Ye – Kanye West Review

I started this weekend writing my 3×3 Monday article but I couldn’t help but realize 7/9 songs were from Kanye West’s latest album, Ye. So why not just review the whole album track for track right? So without further explanation, here is my review of Kanye West’s album, Ye. 

“I Thought About Killing You”

This is without a doubt one of my favorite intros to an album. “I Thought About Killing You” is a slow-burn that ends up setting the tone for the album while still getting you hyped for the songs. Ye is the story of a troubled man and his conquest to go from negativity to positivity during the seven songs. So why not start the album as cynical and depressed as possible? This slow monologue slowly turns it up a notch as the song turns into a banger and Kanye goes off about his life and his commonly found success throughout the years. The song abruptly ends as we enter the next song, “Yikes”.

“Yikes”

“Yikes” is full of hype and realism as Kanye starts out the song calling out himself on his addictions and how he has to deal with the paparazzi. The chorus itself makes the whole song work at getting you pumped for Kanye West’s verses on “Yikes”. While there aren’t too many hype songs on Ye, “Yikes” is more than enough to fill the gaps of the hype meter while still being a solid and memorable song. This song also references that he’s dealing with BiPolar Disorder, however, he treats it like a super-power and embraces it so he can continue to work output out amazing content. Kanye West is very admirable for being open about his problems and I myself am glad that he did so that he may further inspire those who have similar disorders.

“All Mine”

“All Mine” is a very simple and straight-forward song instrumental and pace wise which is quite unusual to hear from Kanye West. Regardless, he smoothly glides over the beat while delivering his usual clever rhymes covering everything from money, sex, and politics. “All Mine” also has a nice intro by Ty Dolla $ign that compliments this song very well. Being the second shortest song on Ye is quite unfortunate because this is the type of song I’d prefer to listen to a little bit longer due to the simple sound of the song.

“Wouldn’t Leave”

“Wouldn’t Leave” marks the beginning of the positive part of Ye. The album switches from talking about money and women to talking about the only woman that matters to Kanye West, his wife Kim Kardashian. This love ballad is enough to make anyone sit back and think about the people who matter the most to them in life. The beat is smooth and the lyrics are sincere as Kanye West praises his wife for staying with him through the good and bad moments of his life and career. He knows that she will care and support him no matter what happens and that is just a beautiful thought to have. One can tell that Kanye West really is thankful for having his wife on this song, which leads us to “No Mistakes”

“No Mistakes”

“No Mistakes” is more or less a follow-up song to “Wouldn’t Leave”. Kanye West spends the shortest song on the album talking about his past mistakes and how he won’t make them again now that he has the world. The mistakes that Kanye West has made over his career ultimately are what got him to where he is now. This song is short and sweet and not much else can really be said about it.

“Ghost Town”

“Ghost Town” is hands down the greatest song on Ye. This song is perhaps going to be my favorite song of the year too. This song is everything you’d want from a Kanye West song and then some. This song features Kid Cudi and 070 Shake on this monumental track which is arguably a celebration of life, freedom, and happiness. Everything on this song is perfect whether it’s the chilling refrain from Kid Cudi to the short but sweet verse from Kanye West to the immaculate outro from 070 Shake, it’s all perfectly executed. I honestly cannot find any problems or negative aspects of this song. I hope to see 070 Shake appear on more Kanye West-related projects as I’ve been a fan of her for about two years now, nonetheless, I hope you really do check out this track and I hope it has the same effect on you that it’s had on me.

“Violent Crimes”

The final song on Ye is surely a sad one. “Violent Crimes” is the realization that the negativity in Kanye West’s life may be gone but it’s not forgotten. Kanye West is now a father of three, however, two of them are his daughters. Coming from a player like himself, Kanye West knows the implications of being a father to two daughters. This song serves as a reminder that where problems end, more can and may arise down the road. Yet, Kanye West seems ready enough to handle these issues when the time comes and seeing that he has around 15 years to handle these issues, I’d say he’s got plenty of time. The song and album end with a call from Nicki Minaj who then suggests a verse for him to use for the song. Thus ending Ye on a positive and optimistic note, one that wouldn’t have been obvious at the start of the album. Cruel Summer is just starting for Kanye West as he has an album coming out this week with Kid Cudi which I for one cannot wait to hear. Until then, I’d say Kanye West is on his way to going full circle in his career mood wise as this is the same optimism we heard on his debut album, The College Dropout.

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Ye: A Journey Into the Mind of Kanye West

May 31st, 2018 was a very rare day for me at least. It was a day where I was truly happy for once, thanks to music and the inspirational vibes that surround Kanye West. In the days prior, I experienced heartbreak, sadness, and an overall feeling of depression. But from 12am-1am I was finally happy and actually maintained a real smile on my face. Did an album by Kanye West cure me of my depression? No. However, it gave me insight into someone who I look up to who experiences similar problems.

The Bi-Polar disorder is something that’s been in my life for many years now because someone very close to me was diagnosed with it in the past. Since then, it’s been a part of my life and even helped me understand things better when I was diagnosed with my major depression and anxiety. Seeing Kanye West smile in front of his friends, family, colleagues, and press while presenting his newest piece of art is truly inspiring. Kanye West has had a rough period during 2017-2018 with constant press and quotes coming to haunt him when he just wanted to display his perspective on life and the inner workings of the world. After all the negativity and constant barrage of insults and abandonment from fans and friends, it’s good to see Kanye West smile and rise above all the negativity surrounding his life. Ye is not just an album, it’s an experience for everyone to discover.

Watching the live stream party in Wyoming reminded me heavily of 2016’s release of The Life Of Pablo which featured Kanye West presenting his new line of clothing and playing his album for the first time in Madison Square Garden. However, this time it felt more personal. I even joined my brother in watching some of this stream because Kanye West has always been someone we’ve enjoyed listening to and watching him progress through each album he releases. The release of Ye was truly inspiring because of the energy and happiness you could feel coming from across the country. One man did this by himself, Kanye West brought these people together for this special event. Whether or not you actually like Kanye West, one must admit this is quite the spectacle on paper and in execution.

The release of Ye taught me many things that I’ve been able to examine after my five listens of the seven-song album. But the biggest takeaway from this album is to be yourself and people will like you for who you, are not what they want you to be. For example: previously this year Kanye West took a very controversial political stance on United States politics and was attacked heavily for his thoughts and opinions, and yet here we are in Wyoming where he is surrounded by those who love, care, and support him. These individuals set their beliefs and the beliefs of Kanye West aside in order to show their allegiance to their friend and support him while he presents them with a once in a lifetime experience to hear this album live with everyone else.

This is exactly the type of positive actions we as humans should take in order to work towards a peaceful world. Take away the money, beliefs, and possessions and we’re all the same. Support your friends and family in life so they can accomplish amazing things and overcome the many obstacles that life will inevitably throw at them. Ye not only came out at an important time in Kanye West’s life, it also came out when I needed to feel like myself again. We all make mistakes, but it’s the mistakes that make us stronger and wiser. Ye is more than an album to me, it’s a statement on love and how people should be treated. Kanye West will return on June 8th with his collaborative album Kids See Ghosts with Kid Cudi. I’ve been looking forward to this type of project for more than five years now and if Ye was any proof of the type of Kanye West we will be seeing this year, I sincerely cannot wait for this new album to come out.

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3×3 Monday’s 5/28/18

Do It Now – Mos Def ft. Busta Rhymes

It took me a long time to get into Mos Def mostly due to my incompetence to listen to “good” music growing up. However, I’ve recently gotten into Mos Def and I enjoy quite a lot of songs by him today. “Do It Now” is without a doubt one of those songs I enjoy. I personally have a soft spot for rap songs that include duos who tend to rap back and forth. Artists like Kanye West and Big Sean is perhaps my favorite duo to do this, however, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes destroy it on the track. The sharing of the chorus is something I will always smile at when this song plays due to the perfect chemistry of these two rap legends.

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Blue Dream – Dance Gavin Dance

This weekend saw my feelings being exposed as “Blue Dream” was on repeat this week. This band was introduced to me by a few close friends and since then I’ve slowly become a fan of their work. “Blue Dream” is perhaps my all-time favorite Dance Gavin Dance song as it features vocalist Jonny Craig pushing himself to his limits vocal wise. While “Blue Dream” might be about a girl with blue eyes, it means a lot more to me. “Blue Dream” is a love ballad that I will always feel connected to. I cannot wait to see what Dance Gavin Dance has to offer next month with their new album Artificial Selection.

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I Was Never There – The Weeknd

My Dear Melancholy, is an EP that I believe was greatly overlooked compared to The Weeknd’s other releases. Nonetheless, this EP delivers on its name “Melancholy” with the song “I Was Never There”. This song could perhaps be one of my favorite songs this year especially with the production credit by Gesaffelstein. “I Was Never There” really captures the sound and image that The Weeknd first debuted with his notorious Trilogy albums. With sadness in his heart and depression in his head, The Weeknd perfectly details those feelings on this song and it shows. While the breaking up of him and Selena Gomez is undoubtedly the sole motivation of this sound, it could be considered a crucial moment in his life and subsequently his career which ultimately depends on his life experience. I hope to see The Weeknd happy again this year and come out with at least one more release before the year is over.

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Saturation 3 (Album) – Brockhampton

With Saturation 2 being one of my favorite albums of last year, Saturation 3 had high standards to beat in order to impress me. Unfortunately, after first hearing Saturation 3 when it was released I found it to still be inferior to Saturation 2. I decided to listen to it again this week and multiple occasions and found it to be more enjoyable than I first thought. Songs like “Alaska”, “Zipper”, and “Stupid” have really grown on me. Although I still find Saturation 2 to be their best album. With the recent removal of my favorite member, Ameer Vann I am curious to see how the group can continue after taking such a critical hit.

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Testing (Album) – A$AP Rocky

I have a love/hate relationship with A$AP Rocky’s music ever since he first debuted with LONG.LIVE.A$AP which I only really liked two songs from the album. However, two years later he would go on to release one of my favorite albums of all time with AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoy A$AP Rocky, A$AP Mob, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, and Testing. Testing is a very outlandish sounding album coming from someone like A$AP Rocky, except it somehow still works well as an A$AP Rocky album. The sampling he uses to craft most of the album makes it feel like a classic A$AP Rocky album. I plan to listen to this album more in order to get a better feel for it and might even revisit it after enough time has passed so that I may further evaluate and compare this album to his other work. Until then, A$AP Mob as a whole has yet to let me down and hope to see them do more collaborative and solo projects this year.

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Daytona (Album) – Pusha T

With King Push being renamed to Daytona, I’ve come to wonder what the album used to sound like back when it was King Push. Regardless, Pusha T delivers a solid album in 2018 and I am thoroughly impressed by this release. Being one of my most anticipated albums of 2018, it certainly didn’t disappoint by any means. With production by Kanye West and even a Kanye West feature, it’s good to see Kanye is still putting out quality work amongst all the recent criticism and debates. In 7 songs, Daytona delivers a short but sweet album that I have absolutely no complaints with. The lyrics, beats, and theme are all on point for a Pusha T album and I am glad this album was on par if not better than his last album which was King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude.

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The Nights – Avicii

This week I felt like some electronic “feel-good” music was needed and with the recent passing of Avicii, I decided to revisit some of his work. “The Nights” is very much so a “feel-good” song that shares an undertone of wisdom and experience. Taking into account the producer’s passing, songs like these seem to take on a dual meaning which in turn can give these songs a new purpose and story to tell. The passing of Avicii has only made his music more effective at invoking emotion through song and it is fully exemplified on “The Nights” where a father gives his son advice about remembering the good nights in life that we often would otherwise forget. Avicii was an amazing artist and his music continues to inspire fans like myself and many millions of others.

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Call on Me – Eric Prydz

Continuing this theme of electronic music for the week I decided to revisit Eric Prydz who many years ago produced some of my favorite electronic tunes. “Call on Me” is a very simple song that is filled with simple happiness. Coming out in 2004, this song samples the song “Valerie” by Steve Winwood in order to create the elementary yet enjoyable chorus. With a questionable music video and a great song, Eric Prydz really struck gold when he created “Call on Me” and it wouldn’t surprise me if his work was the foundation for this newer era of electronic producers.

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Halloween – Kodak Black

“Halloween” by Kodak Black is a song that I listen to on a daily basis and have on every Spotify playlist I’ve made. Is Kodak Black my favorite rapper of all time? No. However, he does know how to create dynamic songs that can be interpreted is great pieces of music due to his wild imagination and creative use of descriptions. Songs such as “No Flockin” and “Roll In Peace” further support my argument, however, “Halloween” is perhaps the best Kodak Black song to display this skill. Kodak Black is gritty and honest which in turn allows him to paint pictures with his words, this, therefore, allows for some truly great songs to come out every once in a while. I recommend “Halloween” to enjoy who enjoys a laid back rap song with an outstanding beat that will surely allow you to close your eyes and imagine what Kodak Black is going through on this song.

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Outkast

When talking about hip-hop, rap, and everything in between one cannot deny that music duos have changed the game by pairing two musicians who either share a common style or are a polar opposite to create a common sound. When this practice is well-executed it can lead to some of the most inspirational and outright amazing pieces of art to ever be released.

Outkast was the forefront duo in the 90’s and early 2000’s to help popularize experimentation in hip-hop. This unique sound helped earn them not only commercial success but also critical praise as well making them forever known for their uniqueness and ability to be creative.

Their first album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was released in 1994 and was certified platinum in 1995. The album was a huge success and opened up many doors that the genre always left closed, thus making this album a necessity for the further development of hip-hop. “Player’s Ball” which was their lead single it was more than enough to solidify their presence as a major game-changer before their album even came out. With hit songs coming out all the time songs like “Hey Ya!”, “Ms. Jackson”, “So Fresh, So Clean” and much more that show the talent and duo had.

The group itself would go on to until 2006 when they decided to go on hiatus and eventually André 3000 and Big Boi would go on to still be prominent features in music.  With Big Boi releasing Boomiverse in 2017 the duo’s solo careers have picked back up recently especially André 3000. André 3000 has even been introduced to a newer and younger audience by being featured on many albums of the last few years such as The Life of Pablo, Blonde, Birds in the Trap Sing Brian McKnight, and Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. Outkast is undeniably one of the best duo’s to ever exist and was a major influence on many musicians today but were they the best?

I’d honestly have to say yes; Outkast is the greatest duo of all time. With other duo’s such as UGK, Eric B & Rakim, and Mobb Deep being legends on their own; Outkast still comes out on top. Their ability to experiment and become unique when their genre started to get repetitive is what gave them the ultimate staying power during that time. Outkast has proved time and time again that they were the best by nailing every album release and receiving a huge amount of praise from critics and fans alike, the Grammy-winning duo deserves to be recognized as the best duo of all time.

Legends Pt.2

(I personally do not listen to Drake anymore due to his attack on Kid Cudi and repeated stealing of flows, however, my friend Ziggy Starscream has examined Drake and how he has impacted hip-hop.)

Drake is really important and made a huge impact for a decade but he just isn’t there for me. I have heard him really rap and he surely does on “Back 2 Back” which made me take another look at Drake and his talent. He’s brought an emotional side to hip-hop to soften it up and broaden the genre overall. Drake has been popular since I was in high school. Hell, before that if you consider his time playing Wheelchair Jimmy. He earned himself a lot of respect (and trophies) from not only me but fellow artists, critics, and fans alike.

But I really have a hard time saying he is top five rappers or artists in the genre all time. I just can’t put myself to have him there. For starters, that top tier of artists/rappers is very, very difficult to break into let alone even come to a consensus on. Tupac and Biggie are always auto-includes as both made great music and revolutionized the genre in an insurmountable number of ways. Would hip-hop even survive the decade if it wasn’t for those two? Bringing both of them in also represents the New York where the sound was born and raised as well as the West Coast that transformed and baptized the world with fire through its blistering sound.

Regional bias is a factor when forming a list of the top five. The Atlanta sound is the sound that is dominating popular hip-hop right now. Migos & Gucci Mane are huge right now and it’s been a sound that has had a death grip on popular hip-hop currently. “Atlanta” is one of the most popular shows on television about Southern Hip-Hop. So wouldn’t you need to have an ATL artist there too? But almost every time I look at people’s top five lists, rarely do they have a southern sound rapper on their list. Why?

This is where I believe forming this list past Biggie and Pac gets extremely messy. I think the first thing to say is what criteria are we judging a hip-hop artist/rapper to quantify “greatness”?

For me personally, there are several I can think of right now in no particular order:
1) Advancement of the Genre
2) Originality & Authenticity
3) Technical Skill, Ability to actually “Flow”
4) Wordplay, Metaphors. (do they have “those lines”?)
5) Staying Power
6) Respect from Fellow Artists
7) Respect from Fans
8) Respect from Critics of the Genre

Drake has 1 from the opening of the emotional side of hip-hop as well as 5-8. But I am not sure on 2, 3 and 4 because there are just so many other legends of the genre that have achieved all 8 of these criteria in my mind. Drake is good. He has his moments where he is really great. If I am thinking about his flow, how would he be able to hold up to an Eminem, Andre 3000, or Common? Does he really make you think the way a Kendrick or Nas would? Has he really changed the sound the way Dr. Dre, Wu-Tang, or Kanye has? Does he make you gasp with brilliant wordplay the way MF Doom or Rakim would? Does he have that ultimate swagger that Jay-Z exudes in his music? It is difficult to even be mentioned in the conversation as you can see.

I don’t believe that he is quite there. Awards, sales, and critical success are great but I just don’t see it as an accurate measurement to place Drake in that conversation. He has had ghostwriters in the past which should eliminate him from the best lyricist conversation in the first place. While I liked “Views” there were several lyrics that I swear could have been written by someone using a crayon (Turn that 6 into a 9? Really?). I don’t feel impressive when I can rap all the words to a Drake verse. It’s not that hard. His songs aren’t really about much. He has the party lifestyle and does all this fantastic stuff that hip-hop is criticized for glamorizing and produces music that lacks the depth to really counteract any of that image. He was good in an era that didn’t have many others to compete with other than Kanye and Lil Wayne.

As a result, Drake has been busy and rather prolific. He has been omnipresent in pop culture for a decade now but at a time when there was not much to compete against. His music lacks the depth of many others. Lyrically he would be hard-pressed to compete against more than a handful of artists. Drake has been good in a bad time of the genre. Just because he has been here for a long time doesn’t mean he is great.

-@Ziggy Starscream On Twitter and Instagram

The Rodeo

Music is a reflection of society, person, and time, however, sometimes an album comes out that transcends these three basic ideas. When an album surmounts these ideas they become legendary and almost mythic in thought. I felt this way in 2013 when Kanye West released Yeezus but it wasn’t until 2015 that I’d feel that way again.

Rodeo by Travis Scott is the album that overcame the three basic ideas and solidified itself as one of my favorite of all times, but why? With Rodeo being a trap record, it’s a little difficult to see it being impacting and emotional but yet Travis Scott beat these odds in only 16 songs. Rodeo is a timeless album with outstanding features and a deep narrative that makes it stand out more than any other trap album.

Travis Scott pours his heart and soul into Rodeo and creates a strong album out of it. Not many albums can easily make it into my top ten list but Rodeo certainly fits the bill. In order to understand Rodeo, we must discuss each song and what it attributes to the greater idea of the album.

Immediately, starting with “Pornography” the album kicks off into high gear with a voice-over by T.I. who describes the life of Jacques Webster and his journey to become Travis Scott and eventually leaving his mother’s porch. Travis Scott “is the leader of the stampede of lost souls” in this excerpt and instantly the tone of the album is set. Rodeo immediately embraces its trap and melodic sound with “Oh My Dis Side” which features frequent Travis Scott collaborator Quavo. This song comes straight out the gate with a combination of hype and dark tones that simply isn’t always done well on trap records. Travis Scott’s story about trying to leave his mother’s porch he resides at is deep, yet it’s shrouded by a positive and meaningful reflection of his past choices and his future outcomes because of these choices.

An emotional trap banger is essentially the start of this album and simply cannot be beaten. Travis Scott breaks musical norms within the first track and from there on out a masterpiece begins to form in Rodeo. Rodeo only gets better on the next song “3500” which happens to be one of the best songs of 2015. Travis Scott teams up with Future and 2 Chainz to deliver yet another hit on only the third song of the album. Every verse is meaningful and shows a new side of each rapper, a side that isn’t often explored. With “Wasted” and “90210” we further explore the psyche of La Flame and his journey to be where he’s at today, this idea is heavily reinforced on the sixth song “Pray 4 Love” which features The Weeknd.

Easily one of the greatest songs on Rodeo, “Pray 4 Love” explores the past of Travis Scott while boasting one of the greatest features by The Weeknd. “Pray 4 Love” is the epitome of feeling and emotion on Rodeo and from here on out Rodeo explores its hype side setting the feelings aside. “Nightcrawler” (which is my favorite song on Rodeo), is essentially nothing but hype with amazing features from Chief Keef and Swae Lee. The lifestyle and fame of La Flame is the center of “Nightcrawler” as Travis Scott parties his way through every verse and enjoys his lavish and well-earned lifestyle.

The next song on Rodeo features the one and only Kanye West. “Piss on Your Grave” is perhaps the angriest Travis Scott becomes on Rodeo and one can definitely tell this song was made with someone in mind. With Travis Scott leading the new generation of musicians on this song, their attack on corporate and executives is well justified as it’s time to let the kids run the game. Finally, the song that most know Travis Scott for, “Antidote”. The lead single from Rodeo is definitely a highlight of the album but sometimes still feels overplayed since it was seemingly an anthem for 2015.

Yet, Rodeo prevails and throws us right back into the moody and emotional phase with the final act of the album. “Impossible” is the fruition of the feelings that La Flame possesses. After “Impossible” comes one of the most unique pairings of all time; Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Justin Bieber. “Maria I’m Drunk” is a slow melodic song which boasts some of the most intriguing wordplays from Young Thug and a decent verse from Bieber. After the slow rhythm passes, Rodeo jumps into a more melodic and upbeat song with “Flying High” which is remarkably quite catchy after a while.

“I Can Tell” is the beginning of the end for Rodeo as Travis Scott begins to close out the album. As Travis Scott explores his past and realizes what brought him to where he is today. The album closes with “Apple Pie” which is the end of Travis Scott’s time on the porch. Travis Scott makes amends with his mother and informs her that he must go on alone to finally find what he was searching for all along; the Rodeo. With T.I. finishing out the album, we the listener are poised with the most important questions:

“Did he win? Will he survive the rodeo?”

And just like that Rodeo comes to a close and the journey of La Flame is complete. With Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight being a worthy successor to Rodeo and the eventual release of AstroWorld, Travis Scott has come a long way. From the porch, he’s gone on to debut at number one; selling 53,000 copies of Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight in the first week. I love Rodeo for what it stands for; Independence. The jumping off of the porch is the most essential part of Rodeo and is a nice parallel to life and having to eventually leave the past in the past and chase the future. Rodeo is the ultimate reflection of society, person, and time. Travis Scott made a masterpiece with Rodeo, and I for one cannot wait to see what we will experience in AstroWorld.

5 Anticipated Albums of 2018

With the first month of 2018 almost over I decided it was time to list my most anticipated albums of this year. While not all are confirmed nor necessarily set for 2018, I am looking forward to these projects regardless.

5. The Life of Desiigner

In 2016 I thought that Desiigner was one of the greatest things to happen to music this decade, and I stand by that statement even to this day. Desiigner has made some of my favorite songs such as “Tiimmy Turner”, “Outlet”, “Holy Ghost”, and “Overnight” and I cannot wait to see the album that accompanies some of these fantastic tracks. With numerous delays, The Life of Desiigner should be expected to drop soon, and when it does I can guarantee you I will be playing it nonstop.

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4. Frank Ocean Album

With Blonde and Endless coming out in 2016, multiple singles in 2017, and a promise made by Frank Ocean himself; a new album is almost guaranteed. It’s time to prepare the tissues and brace for a new Frank Ocean album in 2018. With Blonde being a worthy successor to Channel Orange, this new album has a monumental bar to raise to surpass Blonde but I firmly believe Frank Ocean can be the only person to outdo Frank Ocean. It’s about time for Frank Ocean season, and I for one cannot wait to hear what he has to put out.

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3. King Push

Pusha T was supposed to release King Push in 2017, however, due to what can only be considered as a need for more time, probably due to Kanye West nearly solely producing the album. With a strong work ethic and a desire for success, a delay from a Kanye West-related project can be expected, however, this doesn’t change my excitement for a new Pusha T album. With Pusha T being one of the most talented members of G.O.O.D Music, and a great release in 2015 with King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude along with major assistance from Kanye West I can see King Push surpassing all of my expectations in 2018.

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2. AstroWorld

With Rodeo being one of my favorite albums of all time I am excited to see AstroWorld come out in 2018. With a stellar verse about the album on Trippie Redd’s “Dark Knight Dummo,” it’s safe to assume Travis Scott plans on releasing AstroWorld relatively soon. Travis Scott’s latest project Huncho Jack with Quavo left me feeling quite disappointed in the repetitiveness and lack of creativity from two of the most current creative rappers in the industry. I truly hope Travis Scott can deliver yet another classic with AstroWorld in 2018.

 

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1. Everybody Wins

I love Kid Cudi and I love Kanye West and if this really is a collaborative album, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Kid Cudi and Kanye West are my #1 and #2 favorite musicians of all time respectively, so having a collaborative project is undoubtedly a dream of mine. Collaborative albums were a huge hit in 2017 so it’s easy to see Kanye West attempt to join in on the hype. With pictures, insider information, and the creation of a new Soundcloud account; Everybody Wins must be coming out sometime soon. With crossed fingers, this project will come out in 2018 and obviously make it into my top three albums of the year.

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OPINIONATED – Yeezus

Kanye West.

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.

Desiigner.

Everybody knew Desiigner last year, but do people still keep up with him? Is it possible to like any other song besides “Panda”? Is Desiigner even worth mentioning? Is he even going anywhere with his career?

The answers to all of these questions are yes. Desiigner is currently at the top of his game ever since “Panda” was released and every song since has only further solidified his purpose in the game. Desiigner is without a doubt my guilty pleasure but also acts as my role model.

While the rapper is actually a month younger than me, I still look up to him for his idea of self-expression. His quick words and fast rhymes remind me of myself when I talk which often results in a mumbled mess. His stories are gripping and his messages are haunting, which result in intoxicating and entrapping singles. With every song, you can feel the hype and triumph that surrounds his life as he discusses the low points in his life and the struggles he had to push through. In his fast and powerful lines, nothing ever hints that he had an easy life nor did he actively chose to live one. The rapper is simply a product of his success and desire to vocalize his statements to the world. Luckily enough, Kanye West was one of those men to listen. Continue reading

OPINIONATED – Why Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager is my favorite album.

I firmly believe that a mere six years ago, the best album in the world was released in my opinion.

In 2010 an album was released that was so ground-breaking it would forever change the way that I listen to music and also gave me a new purpose in life. At the time, I was only a casual music listener who just enjoyed whatever was playing on the radio in the car; that was until Scott Mescudi released his second studio album on November 9, 2010. The album is a mix of club music and emotion about a man who must overcome the biggest obstacle in life: himself.  It is without a doubt the darkest album that Cudi has ever released and it is a very welcomed follow-up to his 2009 debut album. With hooks and even features by some of the most influential artists of all time such as Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and CeeLo Green one can clearly see how influential this album would be to an awkward 13-year-old social outcast.

The album is the best because it appeals to feelings; the songs that really make you contemplate your life as well as wonder what Cudi felt and went through at the time of recording makes the album almost tangible and life-like. The album covers many different subjects like drugs, love, addiction, emotions, and even mental health. All of these personal aspects come across as endearing and tragic as Cudi tells you about his mistakes, regrets, and future. Not only does this album take you on a journey, it also gives the listener thoughts to ponder about and if you in any way love this album as much as I do, you’ll still be thinking about those thoughts to this day. There is no other album that I have listened to that made me laugh, smile, and cry as much as this one has. For the last six years, this album has given me the same experience every time I listen to it. The change of emotions that a listener goes through is absolutely insane and is a definite recommendation for someone who has not listened to this work of art yet. Continue reading