Kanye West – Ye
Written by TJ Petras on October 12, 2018
By: TJ Petras
Kanye West has proved time and time again why he has one of the greatest work ethics in the music industry. West has kept himself busy this entire summer by producing a total of five different albums, most of which he appeared on himself. Each of the albums followed a consistent format, only holding seven tracks each. Within those five different albums, West released his very own album, ye, which is his 8th studio album in his discography.
West is the founder of G.O.O.D Music record label, which allows him to produce however he likes, in turn allowing him to speak with complete freedom. This really came into effect after West was hospitalized for an entire year for psychiatric care back in 2016. This album represents West’s bipolar disorder that he was diagnosed with.
The first track “I thought about killing you” starts as a gateway into his mental illness. The track goes into a dark place inside West. West admits that he thought “about killing you”, and thought about “killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you.” Given the perspective the album takes on confirming West’s bipolar diagnostics, the ‘you’ in this context is not the listener; the ‘you’ is West talking to himself, the other side of him.
West never takes his mental illness as a bad thing, on the contrary, he calls his mental illness his “superpower.” “Ain’t no disability, I’m a superhero.” “Yikes” is more than just a message for his “superpower”, it serves as the most hyped and upbeat track off the album. The bassline delivers a powerful 808 slap. The track also uses a lot of high-hats and chimes to add a top layer to the already prominent bassline. West delivers powerful lyrics that roll over the instrumental he produced. Overall, the track has great flow and displays his darker, more aggressive side of his mental state.
Another notable song off the album is “All Mine”. This track by far has West’s best lyrics off the rest of the album. Despite the provocative lyrics, they are creatively well thought out.
The album represents West’s “superpower” beautifully. The beginning of the album starts off dark and grim. As the album progress through, and just like how his mind changes his mood, so does the album. The tracks begin to slow up and present more angelic vocals whereas the first couple of tracks are more hard hitting. The songs “No Mistakes”, “Ghost Town”, and “Violent Crimes” are evidence of this. Where “I thought about killing you” started out “sometimes thinking really really bad things”, “Violent Crimes” ends with a more positive outlook on West’s overall mental being.
Personally, it is hard to pick a favorite song off this album because every song is produced wonderfully. Every song has great production work, and West once again shows us why he is one of the best samplers in the hip-hop and rap genre. I love how West presents his disability as a superpower, and how he doesn’t back down on it. He embraces it.
Favorite tracks (if I had to limit myself to three): “Yikes”, “All Mine”, and “Wouldn’t Leave”
Fun Fact: The album artwork done on this album was taken by Kanye West on his iPhone while traveling to a listening party for “ye” in Wyoming.