Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How Kanye West and Miles Morales Relate AKA Watch The Throne And Ultimate Spider-Man #1

"Hello, Hello, Hello White America, Assassinate My Character"

What do Kanye West and the new Ultimate Spider -Man, Miles Morales, have in common? They both have gotten a lot of hate for a variety of reasons. Kanye maybe deserved some of his, but I'd say all the negativity directed towards Miles has been almost completely unwarranted. Where has a lot of the hate been coming from also? Well, if we're honest, all those "delightful" white folk who hate seeing either:
A. A successful black man who isn't afraid to admit he's successful, and even be a bit of a jerk about it
B. A black man/teen replacing a fan-favorite white character and read into the fact that he's a minority as some sort of political-correctness or propaganda. Oh, and the fact that Miles Morales is also of Latino heritage gets the folk who want everyone to, "Speak American," all pissed off too.

So we've got people up in arms because not even the mainstream Marvel-Universe Peter Parker, but an alternate Universe one, gets killed off, and just happens to be replaced by another individual who writer Brian Michael Bendis sees a lot of story potential for by making the character a person of color. How was the first issue of the new Ultimate Spider-Man, though? I would say it was pretty darn solid. It was an origin-story issue, and we've seen plenty of those, but it was still entertaining. In comparison, how was the new Kanye album made in collaboration with Jay-Z, "Watch The Throne?" It wasn't bad, but I didn't find myself amazed as with Kanye's, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". "Watch The Throne" didn't have a single track I hated, they were all enjoyable. However, nothing really stood out for me except for, "Gotta Have It," which was absolutely banging--as the kids today say. Ultimate Spider-Man is weighed down by the fact that is has to establish the character of Miles Morales, "Watch The Throne," is weighed down by how Jay-Z and Kanye could pretty much do whatever they wanted for the album and it resulted in a somewhat unfocused by fun assortment of songs.
Kanye West gets booed and mocked, but then he produces things so utterly amazing it shows that no matter what haters say maybe Kanye's boasts are actually pretty close to the truth, and he is just maybe one of the greatest rappers alive. Even when he doesn't amaze he still turns in solid work like, "Watch The Throne," with Jay-Z. On the other hand, Miles Morales didn't have to do anything other than exist to receive a level of spite and hate that was quite frankly disheartening. The thing is, if written well this character shows potential, and should be given a chance to prove himself. People didn't want to give Kanye a chance, and when they finally did he created the utterly amazing, "The College Dropout," who knows what Bendis could do with Miles Morales if given enough of an opportunity to let the character grow. We could get something at the quality level of another "Alias" maybe. Let's just hope it doesn't turn out to be 808s and Heartbreak.
Ultimate Spider Man #1: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Watch The Throne: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*Note* I don't hate 808s and Heartbreak, I just think its kind of weak and its so melodic and quiet at parts it literally makes me sleepy. When an album puts you to sleep that is not a good thing generally unless it has "Lullabies" in the title.

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