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Kan”ye” Goes Personal Over Political- Kanye West “ye” Album Review

Taken+by+Kanye+West+hours+before+the+album+release%2C+it+reveals+the+graceful+mountains+of+Wyoming+with+the+text%2C+%E2%80%9CI+hate+being+Bi-Polar+its+awesome.%E2%80%9D+This+reveals+for+the+first+time+Kanye%E2%80%99s+Bipolar+disorder%2C+and+gives+us+a+teaser+of+what+kind+of+album+%E2%80%9CYe%E2%80%9D+will+be.
Taken by Kanye West hours before the album release, it reveals the graceful mountains of Wyoming with the text, “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome.” This reveals for the first time Kanye’s Bipolar disorder, and gives us a teaser of what kind of album “Ye” will be.

Taken by Kanye West hours before the album release, it reveals the graceful mountains of Wyoming with the text, “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome.” This reveals for the first time Kanye’s Bipolar disorder, and gives us a teaser of what kind of album “Ye” will be.

Photo by Kanye West

Photo by Kanye West

Taken by Kanye West hours before the album release, it reveals the graceful mountains of Wyoming with the text, “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome.” This reveals for the first time Kanye’s Bipolar disorder, and gives us a teaser of what kind of album “Ye” will be.

Alexander Estes, Staff Writer

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“The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest.” This is the underlined sentence that Kanye speaks that gives the most meaning to his album, or the best explanation.

Kanye West has been silent on social media for a very long time, only recently coming back online in early April. Shortly after, he announced multiple albums on Twitter, a Pusha T, Nas, Kanye X Kid Cudi collaboration, Teyana Taylor, and finally his own album, “ye” [sic]. This album was anticipated to be quite a political album in thought of Kanye’s recent controversial tweets, these including his own endorsements of Donald Trump and many crazy statements, including one in which he said “slavery was a choice.” But it turns out that this was actually quite the opposite, making the theme about mental illness and explores directly inside Kanye’s current mindset, and he delivers this beautifully.

Similar to Pusha T’s album, which Kanye entirely produced, this album only has seven songs on it. Kanye announced on Twitter that all of the albums he is releasing/producing will only have seven tracks, as it’s the “perfect amount” to fit all he needs into it.

The intro track, “I Thought About Killing You,” starts off with over two minutes of Kanye giving almost a speech. He speaks about wanting to kill “you” many times and is almost a message to his loved ones and even himself. Many people think that this “you” he is thinking about killing is either Kim Kardashian (his wife), his family, someone he hates, but it turns out that he is talking about “you” as himself. The cover of the album has a written sentence saying “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome” [sic], revealing that Kanye is bipolar. 

The cover of the album has a written sentence saying “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome” [sic], revealing that Kanye is bipolar.”

Bipolar disorder is a manic-depressive illness, which is a brain disorder that causes many mood shifts in your energy, mood, or thoughts. These manic episodes can cause you to have really high highs and low lows, very randomly in different periods of time, either day, hours, or weekly.  In this track he is basically telling us about two sides of himself, one in where he is very egotistical and prideful (a side of Kanye which is very public and everybody knows about; him comparing himself to Einstein, God, ect), and one of his “shadow self,” or one where he is broken.

Telling us that he loves himself way more than he loves “you,” and that he wants to kill himself, is telling us that he probably thought about killing you today.

The beat in this song is a very spacey, angelic sound like it’s from the future. This mixed with his chilling speech makes everybody feel a little weird, I think, or maybe even think about themselves. Because everybody has had some kind of dark thoughts like this in the very back of their mind at some point… right?

Personally I think this was a fantastic intro to the album, telling us what it is going to all be about.

The second track, “Yikes,” is in a way an extension of the first track but with just a song. The hook here is extremely good; I think it’s one of his better hooks in years, giving us more of the theme the first track had. He states that he scares himself and speaks about his recent opioid addiction, causing him to have suicidal thoughts and bipolar feelings. There is a load of energy on this track with plenty of bars like “hospital band a hundred bands, f*** a watch”, or “Just a different type of leader we could be in North Korea, I could smoke with Wiz Khalifa.”

At the end of this track, Kanye sort of gives us another mini speech where he says that his bipolar disorder is “my superpower,” “I’m a superhero!” This is really inspiring for anybody struggling physically or mentally with a disability making it more empowering, and has tons of power that has already spoken out to many people, as well as creating of discussion of if Kanye is “glamorizing mental illness.”

The track “All Mine” in my opinion is the weakest track on this whole album. Its production, in comparison to the other songs, is very dull and bland and doesn’t really deliver. The hook is high-pitched singing vocals by Valee, which is kind of unsettling to listen to but is still alright. But regardless of the production, Kanye is still incredible on this track, giving us tons of his classic witty lines; for example, “none of us’d be here without cum.” Production towards the end of this track actually gets exciting and experimental and sets off these loud periodic crashes, making the track way more flavorful in partner with Kanye’s lyrics.  

On “Wouldn’t Leave,” Kanye talks about the mistakes he has done recently, and how he is dedicated to his wife Kim Kardashian. He brings up many controversies that he’s caused recently like when he said “slavery was a choice,” and how Kim was panicking over what he was saying but she still didn’t leave him. As Kanye states at the ending of the song, this song is for all females that “always stuck with they dude,” through the best or the worst times. Production on this is very angelic with its piano and smooth drums, making it one of the most relaxing songs on the album.

The next track “No Mistakes” begins with a gorgeous sample repeating “Make no mistake, girl, I still love you.” There are many references to Kanye struggling with his two selves, like how he has “white on his beard”, (cocaine), but reminds Kim that he still loves her even with his problems. Overall it’s an alright track, fairly short, but sets us up for — in my opinion — the best track on “ye,” “Ghost Town.”

“Ghost Town” starts off with yet another sample, which is common in Kanye’s songs, and the song features Kid Cudi — and fairly new face to his label G.O.O.D Music — 070 Shake. The entire theme of this song is about how he loves his family but still struggles with his demons, like — for example — his bipolar disorder. This is showed well at the end with 070 Shake singing extremely well — like really, really well. She sings “I put my hand on a stove, to see if I still bleed,” which could be a reference to Kanye’s recent opioid addiction and how it was used to cope with his inner struggles. With the roaring guitar and heavenly singing, this track gives off more emotion than any of the other tracks.

The final track is called “Violent Crimes,” similar to the song to his wife in “Wouldn’t Leave.” This seems to be towards his daughters North and Chicago. Kanye speaks about how people love to be “players” and “pimps” until they have daughters. He also goes over his fears about his daughters’ futures and the way they will be treated by those who haven’t changed their perspectives. Kanye has always been known to be very erotic and for his sexual nature about women, but after having daughters he’s seen as women as “somethin’ to nurture not somethin’ to conquer.” The instrumentals on this song are amazing, along with the chords being tremendously charming and mesmerizing, making it a great ending song to this album.

After listening to this whole album, I think myself and many others have found out why it is called “ye.” “ye” is a short name for Kanye, and the most common word in the bible is ye, and that means you. As Kanye said in his recent interview in his Wyoming listening party, “it’s a reflection of our good, our bad, our confusion, everything.” “ye” is a reach inside Kanye’s mind in this period of time; it is everything that he has been feeling and we get a real look on who Kanye really is. 

Many people see Kanye West as this monster: an egotistical, prideful jerk, but that is not the case. ”

Many people see Kanye West as this monster: an egotistical, prideful jerk, but that is not the case. In this we see Kanye struggles with many issues, and at the core, that is human just like us. I think everybody can relate to this album in some sort of way if you open up your mind, because Kanye really explored topics that are either taboo or “lame” to talk about.

If I’m being honest, this album just might not be for you and that is perfectly fine. This is almost like the polar opposite side of Kanye, the other side being his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” where he shows us his egotistical and powerful side, and this album, “ye,” being very personal, where he gives us a real view on who Kanye West is and how he feels in this point in time.

Closing, I view “ye” as a glorious, personal, and maybe too personal look inside Kanye’s mind and gives us a fresh set of impeccable and pure production. Nearly every track was enjoyable and one of the only down sides I have for this album is that I just want more of it. I’ll score this album as a decent 9/10 for all of the reasons above, and I think you’ll truly understand this scoring if you listen to this album with an open heart and mind. “ye” is available on all streaming services to listen to, and please do so, because “ye” is definitely something special that will age like a fine wine.

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Kan”ye” Goes Personal Over Political- Kanye West “ye” Album Review