Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' Dropped And I Thought...

.... The production is next-level and it totally overshadows any and all lyrical content (if it's even there to really be found).

I am a huge Kanye fan.  Not a "STAN"... But a fan, nonetheless.  From the beginning I always looked at Kanye as a breath of fresh air to the rap game.  He made it cool to rhyme about something other than the drug game and killing and bein' street and gang affiliated and all that at a time when that was all rap seemed to be about.  'College Dropout' was simply about the life of this producer-turned-rapper who remained diligent and made a name for himself as a producer and had finally proven himself as a rapper amongst his peers that he thought highly of, as well as to the World.

Kanye continued to prove himself with 'Late Registration'.  A great Freshman AND Sophomore album.  And then comes 808s & Heartbreak, which seemed to be transitional for the artist.  808s is one of my favorite albums from Kanye.  The production was awesome and a bit dark.  Very fitting for situations I experienced in my life at the time.  Beat-wise, internally...spiritually, I related to that entire album and from the majority of the reviews I've ever seen on that album, a lot of people also peg this as their favorite from 'Ye.

And then he gave, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' which he introduced with G.O.O.D Fridays, basically giving his entire album away to his fans for FREE over a course of about 10 weeks or so.  Yet again, another great album!

The one album I did not like from Yeezy was 'Graduation'.  The only one.  Writing this, I am hard-pressed to even name singles from this album.  And of course as soon as I write that my mind goes: "Flashing Lights".."Can't Tell Me Nothing".  But I promise that I couldn't think of one other song that didn't make it to the radio.  I just didn't like it.

And see, I gotta compare Kanye to Kanye because Kanye is just that great and genius, musically.  And he knows this and I can see that with each album he pushes further and further.  With this latest album I get the feel that he tried too hard to prove that he's the one pushing the rap genre to expand beyond common boundaries of how "Rap" should sound or be delivered.  All his other albums that pushed the envelope seemed to do so effortlessly.  But not 'Yeezus' (for me).

I actually went to sleep super early yesterday and woke up at 4 AM.  Downloaded 'Yeezus' and listened to the entire album in 40 minutes.  I haven't listened to it again since.  With the exception of 'Graduation' that's unusual for me with a Kanye West album.  And something inside of me is pressed to feel differently, but I just can't.  Maybe after a few more listens I'll be able to point out more good, but at this point I'm wishing that Kanye will maybe collab with other great producers like he did for this album and just bless us with an entire work of dope instrumentals??  (That's not unheard of, is it?)

If you haven't purchased 'Yeezus', give it a listen here.  As I said, the production is awesome on the entire album.  It's just that the lyrical content doesn't quite meet the expectations of the music.  So here's the tracks I particularly like:

#2 "On Sight" purely for Production!
#6 "I'm In It" due to the Jamaican feature
#9 "Send It Up" mainly due to dude's flow on the first verse.
#10 "Bound 2"--That the RZA-produced track? Sounds Wu-Tang/Raekwon/Ghostface-ish on the production.


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