‘Ye’ Album Review

I’ve been a fan of Kanye for as long as I’ve been a fan of music. I’ve struggled with his social…transgressions time and time again. I’ve gotten upset with him when his style changed for 808s, Fantasy, and YEEZUS, and I’ve accepted the change more quickly each time. This album and his acts leading up to its release felt different, and this review will be quick and stinging.

With no further ado.

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There was always heated and valid discussion about which is Kanye’s best album. As far as I’m concerned it’s a 6 way tie not including TLOP because that was another half complete release. Maybe YEEZUS is out in front but that’s not my point right now.
Kanye has 8 albums.

Those actions were a business move. There was a profit motive.
This is why there was such an outcry from Kanye a month before release.
He knew.

This is Kanye’s worst album.

Oh it bumps. It’s a good album. Its just not up to the standard Kanye has set all his life. TLOP was questionable, but this one answered the question.

Sonically and lyrically you can tell he didn’t put much effort in himself. Half of the short album sounds like someone else’s work. There are signs of his influence, but his ego and his touch are largely lacking. I have no issue with religion or superstition as long as its not used to hurt others, but this fetishization of the number 7 as something holy, this reaching out, almost pleading to a god that refuses to answer rather than reaching within for your own skill makes one question how much confidence a once dominant artist now has in their ability.

It doesn’t feel genuine.

The most stark example is him talking about how he loves basic women and how little Kim means early in the album, but in the last track he’s praying that someone else doesn’t wield the same power over his adolescent daughter. Make up your mind, Ye. I’ve had to stop believing most of what he says, and now with his recent antics, I have to fact check everything from him.
Overall the album sounds good compared to every other album today, but its far below the standard he’s lived by. That’s why I believe his very carefully made moves a month ago

*ahem, slavery was a choice, MAGA hat, endorsing very conservative, anti black people*

were necessary.

This was his very calculated attempt to gain a larger, whiter audience. They are, after all, who attend his tours in large numbers. The album sounds closer to pop than any before. Ye vs. The People was brilliant because he divided his audience right down the middle by people who did research and understood history and those who merely pretended to. Poopity Scoop was him proving we will listen to him, almost no matter what he says. He knew the protest line well. He walked right up to it, leaned over it, and laughed at us from the other side, but absolutely would not cross it. And it frustrated me to no end how brilliant the marketing was.

All the great marketing in the world can’t make up for a terrible product.

He knows this was his worst work. It might be contributing to his depression. It, along with his continual but natural aging might be leading to him realizing he isn’t actually a god and is at the onset of an existential crisis.

I think Ty Dolla $ign should have gotten more time, he shouldn’t have went with dollar store Chance the Rapper on ‘Wouldn’t Leave’, and he should’ve given his features credit (at least on spotify) but these are my petty grievances.

I think the themes of the album speak for themselves, but its clear that this is the most human Kanye has ever been.

And I don’t like it.

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My First Encounter with a Modern White Supremacist

This one is going to be black. Black, like that coffee that can kill you but is still somehow legal, black.

I Just Don't Get It.

Ok.

It is important to preface this post with the notion that I did not attain conclusive evidence that this man was an Aryan advocate.

We did not speak to each other once, save a grunt to for me to get off the seatbelt. I didn’t immediately recognize his affiliation either. The hints were subtle. Avoiding my gaze, uncomfortable shifting every time I moved an inch, and that fake smile wypipo give me when they don’t like my melanin content. A peculiar oddity was how he grabbed a pen shortly after taking his seat. He refused to let go of it until near the end of the flight when, I guess, he deemed I was no longer a threat to his existence, as if a pen would be enough to stave off the savage he may have believed me to be lol. He kept a journal awkwardly in his left hand as an excuse to hold the pen, but he never wrote more than a few words in it the entire flight.

I realized early on that I was incredibly uncomfortable just being next to him, thus my constant fidgeting. Kinda funny that we both intimidated each other merely by being seated next to each other. As if we were at war. I had the thought, too late, to ask someone of colorless descent to switch seats with me because I genuinely feared for my safety. I couldn’t get a good pic, but he had the neo Nazi cut.

And before some suckas say don’t judge by appearance, I’ma need y’all to start hiring Tyrone and Janqueisha, then I’ma need y’all to quit banning us from stores for sagging, then I’ma need y’all to stop wearing confederate flags, then I’ma need you, who specifically still somehow finds a strawman argument, to stfu.

Anyway,

The pen was interesting to me. It was the best defense in lack of firearms. It makes me question how it got to this point. The idea that I would decide to attack someone, purely on their skin color ON AN AIRPLANE. Like ol’ dude the air marshall ain’t waiting for crap to pop off. And that he felt, even though he had 60 lbs over me, that he needed a weapon to subdue me. Like what stories have you heard?

It made me think of a quote from a close friend about a week ago that I’m still unpacking;

All white people are racist.

That notion created a curiosity that I followed to this conclusion:

All white people are white supremacists.

Put the Twitter finger pitchforks down and let me explain.

I fly frequently, about once a month. I sit next to people from all over the world, but mostly white people. Two years ago they were the most friendly people I could meet. So happy, so peacefully unchallenged in their dogmatic superiority. Lately, however, they’ve been less confident that it will last forever, what with the news that there are now more colored babies in America than white babies and that their beloved hate group *cough* heritage is under attack. That or just generally more emboldened by Trump’s antics. I’m sitting next to someone on my flight back to school and he couldn’t even look me in my eye. Guilt? Pride? Hatred? Who knows/cares. I’m all for preserving history, especially the history that was literally burned to the ground for empowering people of color (Black Wall Street).
But you can put that racist sh** in a museum, ban it from making public appearances, scorn it, hate it, destroy it’s image, and be done with it. Until that happens, you, as the people clearly in power, condone it, use it to boost your own ego, and power your self-induced moral superiority over your fellow white countrymen who worship racist symbols of the past proudly. Its not helping anyone, you jerk. Y’all can shut down anything you want. Shut this sh** down.

Not all of you want to bash my skull in, but all of you benefit from the system that allows it to happen. And I get plenty of loathing looks from white strangers, plenty of white people who change seats or hold their things close when I sit near them. (This is crap literally happening as I type this while waiting in the airport. And it’s not a one off thing. I can’t make this crap up lol)

Look how long it’s taken for you to finally believe we’re in pain. It regularly takes 3+ different camera angles and plenty of times y’all still don’t care. Those are regular white people.

Let me stop rambling on these truths, y’all get the point.

That’s not how you end racism.
But its a start.

Privilege

Last night, a friend told me one of his white friends was defending their use of the word “nigga” saying it’s not racist because they don’t mean it in a harmful way. I went to check it out and it seems that you can say whatever you want if the people it offends can’t give a proper defence. So I thought I’d give it a try:

It’s having to struggle. It’s being at a disadvantage because of your name, the melanin in your skin, and the stereotypes you will be born and die with. It’s the countless children sentenced to 10 years in prison for a dime bag of weed because the judges have been paid for by the Prison-Industrial Complex, while you get the slap on the wrist. It’s because we wish we had the opportunities you squander. It’s because our professional athletes are frowned upon for making too much money, but not your professional bankers who crippled the American, nay, THE WORLD ECONOMY. It’s because we are the most perfect physical specimen humanity has to offer, from our skin to our cardiovascular system, and its because I can be petty like that, because this is the one month out of the year you deem necessary to learn my history, American history.
It’s because we can’t afford to leave the ghetto you put us in that has inadequate water, education, housing, communities, love, fathers, lifespans, nutrition, and I’m sure you’re thinking of the one I missed.
It’s because when you see me walking, you go to the other side of the street, your wife clutches her purse, and you reach for your gun.
It’s because we wish we had the opportunities you squander. We wish we could’ve said welcome home daddy. We wish we could afford a car that wouldn’t break down on our way to serve you, massuh. It’s because it’s 2016 and you think because you’re voting for Trump or Sanders you’re progressive and it entitles you to such privileges…I mean liberties as an expanded vocabulary, but in reality, you’d kill yourself if you woke up black.
Let me be clear; we don’t want to be you. We pity you. We lament for your ignorance and your weakness, and only wish wisdom and understanding to your life.

But you most certainly wish you could be us.

#blackhistorymonth2k16