KANYE WEST RELEASES YET ANOTHER CONTROVERSIAL ALBUM: YEEZUS
By: Siyabonga Ngcobo
Kanye West has once again released another controversial album titled Yeezus, which caused a stir in the Hip Hop community on the day of its release. It was made available in stores and on iTunes on the 18th of June, the same day J.Cole, another Hip-Hop luminary, released his album.
On the day of its release, it became the most talked about topic on social media networks. Some people were applauding Mr West, saying that he has published a brilliant album while others firmly criticised him and called it “garbage”.
The album has 10 songs and features the likes of Kid Cudi, Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, Charlie Wilson, Assasin, King L and Chief Keef. What you will recognise is, all the musicians he featured, he used them as vocals and it is only him who is rapping.
The Jesus Walks hit maker worked with 25 music producers to create the unique sound that his album has. Among those producers we can count the likes of Rick Rubin, Travis Scott,No ID,Lupe Fiasco, Mike Dean, Daft Punk, 88 Keys and many more.
As you listen to it, you will notice that Kanye aimed to make a very dark album using controversial and very sensitive topics. In some songs he sounds very angry as he uses profanity and discriminatory words to express his feelings.
One of the songs where you can find such expressions, is in New Slaves where he lashes big companies that run the entertainment industry saying, “F*** you and your cooperation’s, you n***** can’t control me”. In another song called Black Skin Head he makes racial references saying, “They see a black man with a white woman at the top floor, they gonna come to kill King Kong” (King Kong being the black man).
Like in all his other albums, Kanye West lives out his comic side on this one too. You will find a lot of humour in the lyrics he used in this album even though some people will be offended. In Bound2 where he features Charlie Wilson he says “(she) rocks for ever 21 but just turned 30”, teasing women who always hide their true age. In I am a God he says “I’m a God, hurry up with my damn massage,” which plenty of his fans on twitter found funny.
This renowned rapper who has won himself more than 20 Grammy Awards since 2004 and who has been evolving musically ever since, continues to do so with this album. What is notable in this album is that he mixed almost all elements of his styles. You will find elements from albums College Drop Out and Late Registration in songs like Bound2 and Hold My Liquor. In these songs Kanye used his vintage skills of storytelling and keeping it simple in the production of the song.
In songs like I’m In It and Send It Up, it is clear that his intention was to make songs that can be played in a club, which is an identical style he used in his album, Graduation. There are also songs like I Am A God and Blood On The Leaves, where he borrowed his style from 808’s & Heartbreaks and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album, of mixing humour and seriousness which result in evoking mixed emotions.
Kanye showed off and proved that he is a genius when it comes to music production in Yeezus. He has been able to go back and re-imagine classic genre’s such as Slow Jam, Punk and Rock to sample and fuse them with Hip Hop sounds to create something which has never been heard before. He also used auto tunes and sonic sounds to make his music more electronic and futuristic.
In the first week after its release, Yeezus managed to sell 327 000 copies which has’nt happened for a Hip Hop album since 2011’s Watch The Throne. and it also reached number 1 in billboardchart 200.
It is safe to say that this album is weird but awesome at the same time. Kanye has once again pushed the envelope and the new style of making Hip Hop music has been begotten. It’s not for the faint hearted and it is for the adults only.