Nick Cave Calls Kanye West "Our Greatest Artist" But For A Specific Reason

In the most recent issue of The Red Hand Files, a newsletter that Nick Cave has been using to answer questions from fans, Cave responded to one of today's most polarizing music questions. "Do you like Kanye?"

His response, or at least the portion of the response that can fit into clickbait style headlines, is definitely controversial. While Cave does call Kanye our greatest artist, his criteria for a "greatest artist" is rather specific and offers some shrewd insight on what it means to create in public.

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Cave makes a valid point. At this point in history, people actually love to hate Kanye. Tweets and articles about a ludicrous statement he made in an interview, dissing his latest album Jesus Is King, or one of his high-profile controversies consistently go viral. It's all part of the game though. After an artist makes such a noticeable contribution to music, as Kanye did throughout the 2000s, we then go onto to torture them. We're constantly disappointed in any work that comes after, any changes in their personal lives and beliefs, and so on.

In the same newsletter, Cave also responds to a question about losing old fans with his new sound. "Challenging music, by its very nature, alienates some fans whilst inspiring others, but without that dissonance, there is no conversation..."

I'm sure that Kanye is self-aware enough to already understand this sentiment and how it works within the music industry. Kanye has kept his name relevant by challenging and alienating people with his music and by sharing his personal beliefs. More specifically, Kanye himself believes that he is the greatest artist which has prompted the masses to debate the matter. It doesn't get more deranged than that.

Photo: Getty Images

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