Avant-garde composer John Cage and pop superstar Kanye West may be two of most polarizing figures in contemporary American music. It amazes me how many people - particularly musicians - hate John Cage ("Parlour games" is how one music professor we know describes Cage's music). And Kanye West? For awhile the criticism leveled at West was almost frightening in its relentlessness. Cage is referred to as a "clown" and West as "that kid" and yet each man has done groundbreaking work in their respective creative fields. As artists, they have more in common than either one of them might imagine.
Sound like a stretch? With 2011 marking the 100th anniversary of Cage's birth and last month bringing the release of West's opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, we give you five points to consider: