Is it useful? Well, competition can be healthy but it’s important to make these goals realistic. Michelangelo has got a 500-year head start on legacy-building and the pyramids are absolutely massive triangles made of giant bricks. Perhaps you’d be better off squaring up to someone more on your creative level, like Anthony Costa from Blue? Or maybe just a schoolchild? Why shoot for the stars when there’s a perfectly reasonable lamp-post just outside your front door?
Relevant track: Street Lights. Plaintive ballad about the mediocrity of most things in life.
Is it useful? Okay, so the bad news is you’re not the No1 human being in music, but you heard the man, that means any person that’s living or breathing could be No2! You’re in with a shot of being the No2 human being in music in the whole world. And to think, you were about to stop recording cover versions of Hozier songs and uploading them to YouTube!
Is it useful? Yes this is useful. It’s all too easy to float through this life paying little or no respect to receptacles. May we remind you that the bottle you are trying to ignore has been manufactured from compressed organic polymers specifically in order to carry units of crystal-clear mineral water for your hydration. So yes, Kanye’s right, that bottle is your responsibility. Check your privilege.
Relevant track: Guilt Trip. Bleak-sounding, synth-assisted ruminations on regret and responsibility.
Is it useful? Kanye wants us to renounce the commodified version of satisfaction packaged and sold to us by mass media. Trouble is, a lot of it is pretty good. Rejecting these things means rejecting the following: mayonnaise, The Killers, gloves, Graham Norton, Match of the Day, scented candles, Lilt and all of YouTube. Until you’re ready to give those things up and instead get into the sorts of things that bring Kanye happiness (expensive lamps, leather jogging pants etc), then you should understand that you will never know true joy.
Relevant track: Everything I Am. Kanye’s melancholy reflection on how he’s different from everyone else.
Is it useful? Not directly useful perhaps, but this one does pose an interesting question. What are you supposed to do if you wake up one morning to the realisation that you are not the man you wanted to be? You’re not the greatest living rock star, you’re not a God, you’re… whack. You wake up late, shuffle your feet towards the bathroom mirror, rub your chest and feel that weird bone that sticks out in your ribs, draw in a rattly breath that reminds you how much you need to give up smoking, look deeply into your own eyes and sigh. You know what? You’re whack. And that’s okay.
Relevant track: Good Morning. The artist’s wake-up call to himself.
Words by Angus Harrison
The skinny-jeaned corpse of 2007 indie is risen and dragging its battered Converse to a venue near you