In the typical pleasing absurdity often associated with Kanye West. He gathered celebrities in the mountainous terrain of Wyoming to drop his latest album “Ye”.
A few hundred people were present at a ranch in Wyoming. Complete with open bar, celebs, campfires and horses. Kanye West dropped the album to world attention.
— afkumono (@afkumono) June 1, 2018
Wests first album after 2016’s ‘The Life of Pablo’, ‘Ye’ is released during unarguably the most controversial times Kanye West has ever faced. The 7 track piece lasts a mere 23 minutes and fails to resonate that abstract genius vibe we have come to expect from the ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ star.
It is not the numbers look bleak, but it is just the nostalgia of the lyrical genius and musical maestro that diminishes the effort. ‘Ye’ was to answer the controversies, to silence critics and make us all revel in the Kanye beat. It failed to live up to the lofty expectations.
West is toiled by controversies upon controversies as of late. Kanye West the musician often seeks asylum in Kanye West the celebrity.
Kanye upset the masses when he tweeted a #MakeAmericaGreatAgain cap signed by the POTUS Donald Trump, showcasing his love for him. He states that they both shared ‘Dragon energy’ and that the media won’t make West hate Trump.
You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Kanye West out-did himself again afterwards in a now viral TMZ interview. He claimed in that interview that slavery was a choice (?!). He was shut down by an employee – a clip that has now amassed millions of views.
He has been spotted with far right advocates and has shown a general disregard for the black community of America. Much to the dismay of his huge fan-following.
‘Ye’ represents the current Kanye – confused, chaotic and not the revolutionary we loved.
Ye does have its moments. “Yikes” improves on the bleak iciness of 2016’s “FML,” while “No Mistakes” is a reminiscence of the euphoric soul West pursued early in his career. It’s just that it’s tough to ignore Ye’s stagnant music; known for his forward motion, West remains wired in the past on this one. West teamed with producer Mike Dean – one of the few musicians to have worked on every West album -along with chart-topping hit maker Benny Blanco. But Ye’s list of collaborators is far shorter than West’s other recent albums. Going by the credits, it’s West’s most by-Kanye album in at least a decade. That may have prepared many observers for a back-to-basics return to form. Instead, it’s just another album that won’t make it past summer.
Lyrically, West has set the bar low enough. West largely abandons the political conversation he deployed as recently as his late April release “Ye Vs. The People”. Along with the fact that that he candidly opens up about the depths of his bipolar disorder and familial strife, keeps the album from becoming a total catastrophe. On “Yikes”, he expands on his struggles with a heavily stigmatized mental illness in an honest way that’s still unusual coming from a musical A-lister.
For the first time since 1990s, West seems content to aid and assist others in making music. He is producing several albums this summer. As he arrives at the sort of mid-career dullness that has plagued many iconic musicians, Ye may signal the start of a new phase. It’s a missed opportunity in the sense that it fails to measure up to his previous work and change the conversation around him. But West may will be chasing a different opportunity entirely.
Views are my own.