Ode on a Kanye West Album

Beauty is awesomeness, awesomeness beauty—that is all Yeezy knows on earth, and all Yeezy needs to know.

By Michael Hardy December 4, 2013

[In anticipation of Kanye West's concert Saturday night at the Toyota Center, Houstonia is reposting this Kanye-inspired parody of "Ode on a Grecian Urn."]

Last June, during an interview with Kanye West for the New York Times, Jon Caramanica asked West about his obsession with award-show fairness: 

Caramanica: But has that instinct led you astray? Like the Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Video Music Awards, things like that.
West: It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.

Ode on a Kanye West Album

Thou still unremixed bride of awesomeness,
  Thou foster-child of Freshness and dope Beats,
Sonic historian, who canst thus rap
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What gold-encrusted legend haunts about thy shape
  Of Yeezus or mortals, or of both,
    In Chicago, or the studios of Shangri-la?
  What men or gods are these? What Kardashians loth?
What mad stunting? What struggle to front?
    What synths and drums? What dark fantasy?

 Heard beats are sweet, but those unheard
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye 808s, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more awesome,
  Pound to the spirit beats of no reverb:
Fly girl, beneath the loft ceiling, thou canst not leave
  Thy song, nor ever can that loft be bare;
    Bold Kanye, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
  For ever wilt thou love, and she be fly! 

Ah, happy, happy loft! that cannot shed
  Your freshness, nor ever bid the Summer adieu;
And, happy rapper, unwearièd,
  For ever spitting verses for ever new;
More dope beats! more dope, dope beats!
  For ever fresh and still to be enjoy’d,
    For ever bangin’, and for ever ill;
All envy and hate far above,
  That leaves a heart distracted and diss’d,
    A black skinhead facing a glass ceiling.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
  To what award show, O mysterious host,
Lead’st thou that rapper lowing at the voters,
  And all his silken flanks with Louis Vuitton drest?
What studio by river or sea-shore,
  Or Bob Dylan–built with mirrorless white walls,
    Is emptied of its folk, this Grammy morn,
And, little studio, thy soundboards for evermore
  Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
    Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O minimalist shape! aspirational attitude! with brede
  Of awesome dudes and chicks overwrought,
With Corbusier lamps and furniture from the Louvre;
  Thou, silent album! dost tease us out of trippin’
As doth cocaine: Cold Verses!
  When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st
‘Beauty is awesomeness, awesomeness beauty,—that is all
    Yeezy knows on earth, and all Yeezy needs to know.’

By Michael Hardy (with apologies to John Keats)

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