***Mike’s List Of Albums he was fond of in the Year of 2013***
We’re back again with album three of the list. Whoa shit. It’s Kanye West.
Yeah, unfortunately it looks like Yeezus is one of my favorite records from 2013. The thick, abrasive synths that start the album tip us off that nobody’s making it out of here alive. This is Kanye’s most aggressive, dark album, going places even My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and 808’s & Heartbreak did not. In the opening track, On Sight, Kanye demonstrates he’s going full-tilt megalomaniac for this record and says ”How much do I not give a fuck, let me show you right now ‘fore you give it up” and immediately swaps the tempo and samples a choir singing “He’ll give us what we need, it may not be what we want”. To me, that seems to be an exchange that reflects the entire album. Kanye believes his word is Truth and that we (society) need his music, even if we don’t know it. Maybe it’s true. Yeezus IS pretty damn good. Yeezus is also extremely difficult to digest. Even as a long-time fan of Kanye West’s music, it took me about 3-4 listens through to really figure out where this album was coming from. Once I figured out what Kanye was up to… the music made much more sense.
Yeezus is pretty much just Kanye throwing musical pies in the faces of the whole Western World. He’s been playing games with his fans and the media for a long time now and this is no exception. The title enough of track three, I Am A God was enough to send the internet into a frenzy over whether Kanye had just GONE. TOO. FAR. and Kanye haters finally had what looked like proof that Kanye is the biggest dick in the world. But let me tell you - you got pied good. Yeezy may be joking around and head faking all of us but the fact remains that Yeezus is a solid effort and is definitely a welcome addition to Kanye’s musically diverse discography.
I know Kanye loves to compare himself to characters and other top celebrities so here’s another comparison for you. Heisenberg. Just as Walter wasn’t in the Meth or Money business, but instead the Empire business, Kanye is not settling for anything less than the top of the podium. He’s not trying to simply be a great musician - he wants to be an icon (hell, maybe even a revolutionary). Buddy Holly is a great musician but he’s no Elvis Presley. This may all seem like a pointless aside with nothing of relation to the music on the album, but I think Kanye’s frame of mind speaks volumes about the eclectic ear-fuck that is Yeezus.
Let’s get on with the music though. From Chief Keef’s feature in Hold My Liquor, to Kanye’s hilarious verse on Send It Up, Yeezus rewards those who stick around for the show. What really won me over was the mix of sounds on this album. We get heavy tracks like Black Skinhead and I Am A God on the same record as lighter tracks like Bound 2 and the outros to Send It Up and New Slaves. It sounds like a guy who has his head in a million places at once. I also consider the main vocal hook that starts off Blood On The Leaves to be one of Kanye’s best. The vulnerability he brings out of his voice when he whimpers “I told you to wait” is a bit chilling. Unfortunately, the track drags on and sort overstays it’s welcome. My least favorite track of the record is probably I’m In It - although Justin Vernon delivers some sexy vocal shots halfway through the track may be worth the price of admission for some. I just don’t wanna hear Kanye rap about fuckin for any more than 10 seconds at a time. I can only choke I’m In It down on a good day. A brave day. Anyway, I just talked about Yeezus a lot.
I think my point is, Kanye West is a loud guy with loud opinions and often his outspoken nature garners distaste from his audience. Problem is, he’s a talented musician and his music has a lot to offer. I just hope you give Yeezus a listen with an open mind. Don’t throw the Yeezy out with the bathwater.