Let’s keep it real. Ye has issues. No, scratch that. Ye has some serious fucking problems. Over the years, his abnormal behavior has become more erratic as his music has become more expressive. It gets to the point where his life and his art are inseparable.
As a fan of his music, I tried to focus only on his work. I didn’t care that he said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It didn’t bother me that he hijacked Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech. His support for the Trump presidency, however, was the last straw for me. I was disappointed. I didn’t want to hear his music ever again like I wouldn’t listen to R Kelly (sex predator) or Nguyên Khang (another dumbass Trump supporter). For a while, I stopped listening to Ye’s albums altogether.
These days, I gave in and went back to his catalog. I completely tuned out of his relationship dramas with Kim and Pete. With his breakout debut, The College Dropout, Ye proved to be a conscious rapper with bangers such as “All Falls Down,” “Spaceship,” “Jesus Walks,” and “Never Let Me Down.” I always get a kick out of “The New Workout Plan.” The testimonials are hilarious as hell, especially Ella-May from Mobile, Alabama who had been able to date outside of the family after listening to Kanye’s workout tape.
His sophomore Late Registration follows up with so many gems. The soprano sax in “Drive Slow” is so damn intoxicating. Etta James’s voice is so addictive in “Addiction.” JAY-Z steals the show in “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” with the line, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”
With Graduation, Ye tightened up the album experience by leaving out skits. Right from “Good Morning (Intro),” “Champion,” “Stronger,” “I Wonder,” to “Good Life” are all solid tracks. In “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” Ye reveals, “I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny / And what I do? Act more stupidly.” “Big Brother” is such a beautiful tribute to JAY-Z.
808s & Heartbreak is such a unique album. He can hide his voice behind AutoTunes, but he cannot hide his soul. “Coldest Winter,” a tribute to his mother, is just soul-crushing. I love the entire album, except for the live recording, “Pinocchio Story,” which felt out of place.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy starts strong right out of the gate. From “Dark Fantasy,” “Gorgeous,” “All of the Lights” (I love the interlude), to “Monster,” there’s so much beauty in darkness.
Yeezus is ten solid tracks from beginning to end and they are hard as fuck. “I’m In It,” in particular, is not even quotable. If there’s any doubt that Ye is not a lyricist, this alum is a testament that Ye is a lyrical genius.
Watch the Throne, Ye matches JAY pound for pound on the lyrical front. I hope that they will follow up the second album in the future.
Let’s face it. Ya is a flawed human and a music genius. Once I separate the artist from the asshole, I can enjoy his work.