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Kanye West: Anger For Sale in a Pair of Red Kicks

This week, a new shoe rumor has the Twitter waters for #Yeezus churning like a shark frenzy:

From a pure marketing perspective, it just doesn't get any better -- so incredibly well played.

With coupons for the shoes inside the wrapper of a random number of chocolate bars -- I mean, CDs - people are going to be buying CDs by the dozen. Considering the resale potential of these limited-edition shoes, with CDs at $12 a shot, you could buy 100 and still do very well on your investment.

While he pockets something from the retail price, I think it's safe to assume West doesn't usually make any money on the resale. So we have to conclude:

  • It's a good marketing gimmick.
  • He's aware that some of his more entrepreneurial fans can make money.

That's OK with him.

By the same token, some of his less-savvy fans are going to be ripped off by the entrepreneurial ones. This practice exploits the "new slave" culture he both decries and embraces in his lyrics.

Throughout the rap of "New Slaves" and "Black Skinheads" we hear a confidence underneath all that complaining, a committed hand at the wheel of the emotional turbulence. He yells it out in "Black Skinhead" Picture me living in the moment, and later, in the same song, Runnin' out of time, moving fast/So just close your eyes and enjoy this crash.

West is carving a direction for himself in broad, deliberate strokes. If it fails, he can walk away with the same cocky arrogance, knowing that he said what he came to say, laid it out there the way he wanted.

So far, though, where "Yeezus" is concerned, it doesn't look like "fail" is a word I would use.

-- Written by Carlton Wilkinson in Asbury Park

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