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Kanye West

Kanye West - Ye (Explicit) (LP)

Kanye West - Ye (Explicit) (LP)

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SKU: PJ3865-L3IF-00

  |  UPC: 602567784692

View Artist: Kanye West

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2018 release, the eighth studio album by rapper/producer Kanye West. The album features guest vocals by Ty Dolla Sign, PartyNextDoor, Kid Cudi, Jeremih and 070 Shake, among others. West produced the album in it's entirety, with additional production by Mike Dean, who serves as a co-executive producer, as well as Francis and the Lights, Benny Blanco, Irv Gotti, 7 Aurelius, Noah Goldstein, Che Pope, Caroline Shaw, Pi'erre Bourne and Ty Dolla Sign, among others. Ye is the second of five seven-track albums produced by West in what have been referred to as the "Wyoming Sessions". West explained the album title, which is a diminutive of his own name commonly used in his songs, by stating: "I believe "ye" is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means "you". So, I'm you, I'm us, it's us. It went from Kanye, which means "the only one," to just Ye - just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are."

When Kanye West declares "It's been a shaky ass year" on 2018's Ye, it's an understatement. During a tumultuous period following 2016's The Life of Pablo, he garnered as much attention for headline controversy as for his music: he was hospitalized for stress and exhaustion following the cancellation of his Saint Pablo tour, later revealing a struggle with opioid addiction, and a disastrous pre-album promotion cycle was packed with provocative political proclamations. West's world seemed to be spiraling out of control. As the lines between public life and studio recordings blurred, the two became increasingly inextricable, culminating with his complicated eighth effort, Ye. While Pablo delved into the darker corners of fame and family, Ye is messier and more uncomfortable, especially when heard in the context of his high-profile outbursts preceding its release. West places mental health at the center, complicating his usual bravado.

On the opening "I Thought About Killing You," West delivers a stream-of-consciousness confessional about morality, murder, and suicide from an imaginary therapist's office sofa. Designed to shock, it feels like an interlude, not a full-fledged song. Ye improves from there, as West switches gears on "Yikes," dropping the album's first delectable beat and matching it with an equally addictive flow. It recalls West's early spirit, an enticement for audiences to keep listening. When he boasts, "That's my bipolar shit/That's my superpower," he embraces his issues and defies challengers with self-affirmation. For all the awkward times when West forces listeners to confront his internal struggles, Ye has moments of clarity. "Ghost Town" shines, serving as an appetizer to the superior Kid Cudi collaboration Kids See Ghosts that arrived the week after Ye. Along with Cudi and breakthrough newcomer 070 Shake, West offers a glimmer of hope, facing failure and reigniting optimism and personal acceptance by proclaiming, "And nothing hurts anymore/I feel kinda free." "Wouldn't Leave" is a touching ode to his wife's loyalty, while "No Mistakes" maintains tenderness, recalling early-2000s Kanye with its uplifting, old-school production. The reflective "Violent Crimes," directed toward his daughters, is an effort to atone for his past misogyny, but closes Ye with a whimper, confusing its message with a voicemail cameo from Nicki Minaj.

Ye can feel uneven, sometimes boring, and more indulgent than usual, but it's a fascinating peek into West's psyche. Like Pablo, Ye may be firmly tied to its surrounding public drama, yet it's a rough-hewn, vital piece to the puzzle for those still willing to humor West and his many demons. Pushing the mental health discussion into such a public space, he challenges listeners' limits while leaving himself vulnerable for judgment. Taken as a snapshot of his state of mind at the time -- and in relation to the adjacent GOOD Music releases recorded simultaneously during the Wyoming sessions -- Ye offers a bittersweet reflection of its creator, who is confused, searching, and at a crossroads. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Released: 07/13/2018
  • Genre: Rap & Hip-Hop
  • Explicit Language

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Tracks

A1 I Thought About Killing You
A2 Yikes
A3 All Mine
B1 Wouldn't Leave
B2 No Mistakes
B3 Ghost Town
B4 Violent Crimes

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Meta Artist: Kanye West


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