Kanye West’s Yeezus: A music review from a non-music reviewer
‘Yeezus’ comes ten years after ‘College Dropout,’ and just a few weeks before the birth of his first child. It’s a different Kanye, and I’m a little worried about this one.
I do not do music reviews. I listen to like, the same 40 songs on rotation always. However, I’ve been a fan of Kanye West since “College Dropout,” and went to one of his very first headlining shows. I’ve fallen off the Kanye West train over the past few albums, but decided to download “Yeezus” yesterday, after reading that musical genius Rick Rubin was involved (Side note: You should always buy anything that involves Rick Rubin, regardless of whether or not you like the artist or even the genre. The man is a national treasure and is responsible for some of the greatest albums of the past three decades).
Long story short: This album is insane. Mostly in a good way. I think. In any case, as soon as I started listening to it, I knew I had to write about it. So instead of a formal music review, here is a sentence or two about each track:
1. “On Sight”
First thought: Why is this angry robot rapping at me?
Second thought: This doesn’t sound like Connect 4-loving Kanye. This sounds like a guy who’s had a rough couple of years.
2. “Black Skinhead”
Remember before Angelina Jolie was Saint Angelina, and she was kind of grimy, and crazy, and maybe on heroin? This song sounds like something that would be playing in a club scene in one of her movies from the late 90s, when she’s all stumbling around with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.
3. “I Am a God (feat. God)”
4. “New Slaves”
The problem with Kanye rapping about croissants is that people may not realize that the very next track is something he’s deadly serious about. There’s nothing funny about “New Slaves” at all. Kanye makes good points about the CCA and the fact that the US is still racist as hell– they’re just slightly nicer about it if you’re successful.
5. “Hold My Liquor”
I don’t often feel sorry for Kim Kardashian, but this is pretty obviously a song about Kanye’s ex-fiancee, Alexis Phifer. Granted, it’s not the most flattering song, but if I’m about to have a baby with a dude and he’s releasing tracks about getting drunk and going over to his ex’s house to fuck her in a completely self-destructive and dominating way, I would probably have a sadface.
6. “I’m In It”
Call me old-fashioned, but “Your titties: let ‘em out. They free at last./Thank God almighty they free at last,” just kind of bums me out. I prefer punny Kanye when he talks about grown up words: “Even though I went to college and dropped out of school quick,/ I always had a PHD: A ‘Pretty Huge Dick.'” Makes me laugh to this day.
7. “Blood on the Leaves”
8. “Guilt Trip”
Yeah, again. Probably not about her, but if I’m Kim Kardashian and I heard a track that started with “I need to call it off,” and the first verse ended with, “She lives her life, I’m living mine,” I may be slightly worried. Even if I’m not because I know my relationship is solid, it’s not exactly going to stop the tabloid rumors about Kanye basically abandoning her during her pregnancy. Kanye, you are making this shit REAL AWKWARD.
9. “Send it Up”
Kanye backed off of the cliff! We get a little bit of the fun-loving Kanye we used to know and are treated to an image of him getting a piggyback ride from his bodyguard a la Prince. I LOVE THINKING ABOUT THIS.
10. “Bound 2″
Oh! Kanye, you’re back! After the dark, robotic, emotional roller coaster of fame, self-destruction, and nihilism mixed with bombastic personal statements of the first nine tracks, we get “Bound 2,” and we remember that the fun Kanye from Chicago still exists somewhere deep inside. I missed him.