The buildup to Kanye West’s Yeezus was building to near-mythical proportions prior to it’s release yesterday. In the midst of the other albums that were dropping the same week — J. Cole’s, Mac Miller’s, etc. etc. — it was without a doubt that Yeezy’s secretive ass album would take the top spot. And it probably will….as far as sales; after having a listen, I definitely feel that, while it’s made an impact, Kanye reaches so far off at times that I’m almost confident that he’s sacrificed creating a true classic in place of simply obliterating Hip-Hop’s boundaries with this album.
‘New Slaves’ (in the form of one of many of Kanye’s worldwide video projections)
Simply put, the album starts off pretty far left field, only for Kanye’s “style” to pretty much bleed all over by the listen’s end. This means that — for me — ‘On Sight’ started off headed toward cringe-worthy only for things to get damn-near nostalgic with the sample-beautiful ‘Bound 2’. He brings some cool features, who all somewhat-unfortunately seem to become part of the production rather than actual vocal features (this couldn’t be said more for Chief Keef’s haunting appearance on ‘Hold My Liquor’). Lyrically, he’s showing out over the whole album, so it’s no negatives there, even with his sometimes random subject matter:
“I am a God/So hurry up with my damn massage/In a French-ass restaurant/Hurry up with my damn croissants…” – I Am A God
It’s just that damn production. Spearheaded by Rick Rubin and featuring the likes of, well, everybody (HudMo, Daft Punk, Mike Dean, Travi$ Scott, Lunice (TNGHT)….the list goes on), Yeezus‘ main concept sonically seems to be minimalist, percussion-driven, mechanical…..dark. The more I listen to it, I definitely appreciate it more; but I do find myself wishing for more with the beats when you hear how beautiful that last song comes in.
In closing, Yeezus may end up being an album that’s far ahead of it’s time, and can be described as absolute genius. But with other dope artists building upon their own sound (that we all listen to them for) and bringing out excellent projects in the same week/month, I’m afraid that Kanye might have gone too far into space for this to ever be considered a classic in our lifetime.
Perhaps I’ll feel different listening to this decades from now.
PURCHASE: Kanye West – Yeezus