This week, the media and hip-hop fans alike were waiting expectantly for Kanye West’s album, The Life of Pablo, to drop. Their expectations were put on hold as it wasn’t released on Monday as planned. Instead, it was released on Tuesday on an app called Tidal.
According to West’s Twitter account, he said “My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale.” What is most impressive is how West can release this album for free with many popular artists including Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna.
The album feels as if it was thrown together last minute as multiple changes in the album name came in the week prior to its release. It is impossible to find a constant flow throughout the album, but then that is what West was going for. He put blame on Chance the Rapper for the late release because he wanted “Waves” to be put on the album.
The Life of Pablo opens up with “Ultralight Beam,” which features Chance the Rapper and gospel artist Kirk Franklin.
In an interview, West claimed The Life of Pablo is a gospel album. However, this song is the only “gospel” feeling song in whole album (Apart from “Low Lights,” which is essentially a sermon with a beat). It is filled with many references to God and states, “this is a God dream.” An organ makes up the majority of the beat with an occasional choir in the background. It is a great first song to the album.
“Waves” featuring Chris Brown sits at the 10th track directly after “I Love Kanye,” a response to what people say about West. It has a unique reverberating beat with the phrase, “waves don’t die,” scattered throughout.
“No more parties in LA” rounds out the album, featuring Kendrick Lamar and serving as a breath of fresh air in an album of fairly forgettable songs. It boasts a jazzy upbeat feel. Kendrick and West have good flow in the track and make me wish there were more songs like this in the album.
In a time when hip-hop seems to be reverting back to being a platform for minorities to speak about issues they see in the world, West seems to run in the other direction. The majority of the album is filled with misogynistic language. Many people who will never listen to the album have heard remarks made about Taylor Swift in the song “Famous.” This is one of the best examples of West showing himself off. But it gets old throughout the album and leaves me wanting more substance. I guess I am one of the people that West speaks about in the album as “missing the old Kanye.”