2018 has been something for Kanye West so far. Once again in the heat of controversy for his support of President Donald Trump, he is also producing albums for Pusha T and Teyana Taylor, a collaborative album with Kid Cudi and a new solo album. This is the second part of new albums that involved West’s production, following Pusha T’s album “Daytona.” So how does this album fare?
Once the album begins, you’re already seeing an inner struggle. “I Thought About Killing You” features West contemplating premeditatedly killing one half of himself, the side inside of him that is full of self-hate because murdering is a form of caring for someone. If that someone he cares for is himself, what does he kill? The Kanye that is human? Or Kanye the artist? This is in a similar vein to the Jay-Z track “Kill Jay-Z.” This track has no problem showing the darkness that a person can have with mental issues. West makes it known by saying “The most beautiful thoughts are always beside the darkest.” He shows with no hesitation his thoughts of self-love, self-hate, suicide and addiction. And it’s just only the beginning.
“Yikes” takes a look at the drug addictions West faces. The drugs he intakes make him paranoid up to the point that it scares himself. He even feels that Prince and Michael Jackson were warning about the dangers as they have died from accidental drug overdoses. He feels that this addiction is the work of the Devil, testing if he will break. This leads to West believing that his bipolar disorder is a “superpower” of his before screaming at the end.
As you continue on with “Ye” you see topics such as infidelity and loyalty. “All Mine” focuses on the idea of infidelity. He brings up Kerry Washington and Stormy Daniels, both of whom had their own involvements of adultery. West feels that he could do the same thing but there’s a good chance you can get caught. Meanwhile, “Wouldn’t Leave” shows his love for his wife, Kim Kardashian, and how he never left him despite his antics. “No Mistakes” displays his struggles since his hospitalization in 2016.
The biggest comparisons you can make with “Ye” is Jay-Z’s “4:44.” Both albums take a look at the artists at this time in their life. Both are married to famous celebrities and have made mistakes in their lives that could have broken their marriages and now they’re reflecting on it anew with a new album. But what’s the difference? Jay is more level-headed and has an idea of what to do with his life. West’s album, on the other hand, is like immediate reflections on the train wreck with the feelings of uncertainty about the future looming over.
“Ye” makes you feel West’s paranoia and the power his bipolar disorder has over him. The production emphasizes that through the warped “I know” or the woman screaming on “I Thought About Killing You,” which gives the paranoia that you are now entering. But tracks like “Wouldn’t Leave” show the other side of Kanye that shows a ray of light. I’m also impressed by the singing on this track as it helps intensify the light.
Despite the length, “Ye” concisely brings a solid effort from West. The descriptions West brought into this album are very chilling. This shows the inside personality of West that some fans may find fascinating. However, those who are into the artist side of Kanye may bash this one. I find the human side to be more fascinating as we get to see West as this self-absorbing fool that is shown constantly to the public.
Track Picks: “I Thought About Killing You”, “Yikes”, “Wouldn’t Leave”, and “No Mistakes”
Label: G.O.O.D. Music