Me Ye and the MTA
The MTA and I have a very special love hate relationship. There are more people and less trains. It makes for a hectic scene. Being a new father, I can’t sit around like used to and play loud music. My escape is my noise canceling headphones and the 45-minute commute that I take to work every day. On the Subway, things can be tough. We are essentially trapped in these little rooms that speed around under and over the city streets. I often use the time to think about whatever is occupying my mind with a soundtrack to accompany.
This day I chose to listen to Ye, Kanye’s latest album. The first songs title struck me immediately. Who was he talking about? I Thought About Killing You, is something that one could only say to someone they had a history with. Someone that you may be upset with. They let you down and now you look down on them. The song opens with an underwater auto-tuned voice repeating: I know, I know, I know. A siren acting on your subconscious trying to convince you.
The train rumbles into the station. There is no room for me as usual. People are twice the size they used to be. Kanye’s voice comes in telling the listener that he thought about killing them. This is significant because he thought about killing himself and he really loves himself. Seems like the people on the subway want to kill themselves. Everyone is a bit bigger than they should be. We are all more tired and it shows worse on some. This album seems to have been made when he felt tired and unhealthy. The muffled based lines that come in on the track are slightly soothing but should make you nervous like the muzak played in doctors waiting rooms.
I understand where he is coming from. He just wants to say what he wants to stir the pot a little, get the people talking. He’s provocative. Why do I feel that its provocative to talk about weight and Americans? Why can’t the people on this train see what I see? If I were to start ranting like Kanye would any one listen? I’m rambling again. This song is very good. Its layered, when you listen its got its own ecosystem. There are little sounds that go off on different registers your ear can pick up. All this makes the beat rich.
Pulling into the next stop more people rush me squeezing their bodies in the car. People aren’t supposed to be this shape. That’s why this thing isn’t working out. It seems like his words are what secret the bodies on the subway share. I mean they are destroying themselves with food right? When he says I love myself more than I love you, it’s like the collective consciousness of their minds speaking to their bodies. Food deserts and processed box meals, I hate how the corporations have alienated us from the food we eat. Maybe being a celebrity is similar. Loving people but not being able to be anywhere near them. That sounds terrible. I think this dude misses people and the part of yourself that is fulfilled when you are a part of the society.
Anderson Jankins is a contributor from Queens, New York