The Highlander

Kanye challenges his listeners with two new songs

Kanye+West%27s+controversial+tweets+about+politics+have+created+a+lot+of+buzz+about+his+new+music.+The+two+tracks+he+released+in+late+April+were+the+first+tracks+he+had+released+since+2016.+%28Photo+obtained+from+Google+Images+under+a+Creative+Commons+license%29.
Kanye West's controversial tweets about politics have created a lot of buzz about his new music. The two tracks he released in late April were the first tracks he had released since 2016. (Photo obtained from Google Images under a Creative Commons license).

Kanye West's controversial tweets about politics have created a lot of buzz about his new music. The two tracks he released in late April were the first tracks he had released since 2016. (Photo obtained from Google Images under a Creative Commons license).

Kanye West's controversial tweets about politics have created a lot of buzz about his new music. The two tracks he released in late April were the first tracks he had released since 2016. (Photo obtained from Google Images under a Creative Commons license).

Conor Zeya, A&E Editor

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Kanye West has never been one to fit into a box. His seven studio albums, all completely unique in their own way, make it difficult to define his sound concretely. And if you are following him on Twitter, you know that his social and political views are also very difficult to delineate.

Kanye started tweeting again in early April after a prolonged absence from social media. He announced that he was writing a philosophy book and using Twitter to release the book in snippets, saying that “no publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write. This is not a financial opportunity, this is an innate need to be expressive”.

Many of Kanye’s tweets were political, and his embrace of Donald Trump’s politics caused widespread controversy from his fanbase. Many of his Democratic African-American fans felt angry and betrayed by his words, because for so long he had served as a role model for the black community.


On April 27, West released his two new songs, the first new music he has released since his 2016 album “The Life of Pablo.” The first song, entitled “Lift Yourself,” was a confusing experience that many listeners interpreted as a joke. The song starts out with a long instrumental sample of Amnesty’s 1973 song “Liberty,” before breaking down to Kanye rapping gibberish over a simple kick drum cadence.

The song is another effort by Kanye to continue to confuse his listeners and keep them on their toes. The world was expecting Kanye to release a well-thought-out response to his political controversy, but they received an indecipherable joke instead (“Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop/Poop, poop/Scoop-diddy-whoop”).

Kanye’s tweet announcing the release of “Lift Yourself”. The song’s confusing gibberish lyrics left many of his listeners bewildered about its meaning.

The day after releasing “Lift Yourself,” however, West gave his listeners the response they were expecting. In “Ye Vs The People,” featuring Atlanta rapper T.I., Kanye attempts to explain and contextualize his political views by going back and forth with T.I., creating a song that is supposed to sound like a conversation between the two with T.I. representing the point of view of the majority of Kanye’s fans. The song samples the 1973 song “7 Rooms of Gloom” by Four Tops over a traditional Kanye-type beat, but the importance of this song is truly about the lyrics.

After controversy arose when Kanye tweeted a picture of himself wearing a Make America Great Again hat, Kanye explains in the song: “Make America Great Again had a negative perception/I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction/Added empathy, care and love and affection/And y’all simply questionin’ my methods.”

For Kanye’s fans that feel angry or betrayed by his political views, remember the wider view of his argument. When he claims that all black people should not have to be Democrats, he is merely arguing that people should form their political opinions independently, and not feel bound to a particular party for every issue.

From this perspective, I agree with him. Many Americans have become lazy when it comes to politics; instead of researching issues and forming their own opinions, people tend to let news outlets or their political party set the agenda and tell them which issues to support or block.

It has been three years since Kanye announced his presidential bid for the 2020 election. Whether he is running or not and which party he will run with is still up in the air, but he again hinted at it in “Ye Vs The People”:

“I know Obama was heaven-sent/But ever since Trump won, it proved that I could be president.”

 

OVERALL RANKING:

“Lift Yourself”: C+. It gave me a good laugh, but hopefully he does not put this one on the album.

“Ye Vs. The People”: A. I love any song where two people go back and forth.

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Kanye challenges his listeners with two new songs