Kanye West - ye
Aug 17, 2021 (updated Aug 30, 2021)
80
Đł₴₵Ø₲Ɽ₳₱ⱧɎ ĐłVɆ- ₭₳₦ɎɆ ₩Ɇ₴₮
𝐀𝐋𝐁𝐔𝐌 #𝟎𝟗- 𝐘𝐄

The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest.

Kanye’s self-titled album and, in my opinion, one of his most underrated- ‘ye’. ‘ye’ is just about as personal as a self-titled album should be. Just like Kanye did for the creation process of MBDTF, he went into self-imposed isolation. This time, however, Ye went to Wyoming. This isolation was also much more casual, however. Pretty good spot if you think about it, nobody lives in Wyoming. He settled down in his Wyoming ranch and produced five albums- three for other artists, two for himself. The first of his own was ‘ye’. Now, in 2016, Kanye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This is incredibly important to understand not only just when looking at ‘ye’ but also Kanye’s entire career. All of the rash, spur-of-the-moment decisions Kanye has made regarding both his music and what he says/how he is perceived in the public eye can mostly be chalked down to his bipolar disorder.

This album, as per most Kanye albums, was accompanied by controversy. The infamous “slavery is a choice” incident, his endorsement of Trump which was a result of his contrarian tendencies, and his rant on Sway in the Morning- actions that can, once again, be attributed to his bipolar disorder. Kanye does things in the moment that he regrets, many of which come from a good and rational place but are poorly spoken. ‘ye’ is Kanye coming to terms with the fact that this disorder is something he has to live with. On the track ‘Yikes’ he even coins it as a “superpower”. Though, we do often see the downsides of this disorder shine through Ye’s lyrics such as the ‘I Thought About Killing You’, a spoken-word track in which Kanye talks about his suicidal tendencies, and ‘No Mistakes’, where he reflects on the many troubles he has since TLOP, including an on-stage mental breakdown back during the TLOP tour.

Ye, however, also uses this album as an opportunity to show love for his family. He, alongside realizing he’s fucked up with his many controversial comments, thanks Kim for staying by his side throughout the whole ordeal on ‘Wouldn’t Leave’. He also envisions his daughter's future and discusses his pessimism towards it on the astonishingly beautiful ‘Violent Crimes’. So, all sounds fine, right? Why would people consider this one of Kanye’s weaker records? Well… production. Many people are not a fan of this “minimalistic” style of production from Kanye. Although, it isn’t really minimalistic- there are some tracks on TLOP that are just as lowkey as ‘ye’s most lowkey tracks (i.e. ‘30 Hours’ and ‘FML’). I think better phrasing would be… less extravagant? That’s all ‘ye’ really feels like to me. A less extravagant take on Kanye’s classic formula- one that works well with a record as personal as this one. The triumphant beat and Charlie Wilson hook of ‘No Mistakes’ along with trap-inspired ‘Yikes’ are just two of the many moments on ‘ye’ that blow me away despite lacking the grandeur of MBDTF or TLOP.

I mean, in terms of flaws, the project does run a little bit short at 23 minutes- although, I do feel like it accomplishes everything it attempts to do in such a short time- plus I could do without ‘All Mine’- the song, conceptually, feels pretty out of place here. Though, overall, ‘ye’ is yet another slam dunk from Mr. West.

Oh, you thought I was going to end this without talking about ‘Ghost Town’? Nope, easily one of the best Kanye West tracks ever. The hauntingly confessional lyrics, the way Kanye uses Kid Cudi’s somber, low voice to portray feeling downcast, then proceeds to clash it against 070 Shake’s angelic, hopeful proclamations of “NOTHING HURTS ANYMORE I FEEL FREEE”, Kanye legitimately singing better than he has at any point in his career ever, the rock-inspired instrumental, Shake’s outro… fuck… it’s too good for words. Really stunning moment from a really stunning, underrated album.

Favorite Tracks: I Thought About Killing You, Yikes, Wouldn’t Leave, No Mistakes, Ghost Town, Violent Crimes
Worst Track: All Mine

3 Comments
2y
Hard agree. Plus the overall score and the track scores are almost exactly what I would rate them
2y
Great review 🐱👍.
10mo
this is really accurate tbh
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