Kanye West and I have had a tortuous relationship. One that has been made more difficult given his infamous and career-defining antics. And in order to be one of his fans, you have to learn to completely ignore his ranting and raving simply to enjoy the fact that he is a genre-bending force when it comes to hip hop music. Some time ago, Talib Kweli had stated that Kanye's attitude is part of "his shtick," one that other artists seem to understand very well. So when Kanye decreed that he was absolutely, no way, and under no circumstances going to appear on MTV's Video Music Awards this year, we, the public, collectively shrugged it off. So when he did appear, we watched with no extra enthusiasm because the VMAs had disappointed during the entire telecast. But when Kanye closed the VMAs with his new single "Love Lockdown" from his upcoming album, 808's & Heartbreak , I was more than surprised to find myself digging on Kanye's decision to sing the lyrics, despite some of you who would differ. Add to all this the spartan stage design, Kanye's actual "love light" glowing on his chest and the drummers keeping the beat in the background. This track delivers, proving that Kanye, despite all his pouting and posturing, is taking hip hop to a place that will leave others behind.