Kanye West's Latest Album Ye Has Officially Dropped
But is it any good?
Okay, so here's the deal: Whether you love him or hate him, Kanye West demands your attention. So it comes as no surprise that his latest album Ye is garnering a lot of conversation -- not only among musos but also us mere layfolk as well.
The 40-year-old rapper officially dropped the highly-anticipated album on multiple streaming services, such as Spotify, after premiering its seven new tracks to a group of fellow artists, journalists, radio DJs and influencers -- including wife Kimmy K -- at a last-minute listening party in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Thursday.
The release comes at a rather unusual time, however, given that it's only been a number of weeks since he shockingly mused on slavery. That and the fact that he has openly showed support for a certain president, causing many of his longtime fans to ponder whether the great Kanye is still worth the effort?
Despite the drama, Yeezy's musical accomplishments are indisputable. After all, he's won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time. But it's not come without controversy. And critics are saying his latest album "demands more patience than just about anything he's offered before".
While the firecracker of an album only features seven tracks -- which run for a total time of 23 minutes -- it still packs a punch in rather a short amount of time. Among the many themes in the song's lyrics are #MeToo, mental health, and Tristan Thompson -- aka Khloe Kardashian's baby daddy.
With some questioning whether Yeezy should, in fact, be releasing new music right now, others are just discussing the quality of the work. Only time will tell if the album is going to be a success. Regardless, let's take a look at it for ourselves -- starting with the cover art.
Whether the decision to create a candid cover was, in deed, a spur of the moment idea or clever marketing, it's effective nonetheless. The stunningly striking image was -- according to wife Kim -- taken by Kanye himself using his phone.
We can only assume the handwritten message, "I hate being Bi-polar its awesome" refers to Kanye's very public breakdown in 2016, which resulted in him being admitted to hospital. But another interesting feature about the cover art is the missing apostrophe.
When it comes to the tracks themselves, depending on your personal tastes, the album has some pretty confronting -- and graphic -- lyrics. From the get go, Kanye takes his listeners down the rabbit hole of despair to some extremely dark places.
I Thought About Killing You is the opening track. It features the rapper discussing mental strength, love and not letting those who want to see him fail get the better of him. It also has a very dark side that discusses his personal struggle with thoughts of suicide.
Kanye's second track Yikes is all about taking drugs -- specifically addiction and intoxication. It alludes to a number of prescription and illegal drugs, while referencing other famous artists such as Michael Jackson and Prince.
"I can feel the spirits all around me. I think Prince and Mike was tryna warn me / They know I got demons all on me," the song states.
Like with most of his work, Kanye always tends to ruffle a few feathers -- and in this case, it was speculated that he'd upset sister-in-law Khloe Kardashian by mocking her baby daddy Tristan Thompson for his cheating ways.
“All these thots on Christian Mingle / That’s what almost got Tristan single / If you don’t ball like him or Kobe / Guarantee that bitch gon’ leave you,” he spits on “All Mine,” he rapped.
But despite a few now deleted Snapchat messages that suggest otherwise, Khloe has since tweeted the phrase Ye with three fire emojis, which suggests she is a fan of her Grammy award-winning brother-in-law.
Feature image: Instagram/@defjamrecords.