After the success of 2016’s Yeethoven composer and arranger Johan and conductor Yuga Cohler have returned for Yeethoven II, a concert focused on the similarities between the artistry of Kanye West and Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides just having a great name — who wouldn’t want to explore the limits of that wondrous portmanteau — the creators of the project see it as a way to explore the ways in which artists at the top of their game can have a deep impact on the culture beyond their musical influence.
The worlds of classical music and hip-hop may seem too far apart to ever come together in any meaningful way. However, two artists (and a youth orchestra) are looking to remix the way we think about these two different art forms: composer/arranger Johan and conductor Yuga Cohler, the music director of the Young Musicians Debut Chamber Orchestra.
Los Angeles's Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation is taking a bold approach to their Great Music Series, performing some of Beethoven's classic works alongside Kanye West's Yeezus to create the perfectly titled "Yeethoven." I'm sure it tickles Kanye's fancy to be put alongside someone as musically revered as Beethoven, but it actually works. While it seems a little strange, partially because the best part of Kanye's music is frequently, you know, Kanye rapping, when you listen to the preview, it makes sense.
On April 16th, Beethoven will meet Kanye West when a 70-piece orchestra mashes up and reimagines the work of the two artists. The program is part of the Great Music Series hosted by the Young Musicians Foundation.