Yeezy Season is officially in full effect.
Last night, Kanye West dropped his long awaited album YE. Initially, the music could only be heard through a streaming platform where fans could tune in and watch the controversial rapper gather together with reporters, fans, friends, and family at his listening party. Kanye announced he would be dropping an album via Twitter back in April as well as hand-producing multiple albums for some of the other artists of G.O.O.D music.
my album is 7 songs— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
June 1st— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
The eighth album was composed while Kanye was holed up in Wyoming and he does not shy away from discussing mental health, his controversial comments, his famous wife, Kim Kardashian West, and the drama surrounding his wife's family. This work might be his most focused and concise work considering how short the album is, with just 7 songs and each song at approximately under four minutes. In comparison to some of his past work, this album definitely shows a more honest, lost, and dark Kanye without the romanticization we may have seen on previous albums. It's said the album cover was shot by Kanye on his iPhone on their way to the listening party and the name was randomly announced during the listening party last night.
Evidently, unlike the release for The Life of Pablo, Kanye actually kept his promise to drop the album June 1st. Although the album has received pretty good feedback, due to the Yeezy's controversial comments about black people, slavery, and Donald Trump, many have expressed their disdain and outrage at West and those who are still fans of the legendary rapper. On the other hand, many have also just decided to separate the art from the artist and turn a blind eye to the ludicrous comments made by him.
Regardless, whether your a fan of Kanye or not, his music has always been very well received and he's made his mark in the rap community as one of the legends. So, let's get into this album review to see if it lives up to the hype!
Track One // "I Thought About Killing You"
When I initially heard this song, I thought it was really weird and I honestly didn't like it very much but after having listened to it a couple times, I can actually say it's not that bad. This album reminds me ofThe Life of Pablo because of all the talking, as opposed to rapping or singing, and we see a lot of that with this song in particular making it my least favorite song. With that said, once the weird introduction finally ends and Kanye gets into rapping, the song reminds me of the old Kanye and I can bring myself to enjoy what I'm hearing.
Notable lyrics: "Today I thought about killing you, premeditated murder. I think about killing myself, and I, I love myself way more than I love you"
Track Two // "Yikes"
This song fucking bangs! I absolutely adore this song and can see myself bopping to this song during the Summer because the beat is dope as Hell. The song reminds me of "Wolves" though so it's not really anything original; if anything, it just has a lighter, funner beat once the hook is done. Additionally, the song is pretty dark when you focus on the lyrics because Kanye raps about drug use, addiction, and mentions other famous artists who have passed away as a result of drugs. Definitely one of my favorite songs on the album albeit a little crazy.
Notable Lyrics: "Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too, I'ma pray for him 'cause he got #MeToo'd. Thinkin' what if that happened to me too, Then I'm on E! News"
Track Three // "All Mine"
This song features Ty Dolla $ign and Valee and is yet another banger! In this song, Kanye touches on some of the drama that took place with Kim's family, specifically with Tristan Thompson and Khloé Kardashian. Kanye's aggressive rap pairs up perfectly with Valee's soft voice and in all honesty, Ty's verse isn't very memorable but I like his voice. The song itself discusses infidelity and Kanye's efforts to stay loyal to Kim.
Notable Lyrics: "All these thots on Christian Mingle, almost what got Tristan single. If you don’t ball like him or Kobe guarantee that b*tch gonna leave you" and "I love your titties, 'cause they prove I can focus on two things at once"
Track Four // "Wouldn't Leave"
My favorite song on this album! An ode from Kanye to Kim and it's honestly just so adorable. Kanye himself states that this song is for all the women who have stuck by their men through the bad times and the good times. Evidently, Kanye fans have witnessed the downfall of their fave via his breakdown at the end of the Pablo tour and his psychosis outbreak, as well as his controversial comments regarding slavery and his support of President Trump. However, regardless of all that, Kim Kardashian has remained loyal to Kanye and supported him through his mental health issues. This song touches on that and features beautiful vocals from PartyNextDoor, Jeremih, and Ty Dolla $ign. Although I love everything about this song, I think the very simple beat paired with the repetitive background vocals are what really tie this song together.
Notable Lyrics: "My wife callin', screamin', say, "We 'bout to lose it all!" Had to calm her down 'cause she couldn't breathe. Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn't leave"
Track Five // "No Mistakes"
Um, throwback to the "Glory" days. This song reminds me so much of Graduation and I am definitely in my feels. The song almost makes me emotional because it takes me back to a time where people still respected Kanye and I didn't have to question my feelings towards him. Nowadays, I almost feel guilty for still supporting him even though "the old Kanye" would make music like this to get me through my tough times. That said, the song features Kid Cudi and Charlie Wilson who are both very talented and it shows on this song but the best part of the song are Kanye's shots at Drake who came at him in his "Duppy" freestyle (2018 is really the Summer of diss tracks, huh?!). The beat is very choir and gospel-like but as I said, it's reminiscent of a younger Ye so I'm definitely feeling the song.
Notable Lyrics: "Let me make this clear, so all y'all see, I don't take advice from people less successful than me, huh?" and "Too rich to fight you. Calm down, you light skin!"
Track Six // "Ghost Town"
I seriously looove this song. The beat is amazing and similar to the previous song, reminds me of a younger Yeezy back in his prime. The song features 070 Shake, who sounds amazing on the track, by the way, PartyNextDoor and Kid Cudi making it a track filled with some very talented artists although Kanye's verse feels sadly very short. Overall, it's a pretty inspirational song that focuses on liberation and freedom; it's definitely got an uplifting vibe surrounding it but I wouldn't consider it to be a lit track or very upbeat.
Notable Lyrics: "Baby, don't you bet it all, on a pack of Fentanyl, You might think they wrote you off. They gon' have to rope me off, Some day the drama'll be gone, and they'll pray, no, oh, no"
Track Seven // "Violent Crimes"
I'm so sad this album is already over; I wish Kanye could've included at least double the songs but this song really ties the album together. The song, that again, features 070 Shake, is definitely a lot slower and darker than the rest of the tracks but it still fits in with the rest of the vibe of the album. What's notable about this song is the fact that it was ghost written by Nicki Minaj and to be honest, when you know that fact, the flow does indeed sound like a Nicki flow.
Notable Lyrics: "I hope she like Nicki, I'll make her a monster, Not havin' ménages, I'm just being silly"
With all that being said, the album is definitely very good. Individually each song tells a story that ties together to create the premise for the album 'YE'. It's nice to see Kanye's perspective on things and to get insight into the life of one of the most controversial artists today. The only flaw I can see with the album is the length; I only wish it were longer so we could get some more Summer vibe tracks because if this were released in Fall, it'd fit the vibe but for the Summer, it's just a little too slow. However, there's still hope since he has yet another album dropping soon but this time in a collab with Kudi!
me and Cudi album June 8th— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
All in all, I'd recommend giving the album a chance, especially if you used to be a big fan of Kanye because this definitely reflects on some of his earlier work. Personally, I will be keeping it in rotation and I'm excited that Kanye rapped about real shit on this album and not some fugazzi shit like he's been tweeting. It's an album that grows on you and I think 'Ye' will be one of Ye's greatest works.
Album rating: 8.9/10
You can find the album on Apple Music and other streaming platforms, now!
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