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  • Fred Smith

Kanye West - ye

Updated: Apr 26

‘ye’ was Kanye West’s eighth solo studio album released June 1, 2018. It was released as the second of five albums released in Summer 2018 which Kanye executively produced. Over the years, Kanye’s lyrics have been increasingly influenced by the Bible and his part of Christianity, the title ‘ye’ came about as ultimately it was the most used word in the Bible. Also, Kanye is often referred to as ye which could be another explanation for the title. After its release, the album became Kanye’s eighth consecutive to land number one on the Billboard 200.

I Thought About Killing You – Kanye starts the album with a dark spoken piece on his mental health. The song is written from the point of view of his dark side as he ponders killing himself. The lyrics suggest he has considered killing himself for periods of time – “premeditated murder”. Showcases his bipolar disorder as his dark side states he loves himself way more than he loves his normal side, also the clever use of pitch helps emphasize this point. Halfway through the song the beat drops as Kanye starts rapping. His tone sounds crazed, but it adds to effect as his flow remains good. Overall, a good song which sets the tone for the album nicely, despite the unconventional style of having a long spoken piece.

Yikes - ‘Yikes’ has a very aggressive beat to match its content. The song addresses Kanye’s struggles with addiction, the effects of which are shown with the tone of his words within the chorus and the outro, capped off with the out of control scream at the end. The production on the song is very good, as with Kanye’s more aggressive flow. Overall a very strong song.

All Mine – This song focuses on the problem Kanye has with his relationships. Shows his struggle to control his desires and how it may be at the centre of attention if he was unable to. The second verse sounds out of control as if Kanye’s letting go. The beat switches and becomes much more aggressive as his flow slows. Another very good songs with one of my personal favourite verses on the album

Wouldn’t Leave (ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR) – A more emotional song which deals with the struggles of having words he says critiqued by everyone. Great flow but not my favourite chorus from PARTYNEXTDOOR. The vocals from Ty Dolla $ign, however, fit the emotional tone of the track well. Overall, not my favourite stand-alone track from the album but it fits in nicely.

No Mistakes – Addresses mental health issues stemming from money and debt. At points it sounds more like Kanye is singing rather than rapping but it still sounds good. The vocals from Charlie Wilson and Kid Cudi harmonize well, making for a good chorus to a decent track.

Ghost Town – PARTYNEXTDOOR’s feature is much better on tack as his vocals sound passionate and fit in perfectly. It seems from this verse that the title of the track is a metaphor for people sucking the life out of Kanye and the other artists on the track. Cudi’s vocals sound desperate and also work very well. Kanye’s sung verse shows him dreaming of a day with no drama, suggesting he might want to leave the celebrity live behind. The guitar instrumental is very good and reminds me of older Kanye songs such as Devil in a New Dress. The outro from 070 Shake sounds like her having the life sucked out of similar, similar to the first verse. The long “free” and the distorted, futuristic instrumental make for a very memorable piece. Overall an incredible song and one of my personal favourites of Kanye’s whole discography.

Violent Crimes – Another emotional song, similar sounding to Wouldn’t Leave. It describes Kanye’s fears for his daughters as they grow up and enter the world. He fears for them as he was once someone who didn’t respect women as much as he could but having daughters changed his outlook. His rapping is emotional over a very sombre instrumental. The outro from Nicki Minaj seemed unnecessary and forced, however.

Overall thoughts – ‘ye’ is Kanye’s most personal album yet. It explores the workings of his brain and issues he’s had throughout his life, this is what makes the record so good in my opinion. The bars came straight from the heart, they aren’t forced in any way. The rapping is consistent, but the quality isn’t what it used to be, the quality of the lyrics goes far in making up for this. The features are, for the most part, are great. Focusing on vocals, they add a more emotional element to the album. Kanye hasn’t been closed-minded in his rapping before, sharing personal details of personal experiences in all of his albums, but this feels more personal. Kanye almost seems vulnerable and less arrogant; it is very different to any Kanye album before.

Favourite Track – Ghost Town

Great Tracks - I Thought About Killing You, Yikes, All Mine,

Good Track – No Mistakes

OK Track – Violent Crimes

Least Favourite Track – Wouldn’t Leave

RATING – 8.7

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