Kanye West’s “ye” Ain’t a Yes From Me

His latest album titled “ye,” is his eighth studio album.

Ethan Hurlburt, Columnist

Rapper Kanye West released his latest – and shortest – album to date. With a tracklist of seven songs, he dropped his eighth studio album today after hosting a private, high-profile listening party in Wyoming last Thursday.

The artwork for “ye,” the eighth album in Kanye’s discography, was shot by West on his iPhone on the way to the album’s listening/launch party, which is kind of cool. The songs on “ye” were also completed the same day, believe it or not, which is not cool. There are only seven of them, totalling less than 24 minutes back-to-back, and they were recorded in a hurry in Wyoming with help from a team of big-name collaborators who should be credited with saving this release from becoming a total failure.

With the first song on the album, “I Thought About Killing You,” Kanye depicts his “shadow self.” He begins the song exploring the depth of his shadow; in this instance, admitting to the thought of premeditated murder.

Mental health is the great theme of “ye,” and it’s raw, fresh stuff. “ye” is West’s most personal record since at least “808’s & Heartbreak” album, maybe even “Late Registration.” On standout “Yikes,” West says, “That’s my bipolar s*&!/ That’s my superpower!/ Ain’t no disability!/ I’m a superhero!”

“All Mine” follows, which has an unique bounce to it, but Jeremih’s hook is irritating and lyrically Kanye puts his foot in the ground. “I could have Naomi Campbell, and still might want me a Stormy Daniels” he raps – an alternate to “Runaway,” when he said “see I could have me a good girl, and still be addicted to them hoodrats”.

But the one moment that embodies the record comes on “Wouldn’t Leave.” Kanye revisits his controversial TMZ interview and his statement that slavery was a choice. He describes the call he gets from his wife afterward, frightened they’re going to lose everything because of what he said. The verse ends with a gesture of gratitude to his wife and the knowledge that while it may not be easy to be Mr. West, being Mrs. West must be equally exhausting.

When Kid Cudi and PARTYNEXTDOOR hopped on “Ghost Town,” I honestly didn’t want to hear about Kanye’s conscious of wanting to be loved.  The verses were weak; they weren’t as lyrically intense as I am used to, and it seemed rushed. Credit for the song goes to 070 Shake for her verses on the song toward the end; they were dope.

The rest of the album seems to make its way downhill. It’s all hit or miss, it’s lazy. Kanye West has been known for perfectionism and work-ethic. It’s what I admire from him as an artist. But, this classic characteristic is curiously absent. All the ignorant, publicity “stuff” about his slavery comments didn’t really help his album out. Maybe if Kanye called “ye” an EP or Mixtape, it would have passed, but as it’s an “album,” it’s pretty disappointing.