KANYE WEST ALBUM REVIEWS
Without a doubt, 2018 has been the year of Kanye. As a musician, designer and celebrity he is by far the most talked about person in the world; the ‘Luis Vuitton don’ is the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Why? Well, no one creates hype quite like ‘Ye'. Constantly reinventing himself as an artist and personality, the superhero behind ‘College Drop Out’ is wearing a new cape; forcing new music down the throats of anyone and everyone.
4 albums in 20 days would be a daunting task for most musicians, especially as each project Kanye has been apart of this year has been so unique. Whatever you have to say about Yeezus, you could never discount his ambition and artistic ability. As self-centred and pretentious as he may seem to the untrained eye, and without reading too far into his sweeping political judgements, these albums show the creative mind of a modern-day genius, and why he is the biggest rapper on the planet.
25th May: THE RELEASE OF DAYTONA
Pusha T’s first album in 3 years uses the beautifully vulgar photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom as its artwork, setting the scene perfectly for this Kanye produced project. It seems a fitting representation of the mind ‘Ye’ possesses: intelligent, intriguing, but in many ways broken. Simply, ‘Daytona’ is Pusha’s best solo project since his departure from ‘Clipse’. The chemistry between Kanye and King Push for this record is evident in the punchy opener ‘If You Know You Know’, they stay creatively in-sync throughout, mixing quirky beats with T’s gritty lyrics. This album was a huge success for both artists; destroying Drake’s credibility whilst they were at it.
1st June: THE RELEASE OF ‘YE’
I’m going to go out and say this straight from the start. I’m not such a fan of this album. Out of all of the projects, it enticed me the least and felt nowhere near as complete and succinct as any of the others. For a man who has made a career out of proving people wrong, I feel this is his worse attempt to do so. If anything though, by discrediting this album, I am actually crediting Kanye more. There was a strong group of producers behind this album, and they failed to live up to the excellence Yeezus has historically delivered. The other LPs, all produced by Kanye, show such a diverse range of rhythms and instrumentals that they just make ‘Ye’ seem a little watered down. Where this album shines, however, is through the morbid fantasies West plays with; his obsession with killing himself combines with a consciously twisted flow to create quite a disturbing listen. This doesn’t save the album though. I’d like to apologise to my mates who have all ruined me for this opinion.
8th June: THE RELEASE OF ‘KIDS SEE GHOSTS’
Every aspect of this album makes it the undisputed champion of the 4. This is Cudi and Yeezus at their best, and week three of the Kanye carnage. Does it seem tired? Drab? Predictable? No. This album is completely different from any of the others, Kurt Cobain and Louis Prima samples show the spectrum of sounds the duo create on this record. The surreal and ghastly world that the artists invent takes them out of their comfort zone, which is best exemplified in concluding track ‘Cudi Montage’ and ‘Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)’. The montage of vocals in ‘Freeee’ produces spooky harmonies, creating an eerie choir of ghosts and ghouls, which are really just the collaborative effort of Kanye and Cudi. The energy that ‘Ye’ was dying for makes the heart of this project beat at an exhilarating tempo. If you listen to any of these albums make sure it’s this one.
15th June: THE RELEASE OF ‘NASIR’
This Kanye produced Nas project reflects on racial inequality, slavery and hood antics truthfully, using Nas’ powerful storytelling to do so. ‘Cop Shot The Kid’ is the best example of the LPs authenticity, using a relentlessly repetitive beat and echoing vocals to create a world representative of police injustice in America. Should this album reach the acclaim of Nas’ debut ‘Illmatic’? Probably not. It feels more like a project Kanye planted on Nas, who is unable to truly grasp his ability to tell stories like he once could. However, it is one of the truest and personal hip-hop projects of the year; it is amazing that they can make an album so succinct with such political differences. Although, its contradictions do sometimes make it difficult to listen to, and stylistically incomplete.
It’s got to the point where you wouldn’t be surprised if Kanye released a project tomorrow or the next day, or maybe even the day after that. He is keeping his critics on their toes and continually redefining music as we know it today. Come back here for any future Kanye releases.