Kanye West

24 albums, 136 tracks

Born in Jun 08, 1977

Rap

Narratives

"Kanye West"

Jun 14, 2019

Drifting Away From The Standards

OBP
Written by @OBP from Omobaba Pension  / 5 mins read
#KanyeWest#HipHop#MainstreamRap#Ye#Experimental

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).

Almost But Not Enough

“Yikes” was supposed to be the one that should have headlined this album and it might have been okay if only it didn't have so many echoing voices, repetition of lyrics and a discombobulated type of beat and vibe. He just went on and on repeating the same words. The only positive from the track is the part where he sent a shout out to "Mahatma Ghandi" and when he said he doesn't see his Bi polar as a disability but in actual fact his strength, which makes him a super hero.

A Shred Of Who He Was

I like “No Mistakes” because of how it had the old Kanye West's signature all over it and all though it still had its downside but I guess the positive outweighs the negatives on this track. I just think it would have been better to feature either Kid CudI or Charles Wilson on this track, because having both of them was quite unnecessary. Regardless, Kanye's rap hits really well on this track. This track was the closest of the entire album to being a great track.

Overrated

Considering the successful commercial performance that “All Mine” had, one would think it's one great track. This was one of the songs that really made me not to like this album. Everything about it was just wrong. Starting from Ty Dolla $ign sounding like something out of a high school musical type of song on the chorus, to Kanye West dropping bars that should not even be coming from a rapper who has never climbed on a stage. Considering his antecedents as a multiple Grammy awards winner, I think he really did not put any effort in to this track.

May 31, 2019

He Paved His Wave Without An Unanimous Decision

jxxiii
Written by @jxxiii from Crown All Queens  / 6 mins read
#KanyeWest#HipHop#TheCollegeDropout#ClassicRegional#MainstreamRap

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.

Pink Polo’s & Louis Vuitton Knapsacks

Initially what drew me to Kanye was the relatability in his lyrics. Kanye and I are Gemini’s so when he told his story through his lyrics, I could instantly relate. The College Dropout was Ye’s coming of age. This album proved that the underdog that everyone doubted can be successful. Kanye brought an eclectic rock star fashion, production and rhyme scheme to the hip-hop game with The College Dropout. What inspired me about this album is Kanye spoke on how different he was, how hard it was for him to break through to the industry and how people played him. The College Dropout influenced, inspired and gave confidence to many emerging artists across the board. Kanye changed the culture forcefully. At first many weren’t feeling his unique style but soon adapted to the Pink Polos and Louis V backpacks. Kanye West is from Chicago and from there got his start in producing soul sample beats for artists. Whenever he would introduce his raps to artists he would produce for, they would tell him to stick to producing. They couldn’t see his vision or understand. This motivated Kanye to keep polishing his flow. Through his production, Kanye was able to garner a network of collaborators in the music industry who would eventually work with him on his debut release The College Dropout. This classic Grammy award winning album (Best Rap Album 2005) features the likes of Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Common, Ludacris, Mos Def, Freeway, Jamie Foxx, Twista, GLC, Consequence, and Syleena Johnson. Kanye put together a rockstar roster and dope selection of features for his debut mainstream album.

Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken

Apart from dressing different from rappers who wore tall tees and baggy pants, Kanye West pushed the envelope in hip-hop by touching on religion in his music. In 2004, this was not celebrated in hip-hop. It felt like it wasn’t something you were supposed to be talking about. The reason we all love “the old Kanye” was because he crafted the amazing record “Jesus Walks”. Even if you weren’t religious or believed in Jesus, you agreed this song was a rebellious move for hip-hop culture. No one really believed something like this could be done and still be labeled as cool and not “forcefully religious” or “gospel rap”“ which still gets a bad rep. Ye said “If I talk about God my record won’t get played.” He was bold enough to expose the ethics and minds of the radio promoters, A&R’s and DJ’s.For this being the first album I owned as a 12 year old, I can accredit The College Dropout for getting me into hip-hop. This album is the reason, I write music. I listened to this album so many times, and read the lyrics in the album booklet. When I was in middle school, we didn’t have cable, so all I did was listen to music in my CD player and memorize music. Kanye’s lyrics amazed me from his charisma to his wordplay. “Never Let Me Down” was a crucial track on this album. The chorus, and all the fellas on this track crushed their verses, especially Jay-Z and J.Ivy. As a young person, I never heard anything like it. The relatability, the hunger, the lyrics touched my soul. Everything about “Never Let Me Down” is utterly amazing. This song reminds me of a “Pro-Black” track before the movement really started in 2012.

History In The Making, Man!

Kanye was so dedicated to his craft that it almost cost him his life. In 2003, Kanye West was involved in a near fatal car accident after leaving the studio late one night and falling asleep on the wheel. “Through The Wire” was recorded with Kanye’s mouth wired shut from the accident. The record samples Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire”. This track explained the aftermath of the accident and how he felt God gave him a second chance. I believe this track shows Kanye’s determination and it made me truly fall in love with his sound and story. Kanye ended his debut album with a super dope outro track “Last Call” – Jay-Z started the track with an ode to Kanye. Then Ye began to spit “The all-around the world digital underground Pac, the Rudolph the red nose reindeer of the Roc”. Establishing his presence and alluding to his stance in the hip-hop game. I really felt this track along with others on the album, earned him the Best Rap Album Grammy in 2005. “Last Call” was a record where Ye really expressed himself, his story and how he achieved superstar status in hip-hop when all odds were against him.

A Response To Criticism, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Is A Necessary Classic

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.

Written by Akaash from Hip-Hop-N-More / May 24, 2019

Kanye’s First Misstep Is A Result Of His Insistence On Being Different

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.

Written by Akaash from Hip-Hop-N-More / Apr 26, 2019

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Biography

"Kanye West"

Born

    1977-06-08

Active

    1996–present

Label

  • GOOD
  • Roc-A-Fella
  • Roc Nation
  • Def Jam

About

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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