Ok, ok. You may be wondering, Why Renita? Why Ye?
I would explain this in two words “Musical Genius”. This fella has always found a way to intertwine his personality in his music and I love that about his music. Sometimes, I actually feel like I can feel his emotion or temperament in his beats. Although, I very much loved and partied to his first album “College Dropout”. I did not feel that connection until his second album “Late Registration”. To be honest, this was the album that helped me make the decision to return to school after I was kicked out (Click here for the detailed story). I can’t explain to you how…but it was.
I will agree that he has never been the same since his mom passed. But honestly, would anyone be the same when their mother pass? On his road to processing this loss he had to learn to live without one of the most important person in his life that does not seem easy for anyone. You could be asking me, “are you making excuses for his behavior”. I would reply “no, I am subtracting the stardom factor and perceiving him as a human being”. Although Kanye probably views himself more as a God, over the years he has underwent money loss, his wife being a part of a home invasion and mental illness. I love how through all the scrutiny and trials he has remained super confident. Sometimes I believe that confidence masks the pain and hurt he feels, but yet he wears it well.
If you want to bring up the past comments Kanye has made, I don’t know where he gets these ideas from, and honestly it’s not for me to explain. What I did want to want to dissect is the two 7 track albums he recently released. My opinion of his musical genius still holds true.
Overall Review: The album cover itself depicts that he is taking his mental condition lightly. Lightly as it’s a part of him and how he is determined to use it to his advantage. This album was cohesive with the exception of track 6 in which I felt belonged more in his 5th album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (also a great album!)
He opened this album by saying the darkest thoughts presently in his mind and he allowed the words to flow without apologies. His words” Say it out loud to see how it feels” sounds crazy but it is actually freeing. When you allow yourself to think and feel in the moment it is a release rather than keeping it to yourself. Most people hoard their darkest thoughts until they have to release. Kanye gave permission to himself to just feel them….and recite them to everyone. He then ended his album depicting his fear of his daughter entering this male-chauvinistic world as an adult. Just a scary thought after listening to this but it shed reality on the type of world we live in. As always, Kanye took me on an interesting musical journey with this album.
Quick Synopsis of each song (Why not, it’s only 7 tracks)
- I Thought About Killing You: By the opening if the song, the listener probably did not know what to expect. He repeated the words” Today I seriously thought about killing you”. After this confession he mentioned the great love he has for himself would shield him from self-harm. He even mocked how people would expect him to say he has low self-esteem but we all know Kanye loves himself. Although this could be viewed as narcissistic, it is a revelation to himself that through all of this he still has him. That sounds Twisted, but that is how I interpreted this song.
- Yikes: Personally, this is my favorite song on the album. The lyric “sometimes I scare myself” indicates how unpredictable he is. This could most likely be an illustration of what happened when he was admitted into the hospital. He also insinuated no matter what happens to him he could still get who and want he wants. Nothing ever could defame him. I love this beat, I am no producer to go in-depth with details of the beat, I just love it! At the end of the song he was stating how his bi-polar is a super power. How liberating this one comment is to a person that has been diagnosed with bi-polar. This one sentence is helpful to those that battle with mental illness and are told it is a crutch.
- All Mine: I really loved this beat. Nothing much I have to say about the lyrics but Kanye love the ladies.
- Wouldn’t Leave: First time I heard this song my eyes watered up. I really felt these words. He took us on a quick journey of the devastation both him and Kim experienced when first finding out the money was depleted. I have read a lot of stories about their marriage but I believe this is not a “Hollywood love” but authenic love. We really don’t know what happens behind closed doors in any marriage, we only know what is told or shown to us. Being married myself, I can relate struggling with certain obstacles in the relationship. And sometimes those obstacles produce the thought, “I wonder if I am ruining my spouse’s life and if they would be better off without me?” That is a true emotion and maybe that’s why I grew emotional. But through it all Kim did not leave (obviously) and that’s a blessed thing.
- No Mistakes: This track was reminiscent of his first album “The College Dropout” from its old school sounding one verse-having track. Once again he makes this oath of not apologizing but I think at this point no one is expecting him to.
- Ghost Town: This was the only song I felt threw off the flow of the album and that it belonged on the album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. If you ever heard this album you would understand this dark toned track would have fit perfectly with the tracks on that album. This song made a lot of references towards feeling numb. This could very well be depicted as going through the motions in life, feelings on not belonging or indestructability.
- Violent Crimes: This honestly spooked me when thinking of bringing another human being in this world. Especially with this “Me Too’ epidemic that has revealed America pushing this issue under the rug and pretending it does not exist. And although awareness is growing towards this issue, there are still so many victims that are sore afraid to share their story. Kanye talks about how his female objectification dissolved over the years and the fear of his daughter encountering men that used to be like him as she grows older. What a dose of reality!
Kids See Ghosts
Overall Review: I liked “Ye” better but that does not mean I was short from liking this album. Joined by Kid Cudi this album appeared to be focused more on Kanye the entertainer as the “Ye” album was focused more on Kanye the person. Unlike the “Ye” album, he featured artist on this second album. I think both albums collectively is still him embracing his bi-polar and sharing a piece of both sides of his dual personality. He opened the album with my favorite song on this album “Feel the Love” ft. Pusha T. and ended it on another heavy note depicted the journey of emotions involved when losing a loved-one to violence. Each song was an extension of the next once again creating a beautiful and meaningful story.
Quick Synopsis of the 7 tracks:
- Feel the Love ft. Pusha T.: This song is indicative of how there are still people out there that will love him no matter what. I have loved Pusha T since he was a part of the “Clipse” with his brother, No Malice. “Grindin’!” If you don’t know him or have never heard a Clipse album I encourage you to listen. Pusha T has a way to descriptively remind his listeners of where he been and the current status of his life. He did nothing short of this in his verse and as usual he does it well. I will say Kanye’s “rant” is sound proof that he can make the most insane things make sense in a song. Well with the exception of the “Scoopity Poop Poop” lyric in the song “Lift Yourself”.
- Fire: Joined by Kid Cudi in this song, both rappers are explaining their experience under fire. The lyric “Heaven Lift me Up” is indicative of falling and how nothing but angels could ascend them out of the fire. Being in the fire also seems to help motivate if only for the reason to extinguish the mess they find themselves him. This is a pretty short song but lyrically it personally raised some mental fire alarms.
- 4th Dimension ft. Louis Prima: The song starts off with a sample of the song, ‘What will Santa Say?” by Louis Prima. It was a great start leading to the beat. This once again gave me that old Kanye vibe. I really loved this beat! This song is extended from the second track lyrically. Both artists are still explaining the out of body experience they are currently find themselves in.
- Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2): Part 2 of this song continues to describe the numbness feeling from Part 1. In the second part, this numbness is depicted as a good thing. It is an in-destructive feeling that shields pain. This 4th dimension feeling is the freedom to move forward from your past and no longer let it hold you back. Unlike part 1, I feel this rock-inspired track is cohesive other tracks in this album.
- Reborn: Well typically after being released, a rebirth emerges. This new person hatches and the feeling of creating oneself is the next step. No better way to create a new path then moving forward and never looking back. I picked up on while listening to the lyrics.
- Kids See Ghosts ft Yasiin Bey: This song is still depicting the rebirth of being resilient to negativity. Yet he still thrives imperfect and all. This mysterious sounding beat is hypnotizing and is very catchy (I kept repeating this song).
- Cudi Montage: This song started off strange and I found it hard to understand Kid Cudi. After listening three times it sounds like a plead to be saved and the chorus is indicating to stay strong. Kanye explicitly tells a story of how world peace migrates to a person’s rear-view when losing someone you love to gun violence. His lyric, “Both sides lose somebody, Somebody die, somebody go to jail.” This is indicative of the vicious cycle in inner cities that seems impossible to break. God Protect Us!
Have you heard 1 or both albums? If so, what did you think about it (them)?