This album was released on the same day as Born Sinner and while it would be highly tempting to compare the two albums, I won’t. The album was released without any singles and minimal promotion (unless you count the London rant and the rant at the Governor’s ball). So let’s just jump straight into the album.
Soon as I pull up and park the Benz
We get this bitch shaking like Parkinsons
The beat sounds sorta disjointed with the synths just droning on and on. It sounds more like it belongs in electronica than rap. This song is a sign that he intends to give us “what we need” so it’s safe to assume that the rest of the album would have this feel.
They see a black man with a white woman
At the top floor they gone come to kill King Kong
Middle America packed in
Came to see me in my black skin
It’s hard to believe that Daft Punk co-produced this cos it sounds more like heavy metal than that electronic stuff. Yeezy shreds this beat with lyrics about his ability to mix social issues and fashion trends in the same line. This right here is solid
I am a God
I just talked to Jesus
He said, “What up Yeezus?”
I said, “Shit I’m chilling
Trying to stack these millions”
This song was inspired by a diss from a major fashion designer who sent an invite to Ye on the condition that Ye wouldn’t go for any other fashion show but his. The beat sounds crazy and possessed with distorted drums and synths that almost sound wrong. The message here is that he’s a god and you can’t tell a god what he can or can’t do. It’s agressive and also serves to pass his angry message across. Not the best Yeeezy track I’ve heard but it’s alright. (This is just slightly away from being classed as noise)
You see it’s broke nigga racism
That’s that “Don’t touch anything in the store”
And this rich nigga racism
That’s that “Come in, please buy more”
The best way to describe this song is Stripped Down. The beat is stripped down to the basics and serves to draw your attention to what Ye is saying. He raps about the Prison industrial complex and how slavery has just changed names but still remains. Another really good track.
Hold my Liquor ft Justin Vernon and Chief Keef
I’m hanging on a hangover
Five years we been over
Ask me why I came over
And he’s back with the synthethizer. He manipulates it here in such a way that is sounds like it’s malfunctioning ( I actually thought my earphones had gone bad). Ye has some support on this one from fellow Chi town rep Chief Keef and Justin Vernon. A couple of notes:
1. Chief Keef can’t sing and shouldn’t be singing
The message in this song is supposed to be about Ye fighting his inner demons but I just don’t get that vibe so:
2. This is a pretty weak track
3. The only good part of the song is when they all stop talking and let the instrumentals clash for about 2 minutes
I’m in it ft Assasin and Justin Vernon
Chasin’ love, all the bittersweet hours lost
Eatin’ Asian pussy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce
This song tells a story of sex and everyone on this murks it. The Assassin dude does his raggae bit really well and Justin Vernon does his thing with the chorus. Ye then goes forth to paint a picture of what he’ll do to any Juliet (he’s Romeo in this scenario). He stays in it
Blood on the leaves
Two-thousand-dollar bag with no cash in your purse
Now you sittin’ courtside, wifey on the other side
Gotta keep ’em separated, I call that apartheid
This sounds like a throwback to 808 & Heartbreaks and I truly hated that albumm so I’m just going to skip reviewing the first 3 minutes and go straight to the last 2. The last 2 minutes are a throwback to Ye from the Watch the Throne Era. If you ignore the singing then this is a pretty good track but you have to add the singing and what you have isn’t really awesome.
Guilt trip ft Kid Cudi and Popcaan
Your feelings like Zulu, then nothing is a Shaka
I hit her with Jamaican dick, I’m the new Shabba
She lookin’ for her daddy, call me Big Poppa
This samples the intro from Pusha T’s “blocka” and even though it starts off with singing, this is another good one. Even Cudder does his singing well. Kanye even uses the supa dupa flow on this to great effect.
Send it up ft King Louie
She say “Can you get my friends in the club?”
I say “Can you get my Benz in the club?”
If not, treat your friends like my Benz
Last night my bitches came in twos
And they both suck like they came to lose
This song sample Beenie Man and it’s a party track a la “In da club”. Ye does his thing again on this and as for King Louie? Well, all Louis are awesome and this verse serves to prove that. Hate not. (what did you say?)
Bound 2 ft Charlie Wilson
Walking ’round, always mad reputation
Leave a pretty girl sad reputation
Start a Fight Club, Brad reputation
Soulful beat + clasic Ye + Charlie Wilson. This is a certified tune. It just takes you back to Graduation and Late Registration. This is a strong way to end the album. This song deserves a truckload of replays. And it just has a good feeling to it.
How you rate this album depends on what you were expecting. If you wanted a vintage Ye album then you’d be sorta disappointed but if you just bumped it with an open mind then you’d be really impressed. This album transcends just rap or hip hop, it crosses over and dips into other genres and it’s this mix that is key to how one views this. There are moments when you might want to skip a track and moments when you forget that this is a rap album. This album comes across as 10 track of experimentation like he just wanted to try out something new. This works sometimes and at other times, it fails terribly. Another problem with the album is its length, just when you start to figure it out and get into the spirit of the album, it ends. It’s too short to put your finger on the overall feel. The album has a minimalist theme to it and there are even a couple of moments where there’s just one instrument playing. It gives off a vibe of music stripped down to its bare essence. Stripped to the wire.
With all this and more in mind, I’m going to have to give this a B-