The Highlander

Ye doesn’t disappoint

Kanye West's new album upholds his mantra as a great rapper

Jeremy Siegel, News Editor

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Kanye West, a staple of the American hip-hop and rap culture, has created some of the greatest hits of all time. From Gold Digger to Famous to Touch the Sky to Stronger to Waves, Kanye West has established himself as one of the greatest rappers and musicians of all time. Yet he seems to have recently attracted quite a bit of negative attention from fans, the media, and his audience alike as he claimed slavery was a choice. However, his new album, Ye, seems to be true to his older self, even if it seemed to hint towards his new political leanings. 

The first track on the album, I Thought About Killing You, is simply weird. For starters, there is a lack of beat until about three and a half minutes into the song, which just transforms from nothing into a violent, albeit rhythmic, beat. Yet the lyrics, and title, are far more evidently violent. The name of the song itself invokes quite a bit of fear towards the song, and as the title is repeated multiple times, the tone of the song seems to be very foreboding and dangerous. The entire song is a confession to pondering domestic violence and even murder as he uses phrases like “I contemplated, premeditating murder” and “I love myself way more than I love you”. The song, as a whole, is incredibly dark and quite frankly scary, and is surely not the only song on the album like it. 

While the beat and song itself is a significant improvement over I Thought About Killing YouViolent Crimes is similarly violent. Once again, the name itself immediately expresses the violence of the song. Yet this song, unlike direct violence expressed towards his loved ones, West expresses his fear for his daughters (and son) growing up in a world with such violence. Addressing fear for his daughters, West wishes their bodies resemble his more than their mother’s (Kim Kardashian West) in an obvious reference to sexual violence, which has been featured brightly the past few months through the #MeToo movement. This song, the last of the album, upholds the darkness of I Thought About Killing You

Other songs, however, are less dark, and simply weird. For example, No Mistakes leads with an incredibly bizarre introduction, which is simply around 10 seconds interrupted by an odd interjection from an unknown singer. This interjection continues throughout the song as a light voice shouts “believe it or not”. Yet the song still upholds the old Kanye. Though it has some oddities, the beat and rapping is excellent.

Otherwise, his song Wouldn’t Leave continues the trend set by No Mistakes and is simply a good song. The beat and rapping are once again incredibly strong and the lyrics seem to be an explanation for his recent provocative claims, particularly the remark about slavery, which he defends in the song.

With Ghost Town, Kanye speaks through featured artists like Kid Cudi, John Legend, and Shirley Ann Lee and addresses some of his personal issues. Though the song seems to be fairly lighthearted, the lyrics point to a much darker truth as he sings about some of his more troubling personal issues. Yet the song is much more about shedding light on issues that he has faced ranging from opioid addiction to grieving over his mother’s death. In Ghost Town, West demonstrates his ability to get over even the most troubling personal issues, and sets a tone for the entirety of the album.

While some of the songs were good, none were as great as Yikes, easily the best song on the playlist. The song’s beat, lyrics, and rapping are reminiscent of the old Kanye. At the same time, the song upholds the severity and seriousness of the whole album as West addresses issues like body positivity, world issues, and past problems he has faced in his life. He addresses major mistakes of his life, and addresses his bipolar disorder, which is referenced elsewhere in the album.

Overall, the album upholds Kanye West’s title as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Even though it is includes two incredibly dark and frankly weird songs, the album includes solid songs and in all addresses issues that West has had to face his whole life. The album was initially going to be called Love Everyone and was to feature a picture of the doctor who is responsible for West’s mother’s death. Obviously changed, Ye still stays true to the ideas of repentance and reconciliation. 

Final verdict:

A

West’s new album was released this week following an odd release party held in an isolated Wyoming town. (Photo obtained via Creative Commons)

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