Kanye West approached his eighth studio album a little different than usual. Simply titling it ye, and consisting of 7 songs only. Mr. West is persistent on veering further away from rhyming by exploring his other musical abilities, which are bought to the forefront.
Opening with what sounds like a therapy session with his inner demons. Kanye states “the most beautiful thoughts are always beside the darkest.” He divulges society’s reoccurring issue with self-love and mental illness; which can serve as the album’s overall or undercurrent theme. All of this occurs before the album slides into its standout track “Yikes.”
Despite how far removed from society people think he’s become, he reminds us of his awareness by speaking on rape culture and Russell Simmons affiliation to the #MeToo movement. He also mildly expresses his thoughts on the scrutiny he receives from his interracial marriage. Kanye doesn’t exclude pop culture topics from his rhymes either “all these thots on Christian Mingle, almost what got Tristian single.” Of course, that came after he took a shady shot at pal Rhymefest for his public spat with wife Kim K.
“Violent Crimes” is a father’s biggest fear. And one of the two introspective tracks where Kanye raps about the fate of karma from the women he’s mistreated, and how it can affect his daughter. “Ni&&as is pimps, ni&&as is players, til ni&&as have daughters.” On “Wouldn’t Leave” he goes on about his public persona and outburst that left Kim panicking about their future stability. The track is a little manipulative and possessive, but he makes it sound lighthearted by talking on the track like a throwback R&B song.
Trailing is what sounds like a continuation of “Wouldn’t Leave,” but it’s “Ghost Town,” the album’s heart where we get the full jest of the album. Production, thought process, and melodically the track is genius. Singing about the trappings of fame, and how he’s freeing himself from the need to please the public and others. “I put my hand on the stove to see if I still bleed, and nothing hurts anymore. I feel kind of free.”
ye is very personal, and it’s the voice of today’s black man in American society. Kanye doesn’t’ shy away from the obvious by speaking his truths regarding financial debt, and his mental illness; in which he refers to as his superpower. ye has elements of his earlier material, but with a more evolved sound. There’s subtle and frivolous features, but the production is great. However, the downside is it only being 24 minutes in length. It leaves little room for error, and by the time you get into the groove it’s over leaving you with an underwhelmed impression. With ye Kanye gave us a deeper look into himself; hence “self-titling” the album ye. It showcases insecurity and his struggle with mental illness; which isn’t a struggle anymore, because he hates being bi-polar, but it’s awesome.