Kanye’s shades protect him from the harmful UV rays emitted by Chris Martin’s pale English face.Photo: Getty Images
“Homecoming,” Kanye West’s much-anticipated collaboration with Chris Martin, is making its way around the blogosphere this afternoon and — amazingly! — it’s actually pretty great. Martin eschews the usual schlocky mid-tempo stadium balladry for some flashy piano work that almost sounds like it could have come from Billy Joel (but in a good way!). The track seems like an easy sell to radio and should help pay for Kanye’s next gold-plated sweater vest.
Still, though, if the Coldplay singer wants to be Kanye’s favorite dorky white dude in 2007, he’s got some stiff competition. Below, we see how the candidates measure up.
1. Chris Martin
Laugh all you want, but Kanye’s newest BFF has some serious gangsta credentials — Martin was responsible for producing the fourth-best track on Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come, an impressive feat given that Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, and West himself made the other beats.
2. Justin Timberlake
More of a frenemy these days, sadly. Kanye’s repeatedly expressed his admiration for Timberlake, but, in a recent interview, he called JT his “nemesis” and “only competition.”
3. Daft Punk
“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” the 2001 hit by these space-helmeted Frenchmen, serves as the foundation for “Stronger,” Kanye’s current single. But Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo should probably be disqualified on the grounds that they are actually robots.
4. Peter, Bjorn, and John
Dopey white guys don’t come much whiter or dopier than the ones in this Swedish indie-rock trio, but Kanye’s sampled PB&J’s “Young Folks” on a recent mix tape with impressive results, and even performed with them as his backup band.
5. John Mayer
There was a time when Ye and May were inseparable, but not nearly so much anymore. “Bittersweet,” a track on which Mayer sung the hook, was left off Graduation, likely because it was terrible. Also, his recent cover of “Chocolate Rain” probably didn’t help his case.
6. Zach Galifianakis
This portly comedian is easily our favorite geeky white guy. Kanye tasked him with making the video for his recent single “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and, well, this happened: