Kanye West isn’t quite ready to give up on “Yeezus.” The headline-grabbing hip-hop performer. producer and Kim Kardashian baby-daddy is wrapping up his 2013 “Yeezus” tour with nine dates this month, including a stop 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The “Yeezus” tour is backing West’s 2013 Def Jam release of the same name, a stylistic game-changer that has earned mostly positive reviews. AllMusic.com critic David Jeffries praised the record for “offering an eccentric, audacious, and gripping experience that’s vital and truly unlike anything else.”
The live production follows suit with a vibe that’s “crazily entertaining, hugely ambitious, emotionally affecting (really!) and, most importantly, totally bonkers,” according to Rolling Stone critic Jonathan Ringen.
“He sings and raps and stalks the stage with so much intensity it’s slightly unnerving,” Ringen writes of West’s performance in November at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. “He digs into emotional places that are dark and weird and sad and maybe explain why he prefers to wear a mask. If you were inclined not to like him, you’d find tons of reasons to confirm your dislike in this sprawling, indulgent, emotionally messy performance.
“But you also probably wouldn’t have dropped a bunch of cash on Kanye tickets. As for the people who actually wanted to be there? They clearly loved every minute.”
The you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it show features a man portraying Jesus, back-up dancers who look like they’re not wearing costumes and a set that includes a mountain that morphs into a volcano.
Speaking of eruptions, the tour has been marked by West’s trademark rants, with the recent opener of this latest and final North American leg proving to be no exception.
The rapper, during the Feb. 13 show at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa., aired his beefs with radio hosts Sway Calloway and Charlamagne Tha God, as well as late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, with whom he has had a long-running spat, according to an account in Complex.com by critic Edwin Ortiz.
“If I go to a radio interview, shut the f--- up!" West told the audience. "If you’re on your talk show at nighttime, showing a picture of me walking with my girlfriend and s--t, shut the f--- up!"
Perhaps fueled by West’s outbursts, the tour was the second-highest grossing tour of 2013, marking yet another successful venture in West’s controversial career. And “Yeezus” was considered the most critically acclaimed album of the year.
The 21-time Grammy winner seems just as intense on stage today as when he made his major label debut 10 years ago with “The College Dropout” (Roc-a-Fella). West has gone on to become one of the top-selling hip-hop artists of all time, who’s known as much for his feuds, outbursts at awards shows and flamboyant personal style as his music.
His reality star fiancee, Kim Kardashian, for the Feb. 10 anniversary of “Dropout,” arranged for a giant cake shaped like the teddy bear on the album’s artwork, and said she planned to listen to the release all day.
West shared his feelings about the occasion, via a series of tweets, as captured by London’s Daily Mail.
“Ten years ago today we finally released what had been my life’s work up to that point: The College Dropout.
“I say ‘finally’ because it was a long road, a constant struggle, and a true labor of love to not only convince my peers and the public that I could be an artist, but to actually get that art out for the world to hear.
“I am extremely grateful to each and every person along that road who helped, lent an ear, lent their voice, gave of their heart to that project, and to all the projects that followed, and are to come.
“I am honored and humbled by my fans, for the unwavering support and love over the past 10 years.
“Wake up every day trying to give something back to you that you can rock to and be proud of.
“Ten years later I am still the same kid from Chicago, still dreaming out loud, still banging on the door. The doors may be heavier, but I promise you WE WILL BREAK THEM (sic).”
Kanye West setlist
Kanye West has a penchant for mixing up his setlist. Here’s a recent one.
“Send It Up”
“I Don’t Like (Remix)”
“I Am a God”
“Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
“Hold My Liquor”
“I’m In It”
“Drunk and Hot Girls”
“Blood on the Leaves”
“Hey Mama” (snippet)
“Lost in the World”
“Heard ‘Em Say”
“Through the Wire” (snippet)
“All of the Lights”