Yay or Nay? This Yeezus album


kanye-west-yeezus-650

I’m only doing this cause of multiple requests I’ve gotten to do so. Clearly, people wanna see me go on a tirade about what a piece of shit Kanye is, yadda yadda yadda…well…That’s not gonna happen. But, I’m also not pitchfork.com so I won’t be doing any sword swallowing either. I could sum up a review of this album in a paragraph but a song by song breakdown seems more fitting. Before I even get into it, I wanna say that people, on both sides of this argument, are absurd. The extreme love and hate this album has gotten is concerning cause it’s as if no one is capable of simply thinking something is “okay” anymore. I understand this album is highly divisive and the internet (or music journalism) is highly reactionary but…jesus christ. People need to get it together. if you’re either getting angry at this album or masturbating to it, you’re a fucking ridiculous person.
On the pro side, it’s an out there pop rap record by one of the worlds hugest stars that isn’t pop at all. It barely has drums on it. On the con side, a large portion of it isn’t exactly enjoyable to listen to. unless you’re a goth who likes to go to ibiza, in which case this album will be a life changing experience.
But, before I get into my thoughts, I wanna know what you think?
Ye or Nay (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!?!?!?!).

Now that you’ve voted, here’s my take on it…
Keep in mind, I’m not a music critic. Just a guy who listened to this album a few times. An album, I might add, that I sure as hell could never make if I tried. So, please read this from the perspective of a fan and not a fellow artist. What I’m trying to say is there are no “I’m an artist too!” sour grapes going on over here. Just a guy listening to an album by another guy. I should also add that i actually kinda like Kanye as a rapper. People give him shit but he’s pretty entertaining to me.
Also, there’s a good chance a lot of these youtube clips will be nixed soon or already are so my apologies for that if it happens. Luckily, google exists and , if you really need to listen along, it’s not impossible.

On sight:

On the albums opener, Kanye sets the stage with was can best be described at a “Valiant attempt at something”. I’m not really a guy who gets too deeply involved with caring about obscure sub-genres and the songs that reference them so this just sounds like some electro shit to me. I’m sure sure whoever made the beat (It wasn’t Kanye, it was Daft Punk and like 7 other people) could site all sorts of inspirations for this track but , to me, it’s a just sort of grating. It’s also where we see the formula for this album begin. That Formula being Kanye rapping like Kanye (Which , like I said, I actually enjoy) over beats that are not typical to hip hop. Stuff like this will both give you a 9.5 on Pitchfork as well make many fans of your older work hit the “skip” button.

Black Skinhead:

Major props to Kanye to being the first rapper to really Utilize the drums from Gary Glitter’s “Rock and roll anthem part 2”. Lord knows that child molester needed some shine.

This song is one that is simply not for me but I get it. I have no interest in listening to this shit ever again but it serves it’s purpose. It’s one of the more “out there” songs while also being the most commercial joint on the album. That’s actually quite a feat if you think about it. It’s the one most critics will point to when they justify how much they suck off this album. To me, it’s like if Outkast’s “Hey ya” was made by someone is a really shitty mood.

I am god:

I gotta say. He does sound hungry on some of these tracks. He’s always been an emotional rapper who kinda got over more on his attitude than his content. This is no different. Sure, calling a song “I am a god” is baiting people and trolling but, outside of the title, he’s not exactly saying anything he hasn’t said before on each of his albums prior to this.
Also, of all the ibiza goth themes on this album, this track was a drum track away from being the game changer…of ibiza goth theme songs.

New slaves:

I like this joint. Maybe cause it’s first song on the album doesn’t sound like it’s trying too hard to be cutting edge. Again, Kanye has been talking about this same topic since his first album. That said, he’s kinda good at it.
I’m curious if Kanye is riding the “No drums” wave that has been popular in some hip hop corners for a while now. Whatever the case, I gotta hand it to him for making so many songs that could have a chance to ever get run on the radio or MTV. It’s bold. However, I’m not a person that equates boldness and genius. That’s a whole other discussion.

Hold my Liquor:

I feel like “New slaves” is where this album takes a turn. He stock piled all the “heady” weird songs up front. . Then he stacked the middle with his emotional joints. I fuck with this song. Definitely my favorite beat on the whole album. I even like the auto tunes Chief Keef part. That surprised even me.

I’m in it:

I think I’ve reached the point where i no longer need to hear sex themes from rappers not named “Necro” ever again. I get it…you eat ass. Good for you, bro. You also fucked the worlds most vapid cunt and put a baby in her so, clearly, you’re kind of a moron.
These kinda songs just always just seem like thinly veiled self promotion for how much you put it down in bedroom. Hearing Kanye say “Wet mouth” makes me kinda want to vomit but then he cracks me up where he says “Put my fist in her like civil rights sign”. Still…Fuck this song. I’m not even mad at it…I’m just more rolling my eyes at it.

Blood on the Leaves:

Oh cool! It’s like Kanye doing a duet with Nina Simone! The streets have been waiting!
Here’s a concept: You’re Kanye. It’s 2013. You’re regarded as one of the most forward thinking producers/musicians in modern pop music. how bout you fall back on the auto-tune? If you can’t hit the notes, get someone who can to sing it. You know Frank Ocean. Get him to sing that shit. It’s not like people would question your artistic integrity. You can still drop your verse at the end so it’s technically your song. Just saying.
This song has a dope beat though. No question about it. But it’s yet another case of the heavy and somber feel of a song not matching the depth of the lyrics. This has the makings of something far weightier than him rapping about a divorce. But that’s the thing..Kanye isn’t deep. Sorry. he isn’t. I’ll be the first to say he’s far more clever than people give him credit but deep? Nah, b.

Guilt Trip:

I don’t wanna keep harping on this auto-tune shit but…goddamnit.
This is “heartbreaks and 808’s” outtake business right here. It’s again him “rapping” over production that isn’t typical to hip hop. But that’s the whole album. I dunno. This joint is just kinda boring. It might work at like 5 am though. But, AGAIN, what the fuck is he babbling about on this track? “Let me goooooooo…” is the “Do I make you Horny?Yeahhhh baby” of played out R&B catch phrases.

Send it up:

This song kinda exemplifies my biggest issue with the album. It’s a bunch of songs trying something different (in the realm of popular hip hop), which is applaudable but the results are kinda thin , synth-y joints with not much to say. It’s not like they’re even an enjoyable listen. A lot of them sounds like unfinished Nine Inch Nails demos with rapping on them.

Bound 2:

This will be every old rap heads favorite song by far. Why? Cause he’s rapping over a soul sample and not dark , drumless synths. It’s as if he tagged this on the end to make all his old fans who aren’t music critics happy. Well, it worked! Say what you will but you can drain more emotive qualities out of an old soul loop than dark synths over a thumping kick.
And, to take it further,Kanye simply sounds better over these types of beats They fit his silliness. He’s simply not a serious enough rapper to pull off these dark brooding songs. He’s way more in his lane when he’s just fucking around over soul loops. Still, all that said, this song does seem like him stepping backwards. But I’m sure a lot of people would have prefered that in the first place.

20 thoughts on “Yay or Nay? This Yeezus album

  1. Yo Block,

    Can you please remind me of the post where you are talking about a fuckhead who is trying to get you more Facebook likes and shit like that? I just had one of these chodes message me, and I want to reference the link because of how well-said it all was.

    Cheers!   Daniel “Buddy” Thomas Director + Photographer 918 . 782 . 7099 Eyeconic Photography

    ________________________________

  2. Kanye is one of the only pop hip-hop artists I listen to because of the soulful sampling and hard kicks and bass. If I wanted to listen to some heady next level shit, there are plenty of indie artist that do it so much better than him.

  3. I’m currently in the midst of a debate with someone who feels that the Pitchfork reviewer, by rating the album favorably and not holding Kanye West accountable for his misogynistic douchebaggery, is actually promoting that sort of sexist attitude and behavior.
    Now, I have never liked Kanye West in any capacity and I can’t stand Pitchfork’s self-indulgent thesaurus porn, but I take issue with the notion that the reviewer has a responsibility to denounce a record’s unseemly content. Far as I can tell, their job is to be tastemakers for people who are too lazy and/or incompetent to decide for themselves whether or not they like something. Doesn’t seem like the right place to set up a soapbox and address issues of equality and social injustice.
    So whatcha think, Block? I noticed you didn’t touch on the issue yourself, kinda curious about your take.

    • I think your friend is a moron.
      The reviewers job is to review the album. Not give a life synopsis of the person who made the album. If it come sup on the album, then i suppose it’s fair game. But, in the case of a dude like kanye, he’s not so much a misogynist as he is just an all around asshole…and plenty of great musicians over time have been unbelievable assholes. So, what’s the point of reviewing them as people?

      • Yeah, that’s more or less my point, thanks for the response. Keep ’em comin’.

      • I think it’s ridiculous to tell any artist or person not to make whatever they wanted. Stanley Kubrick would have never made a movie. There’d be no porn. Wu-tang would have never been able to make it.

        What would we do without led zeppelin or old dirty bastard? It’s not art that makes people do thingsor destroy values or beat women. Dumb people do dumb thing People make art.

        Also I forget my point now haha

    • Not only that, but Kanye repeatedly makes it pretty clear that the persona he’s rapping from on this album Is an utter monster.
      It’s kinda like when people got mad at Rick Ross for the date rape line.. This guy raps about selling coke and killing people. Constantly. I’m not making any value judgements based on someone’s art. The character Ross plays is evil. That’s all there is to it. If you don’t want to hear cartoonish villainy, don’t listen to gangster rap. I don’t think there’d be a person left alive if every rappers murder claim was attached to actual dead people. And this applies to MOP and Black Moon and Section 8 Mob and whatever “real” gangsters you wanna talk about. It’s all fiction.

      As far as “how bout you fall back on the auto-tune? If you can’t hit the notes, get someone who can to sing it.” Goes
      Fall back on autotune? Taylor Swift falls back on autotune and you can’t tell it’s there. Thats what its intended for. to make pretty faces sound like real singers.You may hate Kanye using the blow out extreme autotune effect, but it’s literally no different than if you went “why do they use delay on Ozzy’s voice? If he wants something to repeat he should just repeat it a few times, getting quieter each time”
      It’s a conscious decision going for a specific sound that wouldn’t be achieved by having Frank Ocean sing it.

      I feel bad for some people griping over the extensive credits. Don’t go back and look at The Chronic or Ready To Die or Under Construction or Wu Tang Forevers liners unless you want to go down a rabbit hole of wondering just how much other mega successful producers did on their albums after making enough money to outsource some of it.

      • My only issue with this critique is that it sounds like your making excuses for him. The bottom line is “do you find this record enjoyable?” and “Do you want to listen to it again”? IF the answer is yes, then he made a record you like. If not, then he didn’t. All this discussion of things outside of that realm (I’m certainly a little guilty of this as well so I’m not just pointing fingers at you) is pointless. His persona means nothing to me. The persona of most rappers is annoying. You think I’d actually wanna chill with Gunplay? Like I said in the write up, I actually like Kanye as a rapper. He’s not nearly as heavy as he’s portrayed and that’s what gets him in trouble.

        As for the auto tune, you’re bugging if you think it’s not different. Taylor swift can actually sing. Sorry. She can. Ozzy is an old retarded person at this point. Kanye cannot sing. Thi is something he’s stated openly in interviews and related to why he uses autotune. That’s why he uses it. If you had compared it to brittney spears I might be inclined to agree. But even with her, Kanye is not using it the same way. Kanye is using it as a tool. I would rather him use it like Spears as a pitch corrector and not a robot voice. But he’s also a “groundbreaking producer” (speaking of which, looking at the credits for this album, he barely had anything to do with most of the beats on this album) who is still relying on the most played out pop music trick from 2008.

  4. Is there music being played on these embeds? All I see are hot girls with perfect breasts touching themselves and each other. My penis and my brain are at war right now so I can’t critique the music. Damn you!

    • HAA. I’m sorry. If you are actually thinking of doing it though, it’s really not that hard. You *might* think it’s a win-win situation, but it’s not, you’re being blinded by the beauty. You have to remember how CRAZY competitive some women can be and these are the most beautiful women on the planet that have done everything together since their teen years. I feel like the other two don’t seem jealous at all, they seem surprisingly down to earth and would just rather play with each other than branch out and have to contend with the world drooling over them. GISCHEN on the other hand – while I get it, she’s dynamite, doesn’t she seem like one of the most controlling, competitive cunts on the planet? If she were in a threesome with Lima, you KNOW that she’d take the opportunity to “accidentally” mangle that angel’s face. And are you really that selfish a guy, Blockhead, that you are going to ruin Adriana’s face for the world, just for that threesome?
      I swear that all Alessandra and Adriana do besides finger each other (and let their ugly husbands touch them every now and again) is talk about how terrified they are of Gis (I bet she would FURIOUS if one of them got pregnant without consulting her first) and just wish they could live their lives how they want!

  5. Schizophrenic mess with a bunch of really cool parts. But it’s so weird overall, I don’t think I’ll ever listen to it again

  6. I liked the darker synth stuff the most on the album. I think the sampled stuff was generic. I did like the Nina Simone sample.

    I think he’s good at filling out silence with his voice but his lyrics are less witty than he thinks they are. I didn’t like the sexual references. But I usually don’t in music.

    I prefer death. Depression. Anger. Guns.

    I think this is a solid project.

    I would like to hear you review more albums. You did great doing the track by track

    Thank you

  7. Feels more like the direct sequel to 808s and Heartbreaks, which is disappointing.

    It makes more an interesting split in his discography though. I think The College Dropout, Late Registration, and MBDTF make a perfect trilogy, whereas Graduation, 808s, and Yeezus make a seperate, just as cohesive trilogy. It makes MBDTF feel more like a rest stop for him.

    Regardless, fuck Yeezus. I listened to New Slaves on repeat during my 30 min drive to work today doh

  8. I’m with the “it’s okay” crowd. When I think of Kanye West, I think of excellent production, weak lyrics and sub-par rapping, yet I still listen to him anyway. Mainly for the production. It’s really the only redeeming quality of his material. Those attributes are what I’ve come to expect of him from him, and this record is no different. Do I absolutely love this record? No, but I like it well enough, and I’ll still listen to it. But shit, Ye needs to cut it with the Auto Tune. Christ.

  9. I liked El-Ps thoughts, basically – it’s cool that kids who don’t hear anything weirder than The last Kanye album are in their bedrooms trying to contend with this.

    Something about the production moves me. Feels like Suicide..but that sound applied to music is actually want to hear.

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