Beach Boys vs. Kanye West & Friends

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The vexation and the genius of West Sounds' success lays not in its own virtues, but in its audience's perception. While hardly a case of the Emperor's New Clothes, the project banks much of its success on its inherited image. By keeping the remix within Roc la Famila, West Sounds assures being billed as a descendant of the Grey, Purple, Silver, Red, Brown, Black is Black, Double-Black phenomenon. However, the project neither riffs on the Jay remix gangbang, nor specifically on The Grey Album. It is not meant to be College Sounds/Pet Dropout because it could never be that complete. Black Album acapellas were made commercially available in a complete package, thereby setting a standard for all subsequent remixes; producers and bedroom jockeys only had to mull over whether to include the intro or not. In the case of The College Dropout, only about half of its acapellas were released. Hence, West Sounds is like a highlights package of remixed singles and b-sides, as opposed to a concept album. Which actually works to its advantage, because it earns notable press without actually playing the album-versus-songs game.
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