One of the most significant names in all of the music industry, fashion, and modern society. This titan of the industry has become one of the many influential names to arise in the 21st century. With his 40th birthday being just over a week ago, I decided it was time to finally voice my opinion on why I believe his 2013 album: Yeezus is his magnum opus.
Coming out in the Summer of 2013 this album had quite the hype surrounding it. Less than a year before this album was released, Kanye West and his label GOOD Music released their first compilation album: Cruel Summer. With songs like “Mercy”, “Clique”, and “Don’t Like” the voice of Kanye West was everywhere and the people wanted more.
For Kanye West, the challenge of living up to his other albums would be a difficult task; but surpassing them would be almost impossible. In order to create his best work, he would have to reinvent his sound and style. In order to accomplish this, Kanye created a small team including Daft Punk, Mike Dean, Travis Scott, Rick Rubin, and Kid Cudi to name a few. The result of these names and talent resulted in an album, unlike anything he’s ever put out. These 10 songs are the payoff of years upon years of knowledge and skill which have been dominating the industry for over a decade. This album is nothing short than a masterpiece and a demonstration of how hip-hop has evolved over the years.
The album in its entirety is rebellious in nature and a stark contrast to the sound his fans were familiar with. No song that Kanye put out before this album even came close to this heavy and abrasive style. The engineering of this album is very technical thus explaining its inclusion of Rick Rubin, Daft Punk, and Travis Scott who are undoubtedly technical and unparalleled producers. At this time all three of these names were occupied with other projects like Travis Scott’s debut Owl Pharaoh, Daft Punk’s album Random Access Memories, and Rick Rubin’s executive producing of The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The album also enlisted my favorite producer: Mike Dean who’s production credits are expected to be listed on a project from Kanye West.
There is a plentiful amount of material that can be said about Yeezus from a positive and a negative aspect. This album split his fan base upon release, some praised its uniqueness and individualism while others disliked his drastic change in sound and lyrics. The release of this album was also quite strange as it’s CD release had no album art and only red tape sealing the case.
The songs on this album range from emotional trips to the aggressive industrial hype, whilst even featuring a timeless love song. This album showcases that anything can be accomplished when you have the proper musician and devoted team. Yeezus is the pinnacle of deviance which created an unprecedented example of experimentation in hip-hop. Since this album came out, there have been many rappers that have stepped out of their comfort zone and out of the mainstream category in order to create the music that they want and not necessarily what their label wants.
While this album came out in 2013, its influence is still impacting West’s work today. While Kanye’s latest album: The Life Of Pablo is more reminiscent of his older work, the breakthrough sound of Yeezus is imprinted upon some of the production on the album.
Without a doubt, Kanye West put out his best album in 2013 and to this day continues to amaze his fans with his unique style, production, and topics that no other musician can comparatively come close to. Yeezus may not be everyone’s favorite, but it does deserve recognition for the distinct revolutionary sound that will leave it’s mark on hip-hop forever.