One of the most anticipated albums of the summer has finally dropped. Like anything Mr. West does, this album was surrounded by hype, controversy and anticipation. This album, 6th solo, brings Kanye into a new level of music. With the being said, let’s dig deeper into Yeezus.
When I first heard bits and pieces of Yeezus from concerts and other performances, it was definitely shaping up to be a different sounding record. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from Kanye with this album (I pretty sure no one knew Yeezus would turn out like this). Based on the snippets heard from concerts, I thought Kanye had a hit with “So Awesome” and I personally was waiting for listen to the full track when Yeezus dropped; however, I was disappointed to find out So Awesome was left out on the album (more on this later). Though I was disappointed with the track missing, the Please Add Graffiti movement definitely drew more excitement out of me.
Watching fans of Kanye create their own album artwork for Yeezus was amazing and if you want to see some of the created pieces, just google Yeezus Please Add Graffiti (Tumblr Page). Not only did the fan artwork add excitement, the guerrilla marketing technique used by Kanye’s foundation DONDA to promote his New Slaves track was brilliant. Given that the album had no other promotion prior, the marketing technique was creative, inventive, and different relative to today’s normal music artist promoting their albums via singles and/or music videos. I wasn’t expecting any promotion for Yeezus, but the projections were great surprise (my only problem was that I was unable to see a projection live). Now lets take a look at the content of Yeezus.
As an overall album, it provides another example of why Kanye West is Kanye West. In my opinion, the tracks are different. The sound, production, and lyrics were interesting on first listen and continue to add replay value every time I listen to it (though I am a Kanye fan). However, I can understand the mixed reactions that surfaced when Yeezus got leaked. Some loved it while others could not wait to shuffle on to another artist. Considering this album doesn’t currently possess a “radio single”, its hard for the general listener to target a track on Yeezus to download and listen. Also I feel the hard “black and white” reactions came from the fact, Kanye did not provide a single prior to release, which may have helped guide the general listener into what to expect from Yeezus.
In my opinion, Yeezus brought a little bit of every album Kanye has released. For example, in Bound 2 I feel a College Dropout sound every time I listen to it (this just might be me). As for the album, currently I cannot say it is my favourite album yet (that award is a split decision between MBDTF, 808s and CD). The key word is yet. Like many listeners, I was not blown by out of the water on first listen of Yeezus; however, with more listens put in, Yeezus continues to grow on me. I think the fact people dislike the album is due to the lack of time spent actually listening to the music versus just trying to find a catchy track i.e. Stronger from the Graduation album. From Yeezus, I have several favourites such as Black Skinhead, I Am A God, New Slaves, and Bound 2, but my favourite track on the album is by far Blood On The Leaves. The beat and lyrics make this track my favourite from Yeezus.
For what the future holds for Yeezus, I can’t imagine a “radio single” being selected, which might force stations or Def Jam in selecting different tracks to promote Yeezus. The lack of promotion is understandable considering it’s not your everyday artist, its Kanye. I have some reasoning that Kanye dropped Yeezus ahead of Kim’s pregnancy to reduce the amount of media hype behind Kim’s pregnancy. With the album drop, the critics hit Yeezus and began to forget about the pregnancy. Though with an early pregnancy and rumours of names going around, the critics and media are definitely back on critiquing the power couple. To be honest, we as society have to stop being so interested in other people’s business and mind our own. Just because they are celebrities doesn’t mean you can go criticizing every move they make. All I have to say is congratulations to the couple.
Look for Yeezus to fade a little bit during the 2013 summer music season considering “Big Brother” Jay-Z is also dropping his next solo album on July 4th. Only thing that makes me more excited than that album is the fact since both Kanye and Jay dropped solos, Watch The Throne 2 could be the next time we hear from both of them.
Till Next Time
Live Your Life, Love Your Life, and Let God In Your Life