Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and when you read the following adjectives, who do you think of: controversial, polarizing, creative, innovative, unique. Now, I don’t know about you, but those remind me a lot of Kanye West.
A man who truly needs no introduction: Kanye West! Love him or hate him, he is one of the most popular figures in music, if not the most popular. His work dates back to the early 2000s. He produced for many artists, including JAY Z, but his fame skyrocketed when he released his first solo album, “The College Dropout”. It is still seen by many as his greatest album, and when people talk about the “Old Kanye”, this is most likely the era of his musical work they are referring to. With every album, Kanye changes his style in some way, and his public persona is just as unpredictable. He is, frankly, one of the most unique artists out there.
Me, I love his music! There is not one album of his that I don’t like. I find a lot of enjoyment even on his worst album, as plenty of the songs are good (I won’t say what this album is, since I might make a “ranked” post of his albums in the future, but even for me a couple of the songs on there rank up with his best). On the flip side, I am not a big fan of his public persona. His controversy is what keeps him relevant in many people’s eyes, but I usually turn away from the controversy he makes. When he was saying “Slavery is a choice” and flaunting his MAGA hat, I was just waiting for this project to drop. When he dropped the two terrible singles “Lift Yourself” and “Ye vs. The People”, I did not let them sway my perception for what was to come. So, when this album came out, I dove right in, and now I’ve listened to it enough to give my full thoughts on it, so let’s not waste any more time!
#1: I Thought About Killing You
The verse on this isn’t one of his greatest. It is kind of all-over-the-place, even though there are some good lines, but the real spectacle of this song is the intro. Kanye sort of expresses his depression in this introduction, but shows the resolution as a light in the tunnel, as the happiness seems hidden within. The first couple lines “Today, I seriously thought about killing you/I contemplated, premeditated murder” really struck me, as it just comes out with blunt straightness, but gives more explanation with “And I think about killing myself/And I love myself way more than I love you, so…” The intro gets a little repetitive, but those are the main lines that really emphasize what he’s trying to say. Looking at it now, it’s probably one of the most “Kanye” things he said in a song. Openly admitting he loves himself more than anyone else falls right in with the memes about his abundant self-love. Going off that, one of the things this intro does well is set up the rest of the album. A major theme of this album is love–it is seen on every song–and this intro prepares the listeners for that nicely.
I really appreciate the structure of this song. That sounds odd to say, but let me explain. This is the track where Kanye reveals his recent bi-polar diagnosis. So, having the chorus focusing on himself being afraid of himself, then having the verses go into brag-rap territory is perfect. The verses show the side of himself he is afraid of, but the admission of himself not being scared of his diagnosis in the outro shows a great turnaround that really provides a potent message. I think the structure of this track is genius! That, though, doesn’t mean I like the song, per se. The chorus is amazing and deep, but I really don’t dig the verses. They’re pretty dull, and lines like “You know how many girls I took to the t*tty shop?/If she get the ass with it, that’s a 50 pop” make it cringeworthy at times. Still, I give this song credit where credit is due.
#3: All Mine
The first time I heard this song, I wasn’t a fan of it, but it’s grown on me after a few listens. The song isn’t trying to be anything deeper than a song about wanting bad girls and having lots of skanky intercourse, but it does what it wants to well. Jeremih’s chorus is infectious, and while Ty Dolla $ign’s contribution is basically irrelevant, Kanye makes a big impression in this song. I really like the line “If I pull up with a Kerry Washington/That’s gon’ be an enormous scandal/I could have Naomi Campbell/And still might want me a Stormy Daniels”, as I find it fitting, funny, and topical. There are a couple clunkers, such as “I love your t*tties, ’cause they prove/I can focus on two things at once” and “Ayy, none of us’d be here without c*m”, but they also add a bit more wanted ridiculousness to an over-the-top song. This is not a track that is going to change anyone’s life, but I see myself returning to it in the future.
#4: Wouldn’t Leave
This is where the album starts to take a major upturn. Kanye is talking to his wife, Kim Kardashian, on this song, and he makes an implied apology for all the things he’s done that have anguished her. It is sincerely a heartfelt song, and every aspect of it is great. I’ve never been a PARTYNEXTDOOR fan, but the chorus he provides on here is phenomenal, with the refrain being the perfect cherry on top. Kanye’s verses are a full exposure of his heart, with his first verse being my favorite of the two he provides on here. The lines “My wife callin’, screamin’, say, “We ’bout to lose it all!”/Had to calm her down ’cause she couldn’t breathe/Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn’t leave” show a kind of passion we rarely see from Kanye. This song as a whole is exceptional and a great turning point for the album.
#5: No Mistakes
Compared to all the other songs on the latter half of the album, this isn’t my favorite, but it is still a good song. The only way I can describe it is being a victory song, like the tracks rappers make to say they made it to the top. Of course, Kanye does this is his own Kanye way, or should I say Kan-way (yeah, that was a bad pun, I know, I’ll leave now). But, seriously, that’s all I can really say about this song. I could complain about how the chorus feels disconnected from the verse, but I love the chorus so much that I can’t complain about it. I just feel that there’s no standout lines I can provide to show you my feelings toward the track. Moving on, I guess.
#6: Ghost Town
While the last track focused on the past and present, this one focuses on the future. Kanye sings his verse, and in it, he contemplates on what his future will be like, hoping that “Some day the drama’ll be gone”. It’s one of those verses where every line feels like it has a very particular, specific purpose. Along with Kanye’s great verse, the guests on this track are also welcome additions. PARTYNEXTDOOR and Kid Cudi do their parts very nicely, but the standout guest is 070 Shake. Her voice works pristinely with the outro, and you can see her childish demeanor as she says “Woah, once again I am a child/I let it all go, of everything that I know”. I’ll admit, the outro does drag on a little, but if you were to cut the last 26 seconds out, it would be the perfect length. Still, this minor detail does not hinder my overall enjoyment of the song.
#7: Violent Crimes
If I said that Kanye was fully exposing his heart on “Wouldn’t Leave”, then he’s practically giving it to the audience on “Violent Crimes”. His verse on this is purely emotional, as he talks all about the worries he has for his daughter on here. Lines like “If you whoop her ass, she move in with him/Then he whoop her ass, you go through it again/But how you the devil rebukin’ the sin?” are almost tear-jerking. The chorus on here, too, is another amazing one, and one that I’ve already gotten stuck in my head multiple times. This is not a song you want to miss on this project.
Out of all the albums I’ve reviewed on this blog so far, I had to listen to this one the most times before I could make a comprehensive review on it. I could tell it was good, but I wasn’t able to pinpoint how good it was. One thing was for sure though; this is the most “Kanye” album he has ever produced. By saying that, I mean that this is all him. There are no games to played. No tricks, no deceit. Every word said on this album is coming right from his heart. That doesn’t automatically make the whole album incredible. I have not talked about it yet on this review, but all the production is immaculate. This helps each track sound lovely. There was not one track that I hated on here because of the production. Every chorus on here, too, is an instant hit. The choruses are some of the best parts about these songs. If there were problems in the songs, it was the lyrics. Nevertheless, even if it isn’t perfect, I would call this a really good album.
My favorite song has to be “Violent Crimes”. It is one of Kanye’s most personal tracks, and its execution is flawless. The chorus, sung by 070 Shake and Ty Dolla $ign, is as heartbreaking as the verse, and Kanye did not hold any emotions back on this track. My least favorite song is probably “Yikes”, because while its chorus and message are good, the verses did not stick with me.
Overall, I would give this album a 7.5 out of 10. Do you agree?
Thank you for reading my “ye” review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have a song or album you would like to see reviewed, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep listening to good music! I know I will.