Kanye West is something else, and that something really depends upon the person. “Ye”, Kanye’s eighth studio effort was released on Friday to mixed reviews. Some people are focusing on the lyrical content (or in their opinion lack of) while others seem to still be dreaming of the glory days of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and 808's. Those days may be gone, but I argue that the present Kanye is still a force to be reckoned with. First off, Kanye is probably the world's biggest troll. Some people take what he says entirely too seriously with his antics angering many. However it's all part of the plan and this persona that Kanye has built for himself over the years. Love or hate the person the man has talent- his producing is out of this world.
Ye may be more bare bones than its predecessors but that can be explained by the short period of time spent working on the album. It is rumored that the album was thrown together in about a month. While some are turned off by the rawness of the tracks, to me the unrefined sound is awesome and organic. We may be closer to being inside Kanye's head than ever before. Is Kanye West full of himself? Yes. Are his lyrics often narcissistic, crazy, or inappropriate? Yes. But they always seem to put a smile on my face as I laugh at the absurdity and the honesty. That to me is one of the things that makes Ye so great. Kanye seems to be done caring about what people think and the social repercussions of his actions (Skoop-de-Poop). The funny thing is that it only seems to make people care more.
The beats are solid. Nothing groundbreaking or genius level, but strong beats backed by G.O.O.D music artists like Valee, Kid Cudi, and Ty Dolla $ign. My favorite tracks are All Mine, Yikes, and the intro track I Thought About Killing You. I get chills every time I listen to I Thought About Killing You. The first half of the song is so simple - an edited sample "I know, I know, I know" layered below a testimonial of sorts. "Kanye loves Kanye, yeah we get it lets hear something new" some might say. Yes Kanye West loves himself, but I argue that this time it goes past the narcissism. Sometimes it isn't what you say it is how you say it. I hear vulnerability in Kanye's voice. He is doing something most people find difficult. Looking yourself in the mirror and being honest with yourself. Truly honest because saying your thoughts out loud, putting your thoughts to words might make you realize "Wow, I'm messed up". In this day and age it seems like so much music is written to be what people want to hear. It is inauthentic. "I think this is the part where I'm supposed to say something good...To compensate it so it doesn't come off bad". Kanye does not fall into the trap. Instead he continues "But sometimes I think really bad things". I believe everyone can relate to that even though they may not want to. People are afraid to be messed up. Kanye is here to say don't be afraid, it's okay to be messed up, we all are. Kanye isn't the greatest person, in fact he may even think be a bad person. The thing to take away is that he loves himself anyway and he is honest. That is the whole message. He isn't fighting himself and dark thoughts any longer, he simply loves himself flaws and all. This underlying message may be hidden under narcissism and tasteless celebrity roasts throughout the album but it is there nonetheless. I strongly encourage Kanye haters to take a step back and listen for the emotion and what might not always be obvious. Dig a little deeper. The lyrical content is there.
Ye doesn't beat his past albums, but I have still been bumping it more than any other album that has come out this year. Perhaps that was Kayne's intent. Throw an album together in a month or two that is better than the rest of 2018 - just to remind us of who you are. Regardless of the reason behind it I am grateful for the new Kanye release. I wrote this review because I feel Kanye gets an unfair rep. From some of the reviews I read it seemed like critics were eager to tear Kanye apart just because they don't like his persona. I think in their haste to be the first and the best criticism they missed some things along the way. In conclusion Ye has been a long awaited refreshment in my case and I hope that West follows up and Kids See Ghosts comes out this week.