June 19, 2013 5 comments
‘i am a Dog’ art by Mary
Okay, before we start let me get a few things out of the way:
Romans vs. Greeks,
Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce,
Now that we’ve got the memes out of the way, internet, let’s get on with it.
We were all left with goosebumps by the sheer ferocity of his SNL performance a few weekends back. What is Kanye doing? What is a “Yeezus”? Hudson Mohawke, Daft Punk, Rick Rubin, Lunice, Gesaffelstein, Arca?! Is this album going to be the anti-christ or the savior of music today?
Yeezus is the 6th album from Mr. West, featuring dark and dirty house-influenced production overlayed with experimental lyrics, iffy-autotune, and some screaming from a panicked Kanye. At the beginning of the album we’re listening to Kanye get sucked into some kind of 8-bit reality, that glitches at times to reveal a weird intercepted radio signal from an alternate reality echoing songs that sound like they would have appeared on an earlier album of his.
We then transgress with Kanye into this new reality. The primality of “Black Skinhead” is undeniable. It’s definitely the track that I have my fingers crossed will get radio play.
After TNGHT fucked up the game for everyone in July last year, I had hoped this was the direction music would converge towards. Thankfully Yeezy thought so too, and Yeezus does a great job harnessing the energy. After listening to it again and again, you can tell Kanye has an impeccable taste in music, and thankfully Yeezus delivers as a solid album. Though, it may leave you feeling on edge like a coked out MBDTF, but it’s invigorating and exciting.
Concept-wise, it’s a little hard to follow; “I Am A God” has Kanye ascending towards his new 8-bit heaven like a final boss in an arcade game, complete with ego and ridiculous self entitled demands. “New Slaves” is the closest we come to having a conversation with Kanye. Not the God-Kanye, not “Yeezus,” but the real Yeezy. The track definitely contains the most substance as far as we’re used to from Kanye’s prose as a lyricist. Great song, great sound.
The Daft Punk production on “Hold My Liquor” is so distinct. The slur over the electronic rising and falling of the beat allows you to hear what it sounds like to be sloppy drunk. It sounds episodic and you can nearly feel the motion blur as Kanye’s mind “moves like a Tron bike” and has some drunken sex with an old flame. Thanks for the Indiana radio shout-out, by the way, Ye.
“I’m In It” is the panty-dropper. The dark vocal distortion repeating everything like an satanic curse? Sexy.
“Blood On The Leaves” feels like you woke up in the alternate Old Kanye Album-distorted universe but before you get comfortable TNGHT rips you back into the Yeezus reality. It’s beautiful and emotional, and if I may, the defining song of the album. Where “Black Skinhead” connects you with an animal let loose, “Blood On The Leaves” is its antithesis, rooting you in a deep and dark state – I just can’t figure out the autotune. Regardless, it has some raw emotions going on that the other songs lack. Praying to Yeezus that this one hits the airwaves.
The vocal track on “Guilt Trip” is so heavy. Fuck yeahhhh blocka-blocka.
“Send it Up” makes me want to hear more King Louie. Greatest shit in the club since “In Da Club” and the siren is so infectuous. DJ’s drop this or you’re doing it wrong.
“Bound 2″ is so loopy, it’s sensational. Here’s to falling in love, yet –not quite. Contains that old Kanye feeling that connects with the heart and some of the funniest lyrics in the best way possible. Rock Forever 21 but just turned thir-tay. And the Charlie Wilson? It makes me want to tune into that alternate universe Kanye album we keep glitching in and out of. I wish I could hear the whole song. The lyrics are that moving as his vocals transcend to a crescendo–it’s like the feeling of falling in love, and then abruptly you’re uh-huh honey‘d back to Kanye’s 8-bit universe and fade to black.
Overall the album is considerably ground breaking, although some parts feel rushed. Hopefully it’ll change pop music today, but if not, it at least gives everyone something to talk about, and the sales of croissants will skyrocket.
I get everyone’s qualms though –lyric-wise it had a feeling of being incomplete. Which again isn’t surprising knowing he finished some of them 6 days before it’s release. With everyone disappointed by the lack of work, we can’t help but ask why? Why Kanye, did you not meticulously work like the perfectionist we know you are on these lyrics? Did you not care?
I think the real answer is in my latest conspiracy theory: Kanye was hoping to give birth to the new 2nd coming. He simply didn’t have TIME to perfect his lyrics. The idea came to him with (what I’m assuming to be Kimmy K’s due date): June 18th. He would make an album, give birth to a baby boy and all would regard him as the 2nd coming. The idea was born: Yeezus. Just as with Sapa Inca, Egyptian God Kings, or the Chou dynasty of China. Just think about how moved we all would have been had his lil babe been born on Yeezus day. So close.
“Black Skinhead” is the best track to lose your mind to in the club
“I Am A God” is the best Kanye meme yet
Drop your panties and get it on to “I’m In It.” Damn your lips very soft
Fall in love with the feeling of “Bound 2″ for the right reasons
Hold your breath for “Blood On The Leaves” at the Grammy’s
And try not to listen to the album after a hard night of drinking
Also, what do you guys think about the album art? Too many ideas were miss-mashed into the production that there wasn’t enough time for art, or is it beautiful and genius. Personally I love it, just as much as I love yeezygraffiti.com.