I miss the old Kanye, straight from the 'Go Kanye / Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye.
The preceding quote are bars that Kanye West spit on "The Life of Pablo" and man did we echo them. We've been missing the old Kanye for a minute, and it seems that for the past few years, Yeezy has been feeling "lost". Despite how much you love Kanye, you can't deny that over the years there has seemed to be a music decline. The artist who gave us classic lines like "Mayonaisse colored benz I push Miracle Whips" has recently been heard saying "Poopdity scoop". Trolling aside, Kanye's latest album is something we've been waiting to hear. With his controversial statements about "slavery being a choice" and his support of Trump, many of us have been looking for insight into his recent decisions. Others have simply decided to boycott Ye's new album.
We decided to give it some thorough listens and wanted to break it down for what it simply is. A middle-aged man dealing with mental health issues, balancing family life, and being a public figure. Yeah its true Kanye has said some wild stuff lately, but when have we known Kanye to be silent about his thoughts. "Free-thinking" Kanye has always been around, and with that being said let's get into the album.
1. I Thought About Killing You- Kanye wastes no time jumping into his mental health expressing that he's had suicidal and homicidal thoughts. It is concerning to hear, but the self-awareness that Kanye has is a bit comforting albeit kind of awkward. He goes on a baby Kanye rant for a while, in which the pitch of his voice goes up and down. After a while he gets into the bars. Although not super lyrical, Kanye's delivery shines on this one. The beat switch was also a nice change of pace. Overall the production on this first track is refreshing and a slight head knocker. A solid intro from Yeezy. 7/10
2. Yikes- This is the Kanye we've been wanting. Confident, honest, straight-forward. The confidence he has on this is dope and surprisingly doesn't come off as too arrogant. He also addresses his bi-polar disorder and exclaims that it's a superpower not a disability. He honestly kills this song from production to lyrics. "Turned TMZ to smack DVD huh" 9/10
3. All Mine- This track is sure to be the club/radio banger. With a playful and bouncy beat along with some vocals from Ty Dolla Sign and Valee, I can definitely see this being a favorite for many. Shoutout to the Tristian Thompson reference, definitely some chuckle worthy lines in this one (as well as some cheesy lines). Kanye West also stresses his loyalty for Adidas in some lines as well. This is the one song that I feel doesn't fit in with the whole vibe of the album but regardless its a real dope song. 8/10
4. Wouldn't Leave- This song definitely sounds like the "Old Ye". Emotional, chopped sample, soulful, everything we love about the old Kanye vibes. "Oh don't bring that up, thats gone get me sentimental, you know I'm sensitive. I gotta gentle mental. Every time something happens they want me sent to mental. We had an incident but I covered incidentals" More honest bars about his mental health on this one as well as addressing his relationship with Kim K. A very beautifully produced song. 9/10
5. No Mistakes- Another "Old Ye" sound on this track. This is a hands in the air, vibed out song. Production is amazing and timeless, it could bump it 2005 or 2025. Only complaint is the song is pretty short and there should've been more bars. This song is really just a bone-less "Through The Wire". Nonetheless... amazing vibes, great melody, great playback value. "Truth told, I like you, too bold to type you, too rich to fight you" 8.5/10
6. Ghost Town- This is "MBDF" meets "Watch the Throne". Some big instrumentation on this one, stadium music for real. The addition of Kid Cudi and new G.O.O.D. Music signee 070Shake on this track is perfect. They both fit in with the vibe like pieces in a puzzle. This is such a grand and full sounding song its almost like headphones and speakers don't even do it justice. I can imagine this being a closing song at a Kanye concert with a lot of pyrotechnics and effects going on. 9.5/10
7. Violent Crimes- This last track is another emotional and honest track from Kanye. He addresses the fears he has as he watches his daughter grow up before his very eyes. 070Shake and Ty dolla help bring soul to this song as Kanye voices his concerns. Beautiful production on this one as well and a great close to the album. 9/10
Overall, the album is a great effort from Kanye. For a moment it makes you forget about the outlandish things he has said recently. Controversy aside and coming from a non-biased standpoint, the music sounds amazing. There are some great moments on the album and Kanye's ability to insert different talent onto songs is unmatched. As a 7 song album, it does a good job at creating a snapshot of what is going on in his life and it does so in a very sonically pleasing way. I can honestly say there isn't one bad song on this album. Final Rating: 8.5/10