It seems like just yesterday when I had tweeted Kanye West with “I’m ready for some new music whenever you are” and then, a few months later, Yeezus has arrived.
It’s been 3 years since Kanye West’s last solo album and his masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2 years since Watch The Throne, and a year since Cruel Summer. We haven’t really been lacking any Kanye, especially with his current, very high-profile relationship with Kim Kardashian, but when he releases new music it’s all so sudden, so fast and so quick (and if you’re like me, you listen to it for a month straight and you’re sick of it until something new takes over) that you miss Kanye once he’s gone. At least I do. About 90% of the rest of the population does not.
Yeezus leaked Friday afternoon. It was A Day. One of those days you’ll remember where you were and when it was. I was outside tanning, living my life of luxury when I scrolled through Twitter to see that Yeezus had leaked. 3 days before it’s official release date. That’s some kind of record, right? Meanwhile J Cole’s new album leaked 10 years ago. Anyways, I ran to my computer, searched through the links (I will be supporting on Tuesday, don’t worry), waited 2 hours for a faulty file to download, and then, finally, FINALLY, I had Yeezus. And it was everything I had hoped it would be.
It’s loud, it’s magnetic, it’s angry, it’s personal, it’s cold, it’s stark, it’s not likeable, it’s…refreshing. It’s not for radio. It’s not easily digestible. This isn’t Watch The Throne. It’s Anti-Throne, in fact. It’s not easy and it’s a lot to take in on first listen. There is A LOT going on. But after multiple listens from front to back, this is about as perfect as an album can get. Excluding “Guilt Trip” it is perfect. Is it as grand and artistic as Dark Fantasy? Absolutely not but no one here was asking for a part 2 of that album. Kanye certainly wasn’t looking to make that either. From the production (which is the best you’ll hear all year, I can promise you) to the lyrics to the samples, this is a re-charged Kanye. He has something to say. He always does, of course, he never has nothing to say, but this is the most personal he’s been – maybe ever. Songs like “Blood On The Leaves”, “I’m In It” and “Hold My Liquor” are as close to a This Is My Story: A Memoir by Kanye West we will ever get. He’s also the most egotistical he’s been since his feature on Beyonce’s “Ego” with “I Am God”, which has a feature from the Lord himself.
What I love about Yeezus is the sound. It’s crisp. It’s expierimental without being bombastic. It’s fresh and refreshing. Again, the production is pitch perfect, “Black Skinheads” and “New Slaves” are the most well executed. They just go hard. They are relentless. God that Manson sample on “Skinheads” is great, right? It’s not all hard and Angrey West though, The album ends on a somewhat “light” note (as light as Yeezus can be) with
“Bound 2”, a song that harkens back to Ye’s College years. It’s may be a bit dated and feels off beat, like B-side from the aforementioned era (“Guilt Trip” also feels like it was left off of 808s) but it’s still a solid track.
What don’t I like? It’s not perfect because, again, “Guilt Trip” is just so weak. it just does not fit the album at all which takes away from this being great, cohesive effort. Take that song away and the album is flawless. I’m also very over the autotune. I don’t know why he loves it, but he’s done it before and then again and then once more and I’m over it. It’s also a very brisk album, which I like and don’t like. This isn’t the 20/20 experience; it’s not going to take you two weeks to get through a full listen. The longest song is 6 minutes but it doesn’t feel that long.
But man, the entire process that has lead us to Yeezus is fascinating, right? No singles to radio. NOT ONE. Barely any promo. Leaks 3 days before it’s release. Trends on Twitter for days. Will go #1 and sell well. Who else can do this? Who would’ve thought he would come this far? He’s basically seeling Yeezus on the hype and simply being Kanye West. The reviews are stellar (when you get a 4 1/2 star review from Rolling Stone, does anything else really matter?), judging from the reaction from the people at the bar I was at last night where the DJ so generousply played the entire album, fans are excited. And very, very pleased.