Review of Roses by Kanye West

Published: 2021-07-02 01:55:13
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Category: music, Hip Hop, Music Industry

Type of paper: Essay

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Student Project Presentation In 2005 Kanye West released “Roses” on his second studio album titled “Late Registration. ” Though the composition is classified as hip-hop, it delves into many other genres and niches as it encompasses a wide-ranging mix of blues, rock, R&B, and many others. The extensive collaboration between West and film score producer Jon Brion during the making of the album resulted in a very unique orchestral-like sound thanks to the hiring of a full string section during production.
The entirety of the album could be considered a breakthrough as it redefined the genre and what typical hip-hop was expected to sound like by juxtaposing heavy hip-hop beats with orchestral strings. It is this contributing factor that makes it so difficult to compare his musical style to that of any other artists. Although I thoroughly enjoy “Late Registration” as a whole, “Roses” is my favorite composition due to the lyrical substance and the manner in which West chose to express his story.
West composed the piece entirely himself, a deeply moving story where he recounts his emotions and those of his family as his grandmother lay ill due to heart complications and his views of the healthcare system. Although he did not write out his lyrics at the time, this did not hinder the meaning of the composition in any way as his passion and conviction are still evident in the tonality of his voice and heart felt words as he ever so clearly conveys his story to the listener.



The Grammys classifies the composition under its rap category. In 2006 “Late Registration” was nominated for five Grammys of which it won three for best rap song, best rap solo performance, and best rap album. In my opinion the category suits the composition because though it is not typical, it still is rap. I believe that this song should be a part of our course because of its element of improvisation, which is one of the cornerstones of Jazz.
As I mentioned before, West did not write down any of his lyrics for the composition, or for any of his first four studio albums for that matter, it was all improvised from his head straight to the recording, similar to the bass improvisations of the great Charles Mingus. It can be said that the compositions does have a rhythm section, yet it is not one composed of human players. Instead what you hear is an eclectic mix of synthesized instrument clips compiled into a beat.
In the composition West raps over piano and a slow rhythm with the chorus then bringing in trumpet riffs, electric guitar, and vocal sample from Curtis Mayfield’s composition “Rosie. ” So all in all, I am happy to have been able to elaborate on this composition and shined some light on many details and elements that may have been overlooked or just not known by you guys, the listeners. I could only hope that you enjoyed the music as much as I did and am glad to have been able speak to you about a composition that I really admire.

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