After he dropped My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in November of 2010, if you’d have told me that in your opinion Kanye West had a flawless discography, I wouldn’t have argued with you. Of course that’s impossible as perfection is unachievable, but until that point, every single one of his albums had been adored by fans and critically acclaimed beyond belief and he was on a hot streak unlike anyone else certainly in Hip-Hop, perhaps in music. Then he took a break from his solo work to team up with JAY-Z for Watch The Throne, heralded a classic. Say what you wanted about his antics but as an artist, it seemed as though he could do no wrong. Then Yeezus happened. I understand that there are a group of people who considered his 2013 effort another masterpiece, and I’d like to as well, but I just can’t bring myself to believe anything other than the fact that it is a misstep. I’ll always give it the respect that the first listen was fun and a challenge, but I doubt if I’ll ever consider it anything more than a half decent album. However even Yeezus wasn’t nearly lacklustre enough to make it that any forthcoming Kanye releases weren’t some of the most highly anticipated in music, so his seventh studio album The Life Of Pablo had quite the journey.
34 albums, 166 tracks
Hating Kanye West seems too easy. He’s been a punching bag for a majority of his career. However, I can say from personal experience, being an arrogant nerdy black dude with a goofy name draws the ire of a lot of people. I know it’s hard to picture now since he’s become a household name but, “Kanye” is a weird ass name. I can already tell that he had to learn how to lean into saying it because people definitely gave him a weird look the first time he introduced himself. But I digress, the Kanye hate is out of control. Does he say wild shit? Of course. Does he say dumb shit? Most definitely! Does he associate with people who are dangerous to Black and Brown people in America? You bet your ass he does. But does he deserve all the flack he gets? No. Does he deserve some hate? Yes, but ALL OF IT? No. I get that we live in outrageous times where things said on the internet are considered worse than things done in person but let’s be real. Kanye hasn’t killed anyone and written a book about it, sold out the American Public to shatter everything Barack Obama did, or Punched Rihanna in the face. The only crime Ye has committed is disappointing the American Public. Now some people already hated him because he’s an arrogant black man married to the Marie Antoinette of our generation: Kim Kardashian so this is just rollover hate. However, things have gotten exceptionally worse in the past couple years. I won’t lie though, he says a lot of dumb shit I can’t defend, so much shit I had to block him on all social media like an Ex who’s doing “too well”. My block game was so serious that I almost missed the fact he had an album coming out. Almost. So, with that said let’s get into “ye”.
If there were ever an award for the most overrated album of all time, Ye would be the winning album in that category. Truthfully, I won't say I have ever been a fan of Kanye West but as an unbiased lover of music, I always appreciate good sounds when I hear one, regardless of the fact that I like the artiste or not. In as much as I am not a fan of his, there are some songs from him that I vibe to whenever it plays. Songs like "Power", "Monster" and "Heartless" which happens to be my favourite song from him. What actually prompted me to giving this album a listen was the mix up that it caused, as it had the same title as a song from Burna Boy; one of Nigeria's finest artistes. When most people were trying to get the album online, they kept stumbling on Burna Boy's “Ye” which was actually a very good song by the way. It was during the time when this mix up was going on that I decided to download this album myself, hoping to be blown away by Kanye West. I couldn't give it a second listen as all the tracks were just too watery for a man like Kanye West who had set bars and even raised them higher with previous albums. There was no special moment in all of the songs, there was no wow song in all of the tracks, no big deal whatsoever, just Kanye West trying to chase the shadows of the great rapper that he once was. I think he tried too hard to be the man he thought he was on this project. Few weeks after I listened to the album and didn't like it, I was scrolling through Twitter one fine evening when I saw that the album was trending again, this time not because of a mix up but people actually tweeting about how great an album it was. I was bewildered by the fact that people still consider the album great when it was glaring that the album is no where near any of his previous works. I forced myself to believe that I was harsh with my judgement and rating of the album, I decided to download it again, listened to it the second time, listened again the third time, still nothing. I still chose to be open minded about it, I went on the internet and checked out the critical reception of Ye and I compared it to that of his previous albums starting from his debut studio album, using "Metracritric" as my source. His first studio album had a rating of 87 out of a 100, that's considered a massive success and I agree with this. His second album Late Registration had 85 out of 100. He maintained his standards on this one, also regarded as a successful album. His third studio album Graduation however fell a little below the standards that the first two albums were on by having 79 of 100. This could still be pardoned. The next album 808s and Heartbreak had 75 out of 100. The bar kept dropping with each album. The fourth album was My Beautiful Dark Twisted Family and this one had a whooping 94 out of 100, he came back harder and stronger with this album, a massive success. Then came another album Yeezus, which had 85 of 100, it would seem a little unfair if we call this a drop as the previous album which had a 94 was something out of this world. The actual drop happened with the next album Life of Pablo, which had a rating of 75 over 100, which we still couldn't regard as poor. Then finally Ye, I actually expected a poor rating for this but I didn’t expect it to be as poor as getting a 64 out of a whole 100. This alone justified my claim that this was Kanye West's worst album ever. Despite the poor ratings, it still debuted at number one on US Billboard 200 and had total sales of over 500,000 in album equivalent units in the US, hence getting certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA).
The College Dropout by Kanye West was the first hip-hop album I ever owned. My dad bought me the clean version from Wal-Mart. Funny story, I attended the Boys & Girls Club in middle school. I was 12 years old and I vividly remember telling Daniel, the basketball coach, that Kanye West couldn’t rap, LOL. I was young and naïve. I told him this because, I was trying to get a reaction out of him - little did I know about hip-hop nor Kanye. Daniel simply retorted “you’re crazy.” Soon after, when my dad gave me the chance to pick out anything in the store that I wanted, I picked out “The College Dropout” off the shelf. Mainly because I dissed Kanye’s rap abilities prior to taking a fair listen. I also gravitated towards the artwork of the teddy bear sitting on the bleachers, and decided to give it a chance. This soon became my favorite CD - I memorized every song lyrics, chorus, verse and skit. Kanye remained my favorite artist until J. Cole took reign in 2009 with The Warm Up mixtape. The College Dropout is an album that is so important to pop-culture and creatives. This album stresses going against societal norms and confirming while staying true to your personal goals. Although I did not drop out of college and I am pursuing my master’s degree, at times I feel tired of playing societal games. Sometimes it makes you wonder if the late nights and insurmountable piles of debt is truly worth it. On his debut album, Kanye promotes “thinking outside of the box” and “being yourself” which I believe is so important in this day and age.
Already with a reputation for being somewhat of an asshole, Kanye West took things over the top at the 2009 MTV VMAs. While Taylor Swift was on stage accepting the award for Best Female Video which she won with ‘You Belong With Me’, clearly overwhelmed with the moment, Kanye West took the stage and for those watching on TV, appeared out of nowhere. He spoke the famous words that I won’t bother quoting, the ones that changed the perception of him forever. He stood up for Beyoncé and said that the visual for ‘Single Ladies’ was the greatest of all time, dismissing Taylor’s win. She stood there, even more awkwardly than before, befuddled, just like everyone watching. Later on in the night, when Beyoncé did end up winning Video Of The Year, she brought Taylor on stage so that the singer could have her moment and justice could be brought back, but the damage was already done. Kanye had one too many drinks and with one bad decision, turned the entire world against him. He has since called it the result of passion mixed with alcohol and that sounds about right. Just a few days after the incident, Kanye was on The Jay Leno Show for a previously scheduled appearance. Jay Leno asked him what his late mother would have thought of the incident and Ye sat there, pondering the answer to no avail. He ended up taking the stage with JAY-Z and Rihanna moments after for a rendition of ‘Run This Town’ but the appearance was one of his last in the public eye for a very long time. Whatever you thought of his intentions, Kanye had embarrassed what was now America’s darling in front of millions and being a fan of his and defending him was becoming more and more difficult with time.
For better or for worse, everyone knows who Kanye West is and everyone has their own opinion of him. He hasn’t made it the easiest thing in the world to be a fan of his over the years. But if there is one thing that irrefutable, it is his ability to craft the leading Hip-Hop album of any year. Ye’s first few albums are all treated as classics. The College Dropout was his coming out party, as a rapper anyway. Late Registration cemented his position as a chart topper and an MC to watch. Graduation was a show of consistency. 808s & Heartbreak was innovative, popularised Auto-Tune and helped birth the new generation of music artist. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a response to critics and a masterpiece. Again and again (and again and again) he proved doubters wrong and built his reputation as a genius, within music if not in fashion or politics. Even outside of his solo music, on Watch The Throne, it wasn’t remotely controversial to say Kanye West outdid JAY-Z. In 2013, two years after WTT and leading up to his next solo album, things were going as they usually did. There was the news that Daft Punk were scheduled to be working with Kanye. Travi$ Scott came out and said the LP was amazing. 2 Chainz agreed with him. Fans were in hysteria at any piece of news. In May, Ye tweeted “June Eighteen”, which was all anyone needed to be sent into a frenzy. Famously, this was on the same day as the late Mac Miller was set to release Watching Movies With The Sound Off, Statik Selektah was set to put out Extended Play and J. Cole, originally scheduled for a June 25th release of Born Sinner, pushed his album forward to go head to head with Ye in a show of friendly competition.
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Featuring Version Videos
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- May 20, 2019Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: The Meaning Behind Their Baby's Name - The Cheat Sheet
- May 01, 2019Kanye West Is Making a Show About Kanye West, Starring Jaden Smith as Kanye West
- Apr 10, 2019Kim Kardashian says that Kanye West's support of Trump used to give her 'so much anxiety,' but she doesn't care anymore
- Jan 25, 2019A Japanese fabric company claims Kanye West never paid for over $600,000 of fleece he ordered for Yeezy
- Jan 02, 2019Kim Kardashian, Kanye West expecting fourth child via surrogate - Global News
- Dec 17, 2018Kylie Jenner defended Travis Scott after he was criticized for being 'petty' towards Kanye West
- Dec 14, 2018Kanye West dragged Travis Scott into his messy feud with Drake — here's what you need to know
- Dec 14, 2018Kanye West's Twitter Tirade Against Drake Is So Messy Even Kim Kardashian Jumped In - HuffPost
- Roc Nation
- Def Jam
Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnjeɪ/; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. His musical career has been marked by dramatic changes in styles, incorporating an eclectic range of influences including soul, baroque pop, electro, indie rock, synth-pop, industrial, and gospel. Over the course of his career, West has been responsible for cultural movements and progressions within mainstream hip hop and popular music at large.
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