© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Are Kanye West And Michael Scott From 'The Office' The Same Person? Yes.

Kanye West performs at The Meadows Music & Arts Festival October 2016 in Queens, New York.
Taylor Hill
Getty Images
Kanye West performs at The Meadows Music & Arts Festival October 2016 in Queens, New York.

An enterprising YouTube user, MrBroks00, took the time to make a primer on Kanye West's sonically disparate discography by using a selection of timeless scenes from The Office as conceptual analogues.

There's a profound discovery to be made when these strange bedfellows link up — Michael Scott and Kanye West, it turns out, are two peas in an idiosyncratic pod. Michael's need to be respected turns out to be an fitting descriptor of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Kanye West's overall public persona.

Still lost? If you need a quick brushing up on your Office and/or Yeezy knowledge, here's here's how to decipher the meaning between the corresponding scenes and albums.

The College Dropout, Season 4, Episode 7 and 8: "Money"

Kanye West's Grammy-winning debut album, The College Dropout, chronicles a young black man skipping Chi-town to make beats and abandoning the hopes of his mother in the process. In "Money," Michael Scott hops a train because the dude can't budget responsibly. Ergo, "blow and dodge."

Late Registration, Season 1, Episode 5: "Basketball"

On Late Registration, West broadens his sonic palette beyond nostalgia-heavy sampling to incorporate jazz lines, funk staples and a wealth of stunning classical flourishes in his productions with the help of legendary producer and composer Jon Brion. It's not quite like jazz, but then again, neither is basketball.

Graduation, Season 9, Episode 8: "The Target"

Kanye scraps the lush, jazzy soundscapes in Late Registration for Graduation's extravagant, stadium-trotting pop-rap, squashing beefs and setting trends once it dropped. It was a hit, selling 957,000 copies in its first week alone. But West's abandonment of the warmth and introspection that came to define his early sound alienated a select faction of fans and critics alike. (Besides, Angela likely enjoys Kanye West about as much as she does jazz musicianship, which is to say not very.)

Steve Carrell as Michael Scott on the set of <em>The Office</em> in 2008.
NBC / NBC via Getty Images
NBC via Getty Images
Steve Carrell as Michael Scott on the set of The Office in 2008.

808s & Heartbreak, Season 5, Episode 4: "Local Ad"

Dropping the subdued, ballad-heavy 808s & Heartbreak only a year after the celebratory, party-rap fest Graduation ended in whiplash for plenty of Yeezy's devotees. It made sense for Kanye: 808s was an emotional bloodletting after a much-publicized split with his fianceé, designer Alexis Phifer and the death of his mother, Donda West. But, Michael's protestation wasn't wrong: "I was under the impression that this was gonna be a rap."

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Season 4, Episode 1: "Fun Run"

Michael's indelible monologue is the perfect thesis for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West's critically revered opus. They both cast themselves as the villain in their own stories, West after a public excommunication from the general public's good graces after the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Scott after running Meredith over in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. Indeed, no one man should have all that power.

Watch The Throne, Season 3, Episode 8: "The Merger"

In the canon of seminal rap duos, there's Eric B. and Rakim, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Bun B and Pimp C, Prodigy and Havoc, Big Boi and 3000, Pusha and Malice, Jay and Ye and...Dwight and Michael. ("Lazy Scranton" is low-key a banger.)

Yeezus, Season 5, Episodes 14 and 15: "Stress Relief"

Listen to the first thirty seconds of "On Sight," the opening number to Yeezus. Now, watch Dwight's impromptu fire drill.

The Life of Pablo, Season 5, Episodes 14 and 15: "Stress Relief"

The Life of Pablo was a living, breathing work broadcast in real time, as West released version after version of the album as he saw necessary. Did he know what to do? Probably. Did Michael know what to do after Stanley suffered a heart attack after the nightmarish fire drill? (See above.) Definitely not.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.