His career-long fixation on his own contradictions eventually consolidated into an aesthetic, one that gave rise to a generation of male artists, such as Drake and The Weeknd, who wallow in soft self-loathing and explain away their loutish behavior as the result of melancholy and bruised ego. As West’s fame has grown, he has seemed uninterested in moving beyond this narcissistic stance, apologizing only intermittently, and halfheartedly, for the persistence of his asshole ways. His previous album, “Yeezus” (2013), was a brilliant collection of prickly, squelching songs that seemed designed to vet rather than expand his fan base. It was paranoid and resentful, its harsh textures partly inspired by a range of frustrations with the music industry and with the insular world of high fashion.
Hua Hsu, “A God Dream”, The New Yorker (22 February 2016), 66.