Kanye West is and has always been surrounded by a long list of controversies and attention grabbing tweets, including his eyebrow-raising recent one “slavery is a choice” remarks and his meeting with the President Donald Trump. His questionable character kept him on the limelight covered in bravado. But what we see is just a facade to hide his true self from the public—until he released his newest album.
On June 1, Kanye West dropped his eight studio album cryptically entitled “Ye” on a listening party in Wyoming. This 7-track album is the most personal work Kanye ever did since 808’s and Heartbreak. This album shouts a strong theme about mental health issues— it is so apparent, with even the simplistic album cover that says “I hate being bi-polar, it’s awesome” to its raw production and personal lyricism that came from Yeezus himself.
The album starts with a spoken word piece in his first track “I Thought About Killing You” as he discusses his mental health issues, with his loved ones and the not letting people get to him bit incorporated in it too. He emphasizes the world of being bi-polar. He uses pitch-shift effect to symbolize a different personality while talking to himself. He also refers to his opioid addiction—which can cause harsh side effects, including depression and suicidal thoughts which is further explained in his second track “Yikes” , it tells a story of a typical rap-banger that included a discussion about drug addiction and intoxication and its perils on (himself).
The album then shifts to “All Mine” – it opens with a catchy falsetto hook, with Kanye rapping ironically about infidelity when the next track is a complete turnaround, “Wouldn’t Leave” which is obviously dedicated to his wife Kim. It’s amazing how he can suddenly shift infidelity to a heartfelt song as he thanked his wife for sticking with him through hard times until the next track that is, which is entitled “No Mistakes” — this touches his financial issues and the many backfires it had on them while expounding on how he still loves Kim despite their ups and downs. He elaborates more on this idea in the song “Violent Crimes.”
He also brings up his shift in his perspective to a woman since his children were born. He also brings up his fears about their future, and the ways they will be treated by those who have yet to have their perspectives changed.
Then the album closes on a spoken word spiel delivered by Nicki Minaj which wraps up Kanye’s personal chronicle in his album “Ye”.
Personal Thoughts: Kanye West is still Human
For the critics and listeners alike, this album may be a sub-par comparsion to his other works, but this album reeks of something more powerful other than it just being great music. It shouts of pain, happiness, previous – mistakes and vulnerabilities. He managed to manifests all these into an album that begins by dwelling in the darkest corners of his mind, before taking flight into a more hopeful territory that focuses on his family.
Even after of all the crazy egotistical stunts Kanye had done—his ramblings on being the greatest on “Life of Pablo” and his interviews, this album proved Kanye is still human. He portrayed himself as someone who is just like any of us; vulnerable and is battling his own personal conflicts.
In reverie, Kanye West is still human. Just like the rest of us and he can still be relatable. This man like anyone else is going through difficulties just as we all are going through ours behind the limelight.
This album is a refreshing, insightful listen from the usual Kanye West stuff. It tells us to listen to him a bit more and maybe we’d get him a bit better.