Feb 10, 2024 (updated Feb 10, 2024)
Against all the odds, this album actually exists.

We doin a live review on this one‼️

1. Stars: Oh man I already can see what I'm getting myself into on this one... "Keep a few Jews on the staff now"? Like, good? Okay? It hurts so much to see the brand of one of my favorite and most influential artists in my music listening history devolve into this. I genuinely think Kanye thinks he's doing something here by supposedly turning a new leaf on this subject, like his reconciliation is some sort of profound human experience, where in reality he's spent the last few years specifically showing the least human decency. Anyways, yeah I guess this track is pretty cool, very nice production from JPEG. The track doesn't really go anywhere, but the samples are pretty cool. 7/10

2. Keys to My Life: This isn't too bad either, a solid track. The production thus far has honestly been better than what I was expecting from hearing Vultures. Kanye stays personal on this one, reflecting on his relationships, and Ty Dolla $ign really doesn't add anything, and an outro from India Love ties the track together nicely. Again, the reversed beat on this is cool, it's just overall pretty decent. 7/10

3. Paid: This is a bit of a step in the wrong direction honestly. I started to feel it a little more around Ty's verse, but that first verse in particular feels like a big WTF moment. There's so much trying to happen here, and not of it really lands all that well. I guess its an alright club hit with it's wacky dark production, but really there's not much on this one. 5/10

4. Talking: Adonis... I'm happy for you, Ima let you finish... but North West bodied that. Sorta, not really, but it's charming at least. Love the James Blake production, big fan of that. The second half where Ty comes in feels way too abrupt and unnecessary frankly, and this is the second time now where I felt he was off key for a few notes. His verse is still pretty good, but each half of this song still has too many flaws. It's not really a track I'd be returning to outside of this album, but cool to hear North West involved I guess! 6/10

5.Back to Me: Thank god for Freddie Gibbs, bringing something to what was otherwise a pretty insufferable track. The whole line of uhhhhh falling out of the sky is pretty awful, and Kanye singing it is the clunkiest and most uncomfortable thing. Somehow Freddie Gibbs manages to get that line across in a somewhat cool way, but other than that and an decent hook from Ty, this track is pretty tough for me. 5/10

6. Hoodrat: Alright beat kinda goes crazy on this ngl. As I'm typing this I'm getting notifications that the album has been taken down from Apple Music, but for whatever reason I'm still able to keep listening and I already have every track in my queue so Imma keep it pushing I guess. Anyways, beat is solid, bars are just fine, and that Mike Tyson outro is super unnecessary. 6/10

7. Do It: This song is sooo horny, funny to compare this to the work we'd heard from Kanye just a few years ago. Hearing that intro from Nipsey Hussle, I figured this song would be tough to swallow but honestly it's kinda fun. The beat is banging and the hook from Ty Dolla $ign is probably the catchiest one yet. With all the energy, this might be the first song yet I could see myself actually returning to outside the context of this album. 7/10

8. Paperwork: Very interesti over this Brazilian funk beat, it's kinda cool. But like most of these songs, we don't really seem to go anywhere with it. All of that build up could have led to some incredible beat drop, let all we're given are some mostly underwhelming and hollow verses. 6/10

9. Burn: Weird, the shortest track on this tracklist actually feels like the most full and compelling song yet. Burn has a really infectious groove to it and sees Kanye continue to dive into his controversial past, like being dropped from multiple brand deals, his failed presidential bid, and even mentions the failed Balenciaga campaign that went viral. Ty brings a really excellent hook as well, I can get behind this one! 8/10

10. Fuk Sumn: Hey look it's out on Spotify now. Idk what's happening, but I'm switching over to that since that what I usually use for music anyways. Fuk Sumn is obviously another hyper-sexual track with a pretty star studded cast, including nice features from Playboi Carti and Travis Scott. I'm not crazy over this one, it feels pretty scattered with that many voices over such a short track, and specifically some of the vocal deliveries feel a little too weird. But I do really like the bass on this one, it has a pretty nice drive to it that I can see being popular. 7/10

11. Vultures: The lead single for the album, and I absolutely wasn't a fan of it when I first heard it a few months ago. Since then, I think some of the production issues have been fixed a little, but it still doesn't bring anything really to the table to deserve this runtime. Bump J's verse is bad, Lil Durk's verse is pretty forgettable and poor. Kanye has "How I'm anti-Semitic? I just fucked a Jewish bitch" and Ty Dolla $ign has "She Russian, I beat up the pussy for Ukraine", two inexcusably bad bars, frankly. But this track feels more like a dull and lifeless snooze rather than the abysmal version of it I originally heard months ago. 4/10

12. Carnival: Another high energy cut. That intro chorus gave me the briefest of flashbacks to the fraternity skits from Kanye's College Dropout era, and then that happy memory was rudely ripped away from me. Kanye compares himself to R. Kelly and Bill Cosby on this one... for some reason. Like wtf man? Why would that make for a good line? Like, shock factor I guess? Even then, it's just not great, not to mention more mentions of Taylor Swift, a saga I wish he would just drop at this point. 6/10

13. Beg Forgiveness: This is a cover of Hot Chip band member Joe Goddard's song "Gabriel" sung by Chris Brown, and it works pretty well as a sign of Kanye dealing with his issues and their repercussions. Ty Dolla $ign's verse on the second part is also his best and most emotive moment of the whole album. 7/10

14. Good (Don't Die): Okay wait a minute... someone cooked here. This sample, first of all, is BEAUTIFUL. That, combined with that low driving bassline and soothing synths make for an atmosphere I haven't really heard since '808s and Heartbreak'. Kanye and Ty both are even more reflective on this one, bringing up some dark nights and thoughts of suicide. This is actually really awesome, I'm surprised to hear something like this considering the lack of emotional pull from the rest of this record so far. 8/10

15. Problematic: Ty gives a good chorus on this one, and the "Bound 2" type intro gave me a small rush of nostalgia again. Kanye continues reflecting on his problematic behaviors but still continues to claim his spot as the GOAT. There's a couple of particularly bad bars on this one like "I'm not racist its a preference, and my bitch lookin' like a reference" and "If I see you outside with the open-toes, you might get yourself a trip to the Poconos" (Yeezy foot fetish era). That being said, the soul sample on this is pretty cool. 7/10

16. King: A final track to reflect on all of this negative attention. It's almost like Kanye was inching towards some sort of realization, and then all of a sudden totally missed the fucking mark. After receiving all of this backlash, instead of the the realization of "wow, my words hurt people, maybe I should live with compassion for others instead of spreading hate", it's almost like the message he's taken away is "damn I really can say and do anything I want and no one can take me down, I'm still gonna do numbers". Probably the worst song on the album, and a really disappointing way to end what was otherwise a better album than I was honestly anticipating. 3/10

Final thoughts: (coming soon, going to take some time to relisten and digest everything)

Track Ratings
1STARS / 70
3PAID / 50
5BACK TO ME / 50
7DO IT / 70
9BURN / 80
10FUK SUMN / 70
14GOOD (DON'T DIE) / 80
16KING / 30
b-but back to me is funny... WAAAHHHHHH

gud review (so far)
"Against all odds, this album exists" 💀 (Great review btw)
@ctrl_ The fact that it’s prolly gonna go viral because it’s “funny” and I’ll have to hear it so much makes my head spin 😵‍💫

@REC Thank you!
cringe ass review
@yesmk Thank you for the constructive criticism, I will try harder to subjectively rate music next time
@caleb i gotchu 💯 but i cant respect anyone who uses kanye's lines about jewish ppl as criticism
@yesmk Yeah I can promise you that my score for this album isn't influenced by anything other than the music itself. I mention his comments simply to add context, but am not taking anything other than the music into account when rating any albums. I actually enjoyed this more than I was expecting to considering the singles leading up to it, though it's still not great or anything imo. I'm still always gonna be a fan of his past work too, feel free to check my other ratings on him
@caleb then fair enough
all im sayin is i dont think theres any room to separate art from artist when said artist is now literally putting their antisemitic opinions in their music, but thats just me. also i like your review
@yesmk why wouldn’t it be valid criticism though? I’m all for separating the art from the artist but if you bring that sort of shit into that said art then it’s pretty hard to ignore and not call it out
Personally like back to me, but this is a great review my guy
@Ideal Thank you! Back to Me could have been one of the better songs imo, but the lyrics just take me out of it completely. I guess it’s funny in some way but I just can’t picture returning to it in any context
@caleb yeah I 100% understand it’s really goofy
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