Kanye released a new album, Yeezus. If the name produces skepticism, good. You won’t be far off, but we’ll get into that as we go.
Kanye is obviously trying very very hard to make an impact with this album. There’s offensive brain-stem mammal-minded lyrics. There’s grandiose statements. There’s top-grade production with help from Daft Punk and Rick Rubin. And rave reviews so far. But how good is this album really? Here’s run through of six songs on this ten song album.
This one begins with a low-rez synth beat with treble heavy spikes, setting off the album’s significantly electronic style. A short intro, then Kanye spews for his lyrics, successfully offending the American Parkinson Disease Association with his line “we get this **** shakin’ like Parkinsons” and your ears with his overuse of autotune; which will be a reoccurring theme throughout this album.
This song features a driving beat with heavy drums and industrial guitars. Pretty hot, then you get this: “I keep it 300 like the Romans, 300 b*****s where are the Trojans?” Woot! 300, Greeks, Romans, Sophomoric condom double-meanings.
“I Am a God”
Kanye is a god, in case you missed that.”I am a god so hurry up with my damn massage/in a french ass restaurant hurry with my damn croissants.” And he talks about talking to Jesus about “chillin’” and stackin’ “these millions.” Ok. If Kanye is god, please keep me deep underground.
Kanye, with his personal clothing line’s $1,625 ‘Cruel Summer’ sandals, has a few words for corporations, the new world order, and materialism—who are apparently making today’s African Americans into “new slaves” who spend “everything on Alexander Wang.” Ok then. So I’m going to pretend that this is not just a pathetic attempt to take a jab at a competitor.
“I’m in it”
Lyrically, this song is pretty much straight misogyny, spitting on the black man’s struggle, and racism. I won’t even repeat the most offensive, but just the lamer and more amusing, “Your t***ies out, free at last, oh my god, free at last.” or “Uh, I’m a rap-lic priest getting head by the nuns.” And he speaks in “Swag-hili.”
“Blood On the Leaves”
Take Billy Holliday’s famous “Strange Fruit” and make it about Kanye being forced to seat his wife and mistress on opposite sides of a basketball court, calling it ‘apartheid.’ Now you have this musical sacrilege, but don’t forget to autotune random words at the end.
In sum, this record’s instrumentals constitute top noch professionalism, but the record itself is hollow. Kanye means to make some kind of grand statement, having described himself recently as “the nucleus of society” and comparing himself to Steve Jobs, only he just doesn’t have the vocab to do it. The grandiosity is dominated by cheap sex puns, misogyny, and disrespect for Black history.
The way to enjoy this album is to pull out the appropriate postmodern deconstructionist stance. Strip Kanye of any authorial intent and you can project any fantasy you like. And enjoy the beat. Ick.
By Joel Southall