Understanding art: The connection between Theraflu the song and Theraflu the painting

I just spent an hour researching art. I was listening to the new Kanye track “Theraflu” today. I really like it. As I was listening I was inspecting the accompanying album art:

George Condo Theraflu

For the first time I felt like I understood some of the motivation for and meaning behind this series (the same artist painted the accompanying art for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in case you have been under a really old rock). This is probably long apparent to those more in tune with the art world but I am not one of those people who follow art.

Anyway, hearing the new song, I couldn’t believe how ferocious Kanye sounded. I mean, there isn’t really a new album  announced yet. There is a potential G.O.O.D. Music over-collaborated  album on the way but would that warrant a new piece of artwork that looks this beautiful? It had to be a special song. It is.

“Theraflu” sounds like what I expect the end of the world to sound like. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s futuristic in two different senses of the word, the way the track folds around the following sentences is incredible assuming the rap was written to fold beautifully around those effects. :

In the projects one day to Project Runway
We done heard all that loud-ass talkin’, we used to it”

 

I read about George Condo and looked at approximately 30 of his paintings. I  loved nearly all of them.

Look at this:

George Condo Jesus

Or this:

I feel like he sees these people in a very, very large way. If you imagine this as a 30 foot painting, it would be huge and scary and overwhelming.

You see actual Theraflu depicted in the artwork for “Theraflu”

George Condo Theraflu

I think of Kanye as huge. The biggest and the greatest musical artist. And, I believe we all believe he also sees himself that way. If you were to see yourself that way, these paintings, where you see everything as larger than life, influenced by the fact that the people you meet are the people at the top of their game, at the peaks of their careers and align yourself with brands that we all consider the most esteemed, then when you have to put a physical dimension on a product, that product is Theraflu and it comes in a small box and you buy it on the corner. And while you had the potential to be  respected in my eyes, the fact that you think you are as good as me means that you have proven yourself to be small. Being small means theraflu can help you.

 

He can both inspire and embarrass in a single turn of phrase:

So whoever think they words affect me is too stupid
And if you could do it better than me, then you do it

If you actually did things better than I do, like you claim to, you would be larger than life just like I am right now. But, you are not here, so don’t doubt me. I am on top of the world.

 

Anyhow, you can here the song here.

 

It’s great that a musical artist can inspire you to seek out fashion, models, painters, and other rappers in one song and historical icons both famous and infamous in another.

He also makes Theraflu relevant to a whole new generation. It really is wild someone can do that, isn’t it?

 

Lyrics:

Dinner with Anna Wintour (Whoa!), racin’ wit’ Anja Rubik (Whoa!)
I told you ma’fuckers it was more than the music
In the projects one day to Project Runway
We done heard all that loud-ass talkin’, we used to it
I’m from where shorties fucked up, double-cupped up
Might even kill somebody and YouTube it
So whoever think they words affect me is too stupid
And if you could do it better than me, then you do it
We flyer than the parakeet, floatin’ wit’ no parachute
Six thousand-dollar pair of shoes, we made it to the Paris news!
Don’t talk about style, ‘cause I embarrass you
Shut the fuck up when you talk to me, for I embarrassed you

Can’t a young nigga get money anymore? (Ahh!)
Tell PETA my mink is draggin’ on the floor (Ahh!)
Can I have a bad bitch wit’out no flaws
Come to meet me wit’out no drawers?

And the whole industry wanna fuck yo’ old chick
Only nigga I got respect for is Wiz
And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim (Hunh?)
‘Round the same time she had fell in love wit’ him (Whuh)
Well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thing
Lucky I ain’t have Jay drop ‘im from the team (Whuh)
La familia (La familia), Roc Nation (Roc Nation)
We in the buildin’, but still keep it basement (Whoa)
We flyer than the parakeet, floatin’ wit’ no parachute
Six thousand-dollar pair of shoes, I made it to the Paris news!
Don’t talk about style, ‘cause I embarrass you
Shut the fuck up when you talk to me, for I embarrassed you
G.O.O.D. Music, and fresh, we fresh
Anything else, we detest, detest
Bitch-ass niggas got ass and breasts
All that said, lemme ask this quest’

Can’t a young nigga get money anymore? (Ahh!)
Tell PETA my mink is draggin’ on the floor (Ahh!)
Can I have a bad bitch wit’out no flaws
Come to meet me wit’out…

Don’t talk to me ‘bout style, nigga, I’ll ma’fuckin’ embarrass you
Talkin’ ‘bout clothes, I’ll ma’fuckin’ embarrass you
Hollin’ ‘bout some hoes, I’ll ma’fuckin’ embarrass you
Way too cold, I promise you’ll need some Theraflu

 

(DJ Pharris)
This Chicago, nigga!
Southside, we in this bitch!
Eastside, Crazy, blow that loud!
Low End, 39th, the Ickes!
47th Street, Broadfield Park
79th! Stony Island!
Cape Town, and Wild Hunnids!
This Chi-town!
Dro City! The Village!
Harbee World! O-Block!
64th and Normal!
64th and King Drive, what up!?
83rd! Cottage Grove!
The Gardens!
This Chicago, nigga!
The Dearborns! 55th!
Cabrini Greens! Terror Town!
Westside! Pocket Town! It’s Chicago!
Harcy to the Ida B. Wells!
Lawn City! The Lama! London Town!
Chiraq, Drillinois!
It’s DJ Pharris, fuck around and get embarrassed!