continued. “What he is a true artist at is living his life out loud – and shoving it down the throats of the rest of us whether we give a shit or not. He’s like that flasher who interrupts a critical game by running naked across the field. Is that art???”
This evening, Kanye responded to Ezrin via a series of tweets. “Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???” Kanye began. “What the fuck does he know about rap… I’m tired of old people that have no connection with anything trying to comment on music!”, adding, “It’s guys like you that run companies and don’t invest in Ye even if I’m your kid’s idol!!! Rock and Roll was stolen… Rap was exploited…”
Kanye also took offense, and rightfully so, to being compared to Macklemore. I mean, even Macklemore’s mom has to know Macklemore blows.
Kanye’s tweet storm also prompted some of his loyal subjects to edit Ezrin’s Wikipedia page.