Interviewer: The tone and the lyrics of “Popular Problems” is dark at times, but also optimistic.
It’s whether a record has a compelling energy. Doesn’t really matter what the guy’s saying. A lot of, say Jay Z or Kanye West – you don’t have to identify with every position they take, especially if you’re white. It’s not necessary to identify. It’s the energy, it’s the resonance of truth, of person, of real experience. When we are exposed to someone’s real experience, it resonates and it invigorates.
From Leonard Cohen on ‘Popular Problems’ and How to Listen to Kanye West by Mike Ayers. Wall Street Journal: Sep 19, 2014