Rob Markman: What’s up Geniuses? Welcome back to For The Record. I’m your host, Rob Markman. Today is Monday, why? Because we were closed on Sunday. Rob Markman: You like that right? Rob Markman: Nah, ‘Jesus is King’ is out. Kanye’s long-awaited album. Long delayed. It’s finally here. Rob Markman: So, you know on this show, we
had to talk about it. Rob Markman: I brought a couple of guests
with me. We’re going to discuss the music, discuss
the politics and everything surrounding it. Rob Markman: First up, we have ‘Rolling
Stone’ staff writer, my man, Charles Holmes. Welcome back to For The Record. Charles Holmes: Thank you. About to give you faith talk, not Wraith talk. Rob Markman: Next up. We have our man, you know … Man I love talking
music with this guy. He is the co-host of the ‘Grass Routes’
podcast with my home girl, Erin Simon. They have a live show coming up, November
14th in New York City. Check that out if you in town. Rob Markman: Brandon Hall. Welcome back to For The Record man. Brandon Hall: Thank you man. I love you guys, man. Rob Markman: Nah man, I feel like we were
supposed to have this talk, the first time that ‘Jesus is King’ was supposed to come
out. Brandon Hall: Yeah. Yeah. Rob Markman: And, it never came out. So, we had to cancel the whole show. Rob Markman: So let’s just talk about, right
off the rip man, expectations coming into this album. Rob Markman: Brandon, I want to start with
you. Rob Markman: You’re a big Kanye fan too, right? Brandon Hall: I am, I am a Kanye fan. I am a Kanye fan. I honestly, didn’t know what to expect. I think Kanye has a certain format, right? Like, when he releases projects, like, one
minute, he’s Yeezus, next minute he is Pablo, or he feels like Pablo, now he’s Jesus. Brandon Hall: So, I didn’t know what to expect. But the other thing with that is, I’m conflicted,
because I feel like this is threading the needle. Brandon Hall: Because if it’s not genuine,
I don’t know how you could… kind of, come back from it. Like I just have so many views on this project… That I don’t know … like, even with Kirk
Franklin, why is it that Kirk Franklin was, initially, working with Kanye and then clips
released where you saw Kirk giving him that real talk of, “Oh, I don’t know if this is
genuine” or “people, this is a different ball game” and then, Kirk Franklin is nowhere to
be found. Rob Markman: Right. Brandon Hall: So, I mean, that’s very telling
for me too. Rob Markman: I was surprised that Chance wasn’t
apart of this project. Brandon Hall: That’s the other thing. Brandon Hall: People that you would think
are instrumental in gospel music that have worked with Kanye and that are fans of Kanye
and done a number of projects with Kanye, are nowhere in sight in this project. Rob Markman: I’ll be honest, I’ll be the first. I don’t listen to very much gospel music,
you know what I’m saying? So, I don’t know much about that world, but
music that feels genuine, I feel like when I hear Chance, I don’t question how genuine
he is about his faith. You can say whatever you want about Chance
and the album he just dropped ‘The Big Day.’ Rob Markman: But I feel like this is really
where he’s at with his life. Brandon Hall: Agreed. Rob Markman: With Kanye, sometimes, I don’t
know. Rob Markman: Charles, what was your expectations
going? Firstly, do you listen to a lot of gospel
music? Charles Holmes: I grew up on gospel. Rob Markman: Okay. Charles Holmes: You know, so, I don’t listen
to too much of it now, but I was definitely raised in the church. Rob Markman: Right. Charles Holmes: But yeah, I thought this was
going to be terrible. When I heard it at one of those listenings,
I’m like, “Oh man, this is not finished”. Charles Holmes: And, I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the album. I’m like: it sounds like an album; there are
drums here; you’re not mumbling. Thank God, “New Body” is not on it anymore. Charles Holmes: But yeah, I liked the album
and I, personally, at this point, I think Kanye West on this album was 100% genuine. Charles Holmes: It’s just that he’s talking
nonsense. So, I think he’s totally on this Christianity
wave. He’s always been on it. It’s just that when it comes out, it makes
no sense to us as listeners. Rob Markman: Right. Yeah. And that’s one thing to say, just so the audience
knows. I mean, we’re all fully aware of, you know,
this is dubbed Kanye’s gospel album. There’s been a few tweaks where … One thing,
he’s not swearing. He’s not promoting sex on this album, things
of that nature. Right? Rob Markman: But there’s a lot of Kanye-isms,
first of all, he came into the game with “Jesus Walks.” So there’s always been some faith aspects
to his music and there’s always been some gospel as … A lot of the production sounds,
to me, like there’s traditional Kanye production on here as well. So it didn’t feel like this big departure
where I was listening to a new artist that I hadn’t heard. Rob Markman: Charles, what were some of the
records that you were feeling like off the rip? Charles Holmes: Man, “Use This Gospel”, Kenny
G had the rap verse of the year, honestly. “On God,” amazing. Just amazing nonsense. Like, I love the shenanigans. Those two records man, I love it. Rob Markman: Right. Rob Markman: Brandon, what about you man? What was some of the records that you were
feeling? Brandon Hall: “On God” is really dope. I really liked the Kenny G record. Like, for me that … Rob Markman: We’re calling it the Kenny G
record. We’re not calling it the Clipse record, you
know, the Clipse are back. Brandon Hall: Well, that’s a thing. Brandon Hall: For me, the best parts about
this album, in this order is: the production, Kenny G and the Clipse. The Clipse makes that record, takes that record
to the next level as well as the project to the next level. Brandon Hall: And then, it’s Kanye. I agree with you. Brandon Hall: Like, with Kanye’s lyrics, I
just feel like it’s, not to be disrespectful, but I do feel like it’s nonsense. Like… It’s very straight forward gospel music, like,
safe gospel music, “Jesus, give us prayer.” Like… “love Jesus.” And, I guess that that’s how it supposed to
be. That’s the format of gospel music. Brandon Hall: Again, he just doesn’t have
my buy in yet. I do believe he believes in the higher power
of God- Rob Markman: Wasn’t that always Kanye? Wasn’t that the same critique that he got
for when he was rapping about blood diamonds? Rob Markman: After Lupe had rapped about conflict
diamonds and it was a very surface level take on the politics there. I feel like Kanye always has that criticism
throughout his career. Brandon Hall: He does. But like I said early in this show, it’s just
that again, you just never know what Kanye you’re going to get. Like, one minute, he, again, is Yeezus and
he believes this whole big powerful thing of being eclectic and trying to change the
landscape of music. And then, the next minute he is something
different and that person that you bought into is no longer there. Brandon Hall: So, I honestly don’t know. You know what I mean? How to feel about the project. I like it. I think, sonically, it makes sense. I think it makes all the more sense now why
he bought Rhymefest and Consequence and all these people back into is a circumference
making this project because it has that really, really old-school Kanye vibe. Rob Markman: Like, follow God, like the sample
on that. Yeah. Brandon Hall: It makes sense. Brandon Hall: I’m just hoping that it’s for
the right reason… that this isn’t one of those marketing things where, once this wave
of music, or this sound, or feel of music for him has gone, that we don’t lose that
piece of him where he goes back into something else because then I’m going to really judge. Rob Markman: Yeah. Charles Holmes: But if you think about it,
to me, this was Kanye 15 years ago. “Jesus Walks.” Charles Holmes: Like, I wrote about this in
an article. If you listened to the lyrics for “Jesus Walks”
now… They sound way different. That whole record is about Jesus. But it’s really about how radio won’t play
a Jesus record. How this is so radical for him and this might
affect his bottom line. Like he’s always talked about Jesus in the
form of consumerism and how much money Kanye West is making. Charles Holmes: Same thing with Yeezus and
New God, and everything. That record, there’s a lot of religious tones
for that record, but it’s all about how the fashion industry accepts Kanye. Rob Markman: Well, here’s the theory that
I have. It’s not even a theory. It’s plain as day. I think you’re 1000% right. Rob Markman: I think Kanye gets off on breaking
the barrier, right? So, it’s like, did he make “Jesus Walks” because
of his faith? Or did he make “Jesus Walks” because, if I
could be the first rapper to get a gospel record on radio as a single …And the answer
is probably, I don’t doubt his faith. You know what I’m saying? I’m not sitting here to doubt a man’s faith,
but there’s a part of Kanye who thrives and needs to be the first one to bust through
that wall or that barrier. That’s what the whole rant was about, around
2013, when he was saying he was broke and trying to break into the fashion industry
and Mark Parker and how sway … Rob Markman: It was like… “Rappers wear all the clothes and dictate
all the fashion. Oh, but you’re not going to let me in.” So, breaking through on that, you know what
I’m saying? The same thing with 808, it’s the same thing
with wearing pink polos. Rob Markman: He reminds you in the big boy
interview, I think it was, because he’s been getting a little bit of flack for the Chick-fil-A
reference. And he’s like, “Oh, I was the first rapper
to tell rappers, stop using the F word.” Brandon Hall: Yeah. Rob Markman: You know what I’m saying? Rob Markman: He really gets off on being the
first one through the door and it makes me … that’s why I have questions about this
album. Like, is it … purely about your faith or
is it about being the first one through the door? Charles Holmes: But Christianity, to me growing
up in the church, especially the black church, I am a Christian but I cannot sit here and
lie, money, big money is not a part of the church. Charles Holmes: So, it’s kind of like when
I go to church, sometimes, I’m like, “Yo, why is the pastor rolling up in a Mercedes
Benz and everybody else here is not?” So, to me, as much as we want to throw Kanye
under the bus, I’m like … Rob Markman: He’s falling in line with what’s
going on. Rob Markman: Let’s talk about “On God” a little
bit, right? And just the commercialism of it, right? I just want to go off of these lyrics, man. Rob Markman: “Off the 350s He supplied,
The IRS want they fifty plus our tithe, Man, that’s over half of the pie. I felt dry, that’s on God. That’s why I charge the prices that I charge. I can’t be out here dancin’ with the stars. I cannot let my family starve. I go hard, that’s on God.” Rob Markman: It’s kind of like what we’re
talking about, right? Look, Yeezys are some of the most popular
shoes now. Right? And, if not the most popular shoe amongst
kids, but the price point is really high. And, I remember when Kanye first came in talking
about the Yeezys and he was asked about that high price point. He said, eventually he wants to lower the
price point and make them affordable for everybody. That hasn’t happened. Brandon Hall: Did you really believe that,
honestly? Rob Markman: He said it. Brandon Hall: I can say I’m a millionaire. That shit ain’t true. Rob Markman: Literally, the other shoe drops
and this like, well because the IRS wants to have plus tithe, this is why the Yeezys
… I mean, is he wrong for being a capitalist and a Christian at the same time? Charles Holmes: No. We reward Jay-Z for doing the same things. I’m sorry, those tax haven bars hit different
from Kanye. That shit is a classic. They don’t make egomaniacs like that anymore. Like, everybody’s like, “How dare Kanye?” I’m like, “Nah, this is amazing.” It doesn’t make any sense, but yeah. Brandon Hall: I get it though. Like, I get why his sneakers are the way that
they are and priced the way that they are. But, in the grand scheme of things, to Charles’s
point, this is the business of church, right? Brandon Hall: Like, you look at your pastor
that comes up and in a Rolls Royce, it’s like how in the … like, what are you doing? But in actuality, they make a lot of money. You know what I mean? Like, there’s a lot of donations and that’s
the business of it. Brandon Hall: So, I think Kanye is doing what
he can do, from a music perspective, with this clothing as well as what the album and
just fitting in line with Christianity or whatever his faith is, because I don’t know
what his faith is. But whatever it is, I think he’s trying to
fit into it. I just don’t know how that’s going to really
land with consumers. That’s my only thing with him is that it’s
very … You know how I feel about it? I feel like he spoon fed us this project. I think this is a tester. I think that’s partially the reason why this
is a lot of like … It’s very, very easy lyrics, right? There’s no real substance there, outside of
God, right? There’s no substance there. And the other thing is that even if there
was substance, it’s spoon fed just to give you enough so where he can say, “Oh I tried
it and you guys didn’t mess with it.” Rob Markman: No. But this album is projected to go number one,
selling, streaming sales, however, whatever the math is now, over 200,000 the first week. He’s probably going to have the number one
album. As much as people are protesting, we talked
about this on Twitter, on our timelines at least, right, are protesting how they’re boycotting,
“I’m not listening to that. I don’t like it.” Somebody’s listening to it because it’s doing
numbers. Charles Holmes: Kanye’s bigger than he’s ever
been. Kanye, the celebrity. Rob Markman: You wrote an article about this
on Rolling Stone, so keep going. Yeah, yeah. Charles Holmes: Kanye… What we forget is that to me, Kanye is almost
post music now. Everything that he does is in the guise of
celebrity. So people are just going to check into the
Kanye project because it’s a Kanye project, whether there’s hits or not, that does not
matter. People are still going to go out and buy Yeezys. He’s still connected to the Kardashian clan
who are the most followed people on Instagram. What we fail to realize is, is that we still
want Kanye. We’re still like, “Oh Kanye, is competing
musically with Drake.” I’m like, “No, he’s not.” The music does not matter at this point. Brandon Hall: You don’t think it was a coincidence
that he dropped on Kanye’s birthday? Charles Holmes: Who Drake? Brandon Hall: Yeah. Charles Holmes: I don’t think Drake cares. Brandon Hall: No, no, no. I’m saying that Kanye dropped on Drake’s birthday. Rob Markman: I’ve seen like some fuck shit
in rap. I really think the album was just- Charles Holmes: I think the IMAX thing had
way more, the business side of trying to get this out there. Like yo, like this makes no sense. You’re going to look even crazier. But, I do think when I wrote about it, I was
trying to express that we saw the Forbes article, whatever you want to say about that. Rob Markman: Well he’s the top earner, Forbes
estimates him as the top earner in hip hop. Charles Holmes: Yeah, whether you want to
believe that or not, you can still see that Kanye is being very, very successful, more
so than ever. It’s partially because like, yo, he is talking
to the people right now who have the money. Him aligning with Donald Trump makes sense. Him aligning with, wanting to align with a
bunch of these tech people, I’m talking about Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey and all these people,
that makes so much sense because he’s living in Calabasas. He’s realizing if I want to jump over this
hurdle, if I want to be like Jay-Z, I need to start talking their language. This whole ‘Jesus is King’ thing, makes
so much sense. Brandon Hall: Right, yeah. That’s where my fear is though, because it
makes so much sense, is it genuine or not? That’s my thing, not his faith. I’m saying just his route with music, his
choice to say, “Hey, I don’t want to do secular music anymore. I’m no longer doing that.” Then he asked the people that were working
for him to not have sex throughout the entire process if you weren’t married, right? Brandon Hall: All that’s great. But my thing is, is that really coming from
a genuine place? And maybe that doesn’t even matter, right? Like it’s business, maybe that’s just what
we chalk it up to, but for me, it just matters just from a more spiritual level. It’s certain things with especially with gospel
music or faith, I just don’t play with because I just … You know what I mean? Rob Markman: But Charles makes a good point,
right? When you talk about, because I believe you
and I hear you and I agree with you on like my faith, my spirituality, my religion, my
relationship with God is something that maybe, I’m personally may not want to forsake in
certain ways. But it is hard to ignore with being, very
naive to ignore that the business of religion is a booming business. Brandon Hall: Oh, yeah, yeah. No, let me be clear. That’s what I said, I agree with Charles. This is smart. I don’t, you’ll never hear me … The only
thing, even with the Trump stuff, but I get the reasons why. I feel like when you’re in that tax bracket,
a lot of people that are in that tax bracket or have that sort of access. Yeah, a lot of the things that Trump does
supports that. It supports their livelihood. It helps them. He’s in that crowd of people. I just don’t know long term. Rob Markman: But the way a lot of these wealthy
Americans, like the top wealth in America do it is, they’ll contribute to both parties. Right? They’re hedging their bets. Whoever gets into office, you know what I’m
saying? We’re going to get the tax breaks that we
need based off of who’s war chest you donate to and a lot of them donate to both parties. Right? Rob Markman: A lot of them are not walking
around wearing the hats. There’s an advantage to donating, right? And being in those rooms and talking, look,
talking to Trump helps Kim start getting people out of prison. Even though we know that there’s somebody
else doing the real work and she’s the face of it. That’s something that I think most people
could be like, “Oh wow, like, you know, you’re working on prison reform. Like, this is dope.” You need to be in the room in order to have
those conversations. You don’t need to wear the hat, dog. He’s been clear throughout his, just talking
about all this. I don’t think that he actually understands
the politics. And I think the wearing of the hat and the
cozying up to Trump, a lot of it is, don’t tell me as a black American that I’m supposed
to go, “Oh, you assumed that I’m just going to vote Democrat. I’m not staying in your box. I’m going to put on the hat without understanding
the real politics behind it.” Or even having, he’s expressed that he doesn’t
really have a real interest in the politics behind it, right? Brandon Hall: And that’s the thing- Rob Markman: He said he doesn’t vote. Brandon Hall: Well, that’s the thing, he doesn’t
vote yet it says he wants to be president in 2020. He wears that red hat, even with wearing the
red hat, I think that he wears a hat to I guess fight. I don’t really know that he really cares of
that about the whole “Make America Great Again,” buying into that, I don’t think
that. I think it’s going against the grain. To your point, “Hey, I’m going to be the first
person to align with this gentlemen. I’m going to be the first person to stand
up.” And maybe he just likes the hat. We don’t know. You know what I’m saying? But I don’t, I just- Rob Markman: But he also has to acknowledge,
and he’s been very dismissive about how hurtful it is. And maybe not understanding how people can
actually be hurt by this. It’s more than wanting to control you or see
you vote one way or align yourself with one party, like it’s hurtful. Brandon Hall: And that’s where the blur is
for him. Rob Markman: To the people who helped build
you up to where you are musically. You know what I’m saying? Charles Holmes: I think I’ve gotten to this
point with Kanye, with most artists. When do we start thinking Kanye was intelligent
in a lot of the ways that he went about stuff. For me, I was off the train for a while. I’m like, bro, you’re just talking out of
your ass and that’s fine. You make great music. I just personally think like sometimes we
take a genius in one area and we can all sit here and say- Rob Markman: Musical genius. Charles Holmes: He’s a musical genius. We do not have to make that apply to politics
or anything. Anytime he opens his mouth about Trump, I’m
like, yeah, he’s an idiot. He’s uninformed. I just get- Rob Markman: It’s like the old Dave Chappelle
joke, right? Like 9-11 towers. Where’s Ja? Somebody get Ja on the phone. Brandon Hall: But the other thing too is, it
also is product placement for him. I don’t think that there’s a coincidence that
whenever he says something egregious about the Trump campaign or just his views on Trump
or just that whole experience that something else isn’t being marketed in back of it. I also think that whenever he is … I look
at it like his album rollout, right? Like you remember back in the day with album
rollout, you would go do press, do a whole bunch of radio and his rollout is this. It’s the outlandish comments. It’s acting erratic or what we at least view
as being erratic I think at certain points. He’s very, very controlled and he knows exactly
what he’s doing. He’s trying to get a rise out of people and
it’s working. Charles Holmes: He kept us hostage and he
kept like, dog, he kept music, writers and fans hostage for over a month. He’s like, “Yo, I’m dropping my album. We’re all up. Nah, I’m dropping it off …” Rob Markman: Because as a music writer at
Rolling Stone or any of the major or any … Not even the major publications, on any publications,
you have to write about it. Kanye West drops an album. You have to write about it. Charles Holmes: But, then it’s like he doesn’t
drop it so then I have to write about it. But then he goes on Zane Lowe, you got to
write about that. And then the Kardashians are doing something
and you’ve got to tune in to like what’s happening on the reality show. The funny thing about Kanye is he’s made his
rollout a 24/7 thing. Like we’re still talking about the album now. What other artists besides like the top ones
do we talk about their albums past this? Rob Markman: It just came out Friday, like
three days. Brandon Hall: He’s right though, I get what
he’s saying because it’s Kanye and because there’s so many things that have happened
that have brought us to this point. Yeah, you’re kind of vested at this point. Charles Holmes: It’s almost a month and a
half though. Brandon Hall: It’s like watching a TV show. Charles Holmes: Like it’s a month and a half
of us talking about one album, which is crazy. Brandon Hall: I agree. Rob Markman: So, he says this is who he is
now and there’s going to be a change. So when Kanye goes out on tour, he’s not going
to perform the old music, or at least in the way that we’ve heard it. So he said he’s going to switch up performances. Do we believe that? Charles Holmes: Hell no. Brandon Hall: No, I think he will. I think in order to do it, especially when
he makes those statements of “I’m no longer performing secular music,” you have to … I
foresee him removing or changing lyrics during performance. I don’t think he’ll curse in that old music. I don’t know how much of the record he can
change, considering a lot of those records are hit records. “Gold Digger,” for example, like that
is a smash record. Do you take the third verse off? Do you know what I’m saying? There’s a lot there, so I think he’ll figure
out a way to do it. Brandon Hall: The other thing that I think
what he’s been doing is transitioning his shows into more of like a show, like a theater-esque
type of show. Rob Markman: He’s been there since Glow In
The Dark. Brandon Hall: And that’s what I’m saying. I think he was prepping us for a very long
time of what we could anticipate with him. And I think this is the start of that. Now, what a Kanye show would be like if he
doesn’t perform any of those records and it’s something different, maybe it’s just going
to be the Sunday Service as the tour. Which could happen. I don’t know how that’ll hit. Rob Markman: You know, and going back to that,
I’m just very skeptical about the time frame of all of this, right? Because just last year he had the number one
record and he talks about it with “I Love It,” “You’re such a fucking ho’, I love
it.” Rob Markman: So, a year ago, we know he always
had faith, right? If you go again, go back to “Jesus Walks”
and there’s other instances in his catalog, like we’re a year away from, “You’re such
a fucking ho’, I love it.” Brandon Hall: But that’s what I’m saying. Rob Markman: Like, what? I’m trying to figure out what was the light
switch, like when was it- Charles Holmes: I totally get it. Because you have to look at the… Rob Markman: And that song was terrible, by
the way. Brandon Hall: Yeah, that song was really,
really bad. Charles Holmes: The song was trash- Rob Markman: And it was a number one record. Charles Holmes: … But, you have to look
at a decade of Kanye and I think it speaks to the decade of music in general. You know, Kanye is someone who loves control
and hates being controlled. And he starts the decade off, with ‘My Beautiful
Dark Twisted Fantasy’ with ‘Yeezus and his ego getting so big,’ and now we’re living
in the decade he created. Same thing when you’re watching Keeping Up
with the Kardashians, and he’s rummaging through his wife’s closet and trying to shape her
into the sex symbol and trying to get her on the cover of Vogue. Charles Holmes: He created all of this and
now on ‘Jesus is King,’ he hates what he’s created. He hates that like, “Oh, I was a sex addict
and now like I’ve turned my wife into the most popular figure on Instagram and people
are thirsting after her, but now I feel sinful for it. I created all this music like misogynistic
music, calling women this and that and now I can’t do it anymore. Like now I got to like make an album that
ridicules all that.” He hates what he created. Rob Markman: But my thing is when did … What
happened? Brandon Hall: Oh, the turning point, you’re
saying. Rob Markman: What was the turning point? Because you made “New Body.” You know what I’m saying? Like, New body was supposed to be on this
album. Brandon Hall: That “New Body” record was
supposed to be on the album, and because it’s not there, that does speak volumes. Rob Markman: …. When … and it makes me,
did something happening in your life? Was there this event that made you just turn
your life over to Christ in totality? Or was it a marketing meeting? Charles Holmes: I think, I honestly think
that like he said it a little bit in Big Boy. Rob Markman: Which was a great … Charles Holmes: It was a good interview Rob Markman: The Big Boy interview was actually
really good. Charles Holmes: When he talks- Brandon Hall: I got a lot out of that. Sorry, not to cut you off, but I got a lot
out of that though. Charles Holmes: When he started talking about
it, I realized, I’m like, oh, what Kanye went through last year almost destroyed him. He went through the TMZ thing, the slavery
comments. Ye wasn’t received that well. The bipolar diagnosis, he was going back and
forth. I truly do believe that he got to a point
and I think it was a lot of the addiction stuff as well because it almost seemed like
his family and Kim has, to her credit has really stuck by him. I think everybody was starting to distance
themselves and it got to him. Rob Markman: But he’s been here before, he
even has and it’s actually a dope line on the album. “I bleached my hair for every time I almost
died,” which was wordplay, was really kind of clever. But even in the Big Boy interview though,
he won’t admit because he’s like, “I’ve been canceled before. I’ve been through this before.” The Taylor Swift thing, the car accident,
his mom passing away. He’s been through these events. The Pablo tour when he runs off the stage
and checks himself into the therapy, rehab, what have you, we’ve seen Kanye be here before. So what made last year so different? Charles Holmes: Because I think, and he even
talked about it on Ye, I do think it was the fear of losing his family. Because the fear, everything that, his mom’s
death, you still hear it in the music. He’s still heartbroken about that. And he finally got a family and on ‘Ye’
he starts talking about almost losing it and then he goes really off the rails with a bunch
of the TMZ stuff. And I think you start realizing that like,
“Oh, on this album at least I really do feel like he almost lost all of it. His family.” Which means more to him than anything. Rob Markman: And this is a great point, sorry
not to cut you off, because I think nobody’s talked about that yet. One of the great points on this album and
one of the real bright spots is the emphasis on family, as I don’t like “Closed on Sunday”
as a song. I think the Chick-fil-A meme is kind of cheap. You know what I’m saying? It’s just a cheap metaphor. But I mean, he is talking about, Hey, Sunday,
put the Instagram down. Let’s talk as a family. There’s a lot on here about him connecting
with his dad and stuff like that. So there is an emphasis on family and I realized
it as you made this point, on this album that nobody’s talking about yet. Brandon Hall: The other thing too though,
he also makes mention of people that he admired leaving him. I can’t remember what record it is, but he
makes mention saying, “My legends left me,” or “They left me behind,” or something like
that. So yeah, I think a lot of that does play into
it. I think Kanye is going through something. What I did take away from this album though,
I feel like he is in a better place. I feel like he’s a little bit more sound. I feel like he’s happier of sorts. I just don’t know, I guess, how long that
will last. Rob Markman: I got that from the Zane interview,
I didn’t get that from the Big Boy interview. Brandon Hall: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Rob Markman: The Big Boy interview to me,
was a little bit unhinged. Charles Holmes: He was a little bit more charged
up. Brandon Hall: Well, he was charged up just
because I think that Big Boy, in classic Big Boy sta- he goes right at you. He’s not going to hold punches. Rob Markman: Yeah, Big Boy asks some good
questions. Brandon Hall: … and he had amazing questions,
where this was the one time where Kanye couldn’t dip out of the conversation, where he normally
does with talking about something spiritual and then by the end of the conversation you
don’t even know what question was asked. You don’t even know where he stood with it. Brandon Hall: Whereas Big Boy kind of kept
him in a certain- Charles Holmes: Well, I think it was the locals
of it too? Because the Zane Lowe, I believe that was
in Wyoming and it seemed like the Big Boy was back in Calabasas. And I think that that was because a record
that was cut off the album was one where he was talking about LA having demons and it
being this horrible place. I do think the geography of where he is, LA
haunts him in a way. And when he’s in Wyoming I think he’s a little
bit more calm and it’s over. And he talked about it in the Zane Lowe interview. He was like, “I feel kind of at peace here,”
and you could see in Big Boy, I’m like, “Oh, yeah, you’re back at the compound and you’re
ready to go.” Rob Markman: Right. And I wish him peace, man. I hope, really in listening to this album,
I hope if he’s in a good place and he’s in a peaceful place, then man, all for it. Go. Who am I to tell you different? And the music is good. It’s some classic Kanye-isms. It’s not his best album to me by any stretch
of the imagination. I like it better than Ye. You know what I’m saying? As the place that he’s in. I don’t know how I would feel or even just
his fans, the people who’ve been riding for him since the beginning, if by the next album
cycle, the whole thing just changes and flips on its head. Brandon Hall: And that’s my biggest fear,
honestly. That’s my only fear. I think the album is dope, I get it. But if I hear another album after this where
you are talking about secularly and you are getting back into the rapper- Rob Markman: You know what I could see? I could just see a world where this happens. The next album there’s curses, there’s a little
more, way more secular and then, “Hey, what happened?” And “Well, Jesus lived his life amongst sinners. He didn’t. He wasn’t with the saints. He was with the sinners to convert. So in order to reach my message, this is what
I have to do.” I can just see him. Charles Holmes: Also, do we feel about this… The one thing I wanted to touch upon is, some
of the politics on it are very messy. Some of the, to me, especially the sexual
politics or the politics about women, I’m just like, “Yo, this is one of the reasons,
I’m still a Christian, but I distanced myself from the church.” Because even the Instagram comments, I’m just
like, “Why are you trying to police?” Rob Markman: Oh, the “Instagram got your
bitch.” Charles Holmes: Yeah. A lot of the comments in the music, I’m like,
“Why are you trying to police women’s bodies or what people find attractive or porn and
strip clubs and sex work.” It’s a bunch of stuff that I’m like, “Kanye,
please just stop.” Because he said himself, yo, you can’t be
up on stage at the PornHub Awards one year and then basically trying to demonize sex
workers the next year. It seems a little bit, that’s too much- Brandon Hall: That’s a good point, and what
happens with that PornHub deal when you think about it? That is a really good point. I completely forgot about the PornHub thing. Yeah. This is why I’m concerned, you can’t do that. Rob Markman: But this goes back to my thing,
that it just happened so quick that a year ago, year and a half ago, you were in one
place. And look, you’re entitled. I’m just wondering what happened. What was the flip? And it goes back to my question again, was
it something that happened in your life that led you here and say, “Fuck it. I’m going to violate the PornHub deal. We’re going to cancel this because this is
not who I am anymore.” I think that’s okay. You know what I’m saying? I think it’s okay to move on from that. But again, was something in your life that
happened or was it a marketing thing that happened? Charles Holmes: Everything’s a marketing thing. When it comes to rappers, everything is marketing. To hold Kanye or any rapper- Rob Markman: Above that. Charles Holmes: Above that, is just kind of
like, “Oh, your pitching me a product and I get this.” That’s why honestly, most of the times when
I listen to an album, I’m like, “Oh, this is a product that I pick up in a store.” And honestly, anything past that, the emotions
and everything are stuff that I’m putting onto it. Rob Markman: No, I get it. And I think you’re right. I think a lot of the politics are messy, but
I do think he makes good points about the hold that social media has over us. I didn’t read the Instagram has your bitch
comments, as policing. And I’m not saying you’re wrong, I didn’t
realize it until you said it. I didn’t think about it. But it’s normally the first place and beyond
women’s, man, when you get a good fit off, you take that picture, it’s normally the first
place we run to. And the validation of getting likes, how many
likes do you have? And all of this, I think can be potentially
damaging to the things that he’s talking about. The family dynamic, the connecting with one
another, the sitting down and talking, we’re really getting into this dangerous place. You know what I’m saying? Charles Holmes: But the viral video that was
shared a couple of weeks ago where Kim and him were arguing, but Kim was just like, “Yo,
just because you’re in a new space, don’t force that on me. And you kind of tried to help me become this
person. Don’t kind of try to police me now that you
don’t like it.” And to me, I felt Kim very much, because I’m
like, “Yo, Kanye just because you’re in this ultra religious place, don’t try to put down
women or their sexuality or even people who like watching porn or like going to the strip
clubs.” To me, there’s this very, very dangerous thing
whenever you go into church or Christianity where they’re always trying to kind of tamper
down your sexual drive and your urges. I’m like, “Oh, that’s a little bit too much. This is not the old Testament times.” Rob Markman: Right. No, absolutely man. And I agree with you in that, wholeheartedly,
but there is a conversation that needs to be had about porn, too. Look, I’ve got a 14 year old son, right? Who looks up porn on the internet. Brandon Hall: He’s real. Rob Markman: It’s what we do, I get it. So I’m not mad at him for that. But it’s talking to him in a way of, “All
right, the things that you’ve seen are not real. That’s not really how sex goes.” You know what I’m saying? Brandon Hall: Well, it depends. Rob Markman: Unless you’re Brandon and every
sexual experience is a… You know what I’m saying? It goes back to the thing with social media
too. It’s a version of reality. It’s also maybe a heightened version of reality. Brandon Hall: You got to be able to draw the
line though. Rob Markman: But if you’re a 14 year old or
just somebody who’s highly impressionable, some fan who follows everything that Kanye
does- Brandon Hall: Oh, yeah, that’s, yeah. Rob Markman: And can’t really think for yourself
or haven’t developed that part of your, how do you know… Well, all I know is porn, I’m going to assume
this is how sex goes. Charles Holmes: See I’m not a father yet so
I can’t speak to it. All I know is that every generation has that
thing. Rob Markman: Of course. Charles Holmes: Where we, whether it’s people
thinking rock and roll is the devil’s music. Whether it’s seeing magazines and you wanting
to be that star. Social media is very intense in a different
way, but every generation has these things that they’re fighting against and these vices. And to me it’s interesting to hear in the
music, but sometimes I’m like, “All right, let’s not blow this out of proportion.” Humans are still humans and there’s going
to be something after social media and there’s going to be something after Instagram. And at the end of the day, to me it’s very… All of the albums recently, Drake is touching
on Instagram, Kanye’s touching on Instagram, J. Cole, Kendrick. You guys are new dads, I get it, this is the
thing you’re worried about, your kids. Great. It’s not a banger, but… Brandon Hall: But the other thing I think
too is, the reason why they do that is because their kids are being scrutinized and stuff
like that. Of course Instagram and social media plays
a huge part, but I feel like it’s two fold. As an artist and as a public figure, that’s
part, that comes with it. I think they levy that when it comes to them
and when it’s really starting to hit. When you see Kim getting killed, when you
see Drake getting killed, they start to make mention like, “All right, this is starting
to really affect my home. When I close this app I want to leave it and
you guys are, it’s trickling into my home now.” That’s when they go on the parade of, “All
right. Hey guys, social media is horrible. Stay away from this right now. This is the devil’s platform.” You know what I’m saying? That’s what people do. And it’s just like, “Come on, man. Just roll with it. Just roll with it, it comes with the turf. You asked for this shit.” Rob Markman: When the biggest rapper in the
world takes a jab at you on Joe Budden’s IG live, I feel you. I was just a target, minding my fucking business. Brandon Hall: That’s what I’m saying. It’s the truth. It’s the truth. Rob Markman: Let’s get into final thoughts. Let’s get back to the music. We’re going to close up, man, Charles, final
thoughts on ‘Jesus is King,’ man. Charles Holmes: Yeah. I just think it was not his best album, but
just such a way to end the decade, man. You ended, you started off calling yourself
“Yeezus,” and now you’re just so upset. Everything you built. You look at your kingdom, you’re like, “I
messed up.” So classic in that regard. Rob Markman: Brandon, man, final thoughts. Brandon Hall: I think sound body of work,
lacking lyrically on his end, but I think it’s a good, I can listen to it. It’s good. I will say it does make me feel good and it
kind of sets me up to hopefully he’ll keep on this path, I guess. Rob Markman: Right. Yeah. I think it’s a good album, it’s cool. I think as art and where really good artists
polarizing, is that, you know what I’m saying? Is going to make you feel one way or another. Definitely not his best work to me. Brandon Hall: Yeah, no, no. Not at all. Rob Markman: But it’s cool. And we want to know what you think. You know I’m in the comments. I know y’all going to have a lot to say. We about to get killed, we about to get roasted. Rob Markman: But I’m in there, I’m in the
trenches with y’all. So I’m going to be there commenting back. I’d like to thank Charles, I’d like to Brandon
for coming and being our guests today. And thank y’all for watching. This is For the Record. Peace.