Lil Nas X – 7 EP Review

Lil Nas X has had quite the start in the music industry with “Old Town Road” being an 8x-platinum record and has become an anthem for multiple generations throughout 2019. Lasting on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 11 weeks has surely given the young artist some inspiration to outdo himself for his first official EP release of 7. Each song on 7 is shorter than three minutes and all have their own unique identity. It’s time to examine each song on Lil Nas X’s debut to see if he’s really worthy of the hype.

Old Town Road Remix

Not much can be said about this song that hasn’t already been said. This is one of my favorite songs of 2019 and definitely should be recognized as a country song on all accounts.

Panini

“Panini” is surely going to be Lil Nas X’s second big hit as it seemingly begs to be played on the radio. Supposedly, Lil Nas X accidentally took notes from Nirvana when making this song by interpolating the song “In Bloom”. This song is melodic, fun, and has the name of a sandwich thus meaning that it cannot do wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised if this song blows up and takes over the charts in the near future. This is probably my second favorite song on 7.

F9mily (You & Me)

This song is produced by Travis Barker and takes on a punkish vibe throughout it’s two minute and 43-second runtime which marks it as the longest song on the album. The song explores a family dynamic which has Lil Nas X explaining that he wants to find love and have a child with his lover. While he’s only 20 years old and one of the most known artists of the decade it is probably fair to assume that his love and child won’t be here anytime soon but in the end, he is allowed to dream after all. But besides his fantasies, this song has great production by Travis Barker and shows how flexible Lil Nas X is when it comes to experimenting in different genres.

Kick It

“Kick It” is the most self-realized song on the whole EP. On this song, Lil Nas X discusses his fame and the notorious Billboard issues that came with “Old Town Road”. He also mentions his infamous teasing of different tracks over the past few months, some of which weren’t featured on this project. With some slick rhymes and flow and a great saxophone on the track, “Kick It” is one of the better songs to be on this EP.

Rodeo

“Rodeo” stands out as one of the more controversial tracks on the EP because of its inclusion of Cardi B. Personally, this song is great in regards to Lil Nas X’s verse and chorus but the problematic area is the second verse with Cardi B. Her inclusion doesn’t really add much except an annoying voice to a decent beat. Cardi B could’ve been swapped for anyone and it would result in a more entertaining song. While someone like Travis Scott would be a dream feature on a song called “Rodeo”, one can only wish it could’ve worked out that way. Regardless, half of this song is enjoyable and the other half is just underwhelming.

Bring U Down

“Bring U Down” is the second punk/rock influenced song on 7 and a great song overall. Lil Nas X claimed that this song is about jealousy when it comes to others becoming successful in their respective industries. The lyrics support this claim because they’re simply doing exactly what Lil Nas X said, bringing people down by using evidence. This song is clever as it details something that happens often especially when it comes to celebrities. Lil Nas X has every right to be concerned about getting caught in a scandal in 2019 because it would inevitably ruin his career.

C7osure

This is the last new song to be featured on 7, and perhaps one of the best songs on the EP. It’s a full-on mood and definitely one to be listened to on repeat. The chorus even reminds me of the WZRD song, “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie” which features Kid Cudi wishing his partner was back with him. While oppositely, this song has Lil Nas X packing up his bags and leaving for a better life. The sound of this song is rather nice and hopefully can be furthered explored in another future project.

Old Town Road

Like the remix, this song has already been discussed in full by seemingly everyone. It’s catchy and fun just like every other song on this EP. While I wish there were more countryish songs on 7, I think it’s appropriate to be thankful for the remix we got of this song.

Overall, this EP is a great start for the young artist and I cannot wait to see where the success of 7 will take him moving forward. Lil Nas X has broken boundaries, released a solid EP, and an 8x-platinum song all within a year in an attempt to show that he’s much more than a one-hit wonder and that he plans on taking over the music industry with each release. I give this EP a high recommendation as it’s only 18 minutes long and each song is unique and filled with character by Lil Nas X.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

 

Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part IV

This is the fourth part of a multi-part release exclusively on this page. (link to the first part here, second here, and third here)  My friend Dan Glennon (@ZiggyStarscream) on Twitter and Instagram has been working tirelessly for many weeks to write these entries for my readers. I hope you all enjoy, and I present to you Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part IV. If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

DAMN: The Opine Comedy – Saint Kendrick’s Faustian Odyssey: Part One

Kendrick’s third album, ‘DAMN.’ is the most layered of his albums to date. There are actually multiple stories that this album tells as it is flushed with subtle details to the narrative of Saint Kendrick. From social and political commentary to cultural trends, Kendrick uses each song to make a point on a particular subject while interweaving a subtle narrative of the two paths that Kendrick had available to him after his first break into entertainment business success; the path of righteousness, atonement for moments of weakness, and growth into the Saint of Compton or to follow the material and gluttonous life that Lucy offers and succumb to the wickedness inside of him. Kendrick speaks of the human experience as well as the internal struggle inside him. ‘We’ put him on a pedestal and shoved him into the role of Saint Kendrick in the first place and now he speaks of his internal struggle and the consequences of his actions just as his ‘disciples’ deal with every day.

The best way to describe the mood that the album kicks off with is on “BLOOD” which is a dreamlike state. Kendrick speaks very slowly as if he had just woken from or fell into a deep sleep. The song is rather short as it serves as an intro/outro track to the two narratives. The fact that he is killed by a blind woman is symbolic in two regards. First is that a woman was the one that kills him; Lucy. But the additional fact of her being blind could symbolize ‘Lady Justice’ which is her most notable trait given the widely used figure of speech in American vernacular, “Justice is Blind.” This plays into the other key component in ‘BLOOD’; the outro featuring Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera and others quoting his lyrics to “Alright” from his previous album in a framing that makes him seem like another figurehead to place blame on for the rot of the inner city where in reality Kendrick is trying to rise above and be more than that figurehead that they portray him as. Saint Kendrick is trying to deliver his people out of the darkness and to the sunnier side of the American dream.

After the sample from Fox News, the song abruptly ends and leads into “DNA.” The blistering verbal assault from Kendrick is an affirmation of who he is and where he comes from as he proudly steps into the spotlight from the cocoon that had institutionalized him. He quickly fleshes out the world that he had come from and proclaims that he is, in fact, going to take what the world has given to him and use it. Kendrick acknowledges throughout the song the negative aspects of himself and his humanity and how he will not change for his circumstances because he is in those circumstances because of who he is in his DNA.

While largely about his upbringing and the effects of his environment on who he is as a person, Kendrick does not ignore the religious ties in the song:

“I was born like this, since one like this
Immaculate conception
I transform like this, perform like this
Was Yeshua’s new weapon”

-DNA

This little stretch is crucial to the character of Saint Kendrick. He is stating that he was chosen since birth to lead this movement which is a reference to Luke 1, in where an angel appeared to Mary and foretold of that she was chosen by God to bring his son into the world and his name shall be Jesus (paraphrasing here of course). One curious thing to me personally about the bible is that after the story of Jesus as a 12-year-old boy in the temple at the end of Luke 2, there is a nothing on the life of Jesus until the age of 30 with his baptism in the river Jordan. I have always thought about that 18-year gap of time. The Christian belief is that Jesus was all God and all Man. For all of his divinity, he was still but a young boy when he first showed that he was the Son of God. How would any normal human at that young an age could you imagine handling what Jesus had to? And he hadn’t even hit puberty! I personally believe that this gap of time could be Jesus struggling personally to accept the role that he has been given as the savior of man. Jesus was the Son of God but he still had to mature into adulthood just like any other man.

Kendrick was seen as the Son of Compton and just like Jesus in the temple at the end of Luke 2 with Kendrick’s first flash of talent and as well as establishing his voice in Section 80 he did not have the luxury to have a gap of 18 years because that was not the world we lived in. Kendrick’s ascension to his role as the Savior of Compton was gradual and chronicled through the social struggle in Good Kid mAAd City: A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar as well as the internal struggle in To Pimp A Butterfly. The world was a witness to Kendrick’s growth from childhood to a man willing to bear the weight of being the one to lead Compton and the culture forward to salvation. Kendrick ends the song with a prophecy of sorts:

“Tell me when destruction gonna be my fate
Gonna be your fate, gonna be our faith
Peace to the world, let it rotate
Sex, money, murder—our DNA”

-DNA

He speaks that he is doomed to the fate of destruction much as Jesus knew he

was to sacrifice himself to forgive the sins of man but also warns of the possible destruction of those around him if they surrender to their old ways that have institutionalized them inside the mad city.

The next song on the album, YAH, essentially shows the level of complete exhaustion that Kendrick has been dealing with. He speaks of how he is pressured for his thoughts and his actions are scrutinized to a level no one else can fathom. At the end of the song, he leaves one line “I know he walk the earth” which is an interesting line because it could be a reference to God himself as Kendrick has an encounter with him in How Much A Dollar Cost? Or it could be a reference to Lucifer but not in a personal sense as the character Lucy appears to be. Afterwards, he laboriously talks about falling back into the material world that he is climbing out of.

Kendrick unleashes his anger at the world and specifically the state of hip-hop in ELEMENT. Reveling in his state as the best rapper in the world he criticizes how other rappers’ potential is nothing close to Kendrick’s as he verbally beats down the game until he ends with “On my last LP I tried to lift the black artist / But there’s a difference between black artists and whack artists.” Biblically this connects to Jesus walking into the temple to find it turned into a market and not a place of worship. Both Kendrick and Jesus looked at the state of their pedestals to speak and preach from only to find it corrupted and distorted from its original purpose. At this point in Kendrick’s narrative as well as the New Testament both Kendrick and Jesus have now fully accepted their roles as leaders of something greater than themselves.
FEEL is the next song on the album and it is very reflective and presents Kendrick as the ‘wholly man’ with his own words instead of the extrapolation of text as is the case with Jesus (or lack thereof if it is assumed this struggle for Jesus’ coming to terms took place in the unrecorded 18 years). Kendrick is angry and struggling to understand how to control his anger. While he has assumed the role of Saint Kendrick already but the weight of influence can be a bitter burden. Focusing a lot of his material world anger out on the world that Compton and the black community by proxy are hampered by. The “school to prison pipeline”, government influence in the flooding of urban areas with drugs and even insignificant arguments such as who’s the best rapper are the objects of Kendrick’s judgment. He states that he knows he is the best and everyone knows he is the best in the world so that is why he is in the position he is in; the Savior of Compton. So why do people worry themselves with pointless endless arguments thinking about who is the best but not actually listen to what the artist is saying? Kendrick’s music is not only a perfect representation of this idea but on FEEL, he essentially screams it from the lyrics. A parallel to Tupac is stated by Kendrick when he is thinking about how Tupac was trying to tell the world his message but the world only heard his delivery. The path that Kendrick has chosen to follow both professionally, culturally and personally is one that has Tupac as the guiding post but he was killed at the age of 27 and now all Kendrick has to go on is what his image of “Tupac” would think and feel in the world they both came from.

Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part III

This is the third part of a multi-part release exclusively on this page. (link to the first part here, second here)  My friend Dan Glennon (@ZiggyStarscream) on Twitter and Instagram has been working tirelessly for many weeks to write these entries for my readers. I hope you all enjoy, and I present to you Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part III. If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

To Pimp A Butterfly: The Culture and the Cross

Okay now, this is the part where things get interesting. Let’s set the stage. Kendrick Lamar is a now established artist who is getting praised as the next Tupac. His conscious rhymes and storytelling are unparalleled to everyone out there today. With all of that, Kendrick had the mantle placed on him as he was pushed to the podium. Mic check, mic check, this is the new face of black culture in America; Kendrick Lamar. Now think about it this way. A young man in his early 20’s gets a huge influx of money, notoriety, prosperity and of course more responsibility. Kendrick reminds us frequently that is his merely a human being. These same stressors that ‘we’ deal with on a daily basis, Kendrick deals with too. Shoved into the spotlight and asked to hold the world, he retreated. This is an album of the internal struggle inside the real Kendrick Lamar as he deals with being asked to be the champion. He was introduced to be hip-hop’s savior. ‘Savior’ is a lot to ask of one man.

To Pimp a Butterfly is an extremely dense album full of themes, style, and ideology. From the production aspect, Kendrick brings sounds from all across the African-American culture. With jazz, funk, soul, r&b and various eras of hip-hop all being brought together, sonically it sounds like an opus to the black culture. Using situations in the political and social atmosphere during the release of the album in 2015, Kendrick creates the wasteland of circumstance that he leads the listener through on a journey of self-reflection as he, himself, wrestles with the weight of responsibility that he has been forced to bear.

Reflecting the world around him of police brutality, institutionalized racism, and social marginalization, Kendrick chronicles the aftermath of his success from his first album. He stole the crown as the greatest rapper in the world and the focus of the world turned onto him. Kendrick was the good kid that came out of Compton who made it out. The album is structured around a poem that is progressively revealed as the album continues. We are brought through multiple different arcs of how Kendrick dealt with the changes in his life and how he was seen as someone to vault forward the culture as the next great voice.

“I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence…”

The first stage takes place during the first three songs; ‘Wesley’s Theory’, ‘For Free? – Interlude’, and ‘King Kunta’. This is essentially the id response for Kendrick. His first thoughts are the glamorous benefits of his success. He could now get the cars and clothes he never could. VIP trips around the world with award shows. Kendrick could bring all the ones he met along the way. The good kid made it out of Compton and can lead the city with him to the promised land. Did I mention the money? Conversely weaved throughout those same songs is the institutional and social structures put in place through the pressure of those around him, bureaucratic influence or unspoken sociological rules that have been in American culture for generations that place black Americans in a position to fail.

“I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence

Sometimes I did the same…”

With his newfound success, Kendrick could come back to Compton as the king of hip-hop but he has yet to experience the backlash of his actions. This is where the second arc of the story is introduced. Kendrick realizes that he not only has fame and fortune but he now has influence socially and most dangerously, power. He tells us the story of how he brought his friends from back home to an award show only to have one of them attempt to rob some of the high profile events. The friend explains himself by saying how else would he respond? Never had he been around that type of wealth while he sees people in his immediate world struggling because of factors that are largely beyond their control? The other story we are told is one of Kendrick and a girl and her baby daddy.. Beautifully told through metaphors, Kendrick tells us of his sexual relationship with this young woman. Towards the end of the song, Kendrick reveals that this woman has a child with the man who killed Kendrick’s friend during the song ‘Sing About Me’ on Good Kid mAAd City and Kendrick is the reason that that man is now serving life in prison.

“I remember you was conflicted, misusing your infuence

Sometimes I did the same

Abusing my power full of resentment

Resentment that turned into a deep depression

I found myself screaming in the hotel room…”

Struggling with the weight of his responsibility and how easily he could abuse his newfound power, Kendrick contemplates how the world perceives him as opposed to how he is as a human being. Is he the voice that they think he is? Kendrick finds himself in moments of weakness where his actions produce real and tangible consequences.. Kendrick turns inward on his own consciousness to open up the past events that put him where he is today, mainly on the death of his friend during the story arc of Good Kid mAAd City. Despite this depression, Kendrick reminds himself of the world he comes from is one where the struggle was the environment. With a natural survival instinct and the tools to fight back, Kendrick really back.

“I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence

Sometimes I did the same

Abusing my power full of resentment

Resentment that turned into a deep depression

I found myself screaming in the hotel room

I didn’t want to self-destruct, the evils of Lucy was all around me

So I went running for answers…”

This is probably the most important portion of the poem as far as the underlying plot of Kendrick’s work as this piece is written to highlight. This is where we are introduced to the villain in Kendrick’s story; “Lucy.” She is personified as a wealthy, connected and beautiful woman who has taken an interest to Kendrick.

What’s wrong nigga?
I thought you was keeping it gangsta?
I thought this what you wanted?
They say if you scared go to church
But remember
He knows the bible too…

…My name is Lucy Kendrick
You introduced me Kendrick
Usually I don’t do this
But I see you and me Kendrick
Lucy Give you no worries
Lucy got million stories
About these rappers I came after when they was boring
Lucy gone fill your pockets
Lucy gone move your mama out of Compton
Inside the gi-gantic mansion like I promised
Lucy just want your trust and loyalty
Avoiding me?
It’s not so easy I’m at these functions accordingly
Kendrick, Lucy don’t slack a minute
Lucy work harder
Lucy gone call you even when Lucy know you love your Father
I’m Lucy
I loosely heard prayers on your first album truly
Lucy don’t mind cause at the end of the day you’ll pursue me
Lucy go get it, Lucy not timid, Lucy up front
Lucy got paper work on top of paper work
I want you to know that Lucy got you
All your life I watched you
And now you all grown up then sign this contract if that’s possible”

-’For Sale? – Interlude’

The bolded lines are the portion of the intro and Lucy’s monologue that reveals who she really is. Kendrick Lamar is not surprisingly a devout Christian as well as faith being a central piece of black culture. The first part is a reminder that ‘He’ knows the bible as well. This is referencing Satan or in this case, ‘Lucifer’. Clearly, Lucy was not talking about Kendrick’s biological father but God. The final part to unpack is the last line where Lucy asks Kendrick to sign a contract. The classic myth in American folklore is there is a crossroad down in the Mississippi River delta where you can go to meet with the devil who will grant you one wish in exchange for you signing away your soul. This legend has been around for well over a century (at least) and has been retold or paraphrased in countless ways. Borrowing the idea from this myth, Kendrick creates the character of ‘Lucy’ to be the embodiment of the devil himself.

“I remembered you was conflicted
Misusing your influence, sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screamin’ in the hotel room
I didn’t wanna self destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went runnin’ for answers
Until I came home…”

Kendrick watches his hometown struggle from his vaulted pedestal and knows that he can do something. He speaks during ‘Momma’ a verse that echoes the idea he spoke back on Section 80 but with the added idea that his distance has started to isolate him from the world that he called home:

“I know everything, I know myself
I know morality, spirituality, good and bad health
I know fatality might haunt you
I know everything, I know Compton
I know street shit, I know shit that’s conscious, I know everything
I know lawyers, advertisement and sponsors
I know wisdom, I know bad religion, I know good karma
I know everything, I know history
I know the universe works mentally
I know the perks of bullshit isn’t meant for me
I know everything, I know cars, clothes, hoes and money
I know loyalty, I know respect, I know those that’s Ornery
I know everything, the highs to lows to groupies and junkies
I know if I’m generous at heart, I don’t need recognition
The way I’m rewarded, well, that’s God’s decision
I know you know that lines from Compton School District
Just give it to the kids, don’t gossip about how it was distributed
I know how people work, I know the price of life
I know how much it’s worth, I know what I know and I know it well
Not to ever forget until I realized I didn’t know shit
The day I came home”

‘Momma’

While he helps his hometown as much as he can, Kendrick realizes that there is little he can do to change it for the better unless he takes a stand against the systems in place that poison the water in Compton and prevent it from blooming into what Kendrick believes it can be. He sees the people who want ‘realness’ from hip-hop but don’t look for it. He sees the political deadlock that he compares to nothing more than a gang war that plagues his hometown. Kendrick now sees everything and more importantly after seeing the pitfalls of those who came before him and the wasteland that his city has become as a result he sees the work of Lucy.

“I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence
Sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screaming in a hotel room
I didn’t want to self-destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers
Until I came home
But that didn’t stop survivors guilt
Going back and forth
Trying to convince my self the stripes I earned
Or maybe how A-1 my foundation was
But while my loved ones was fighting
A continuous war back in the city
I was entering a new one…”

Kendrick became increasingly angry as he saw more and more things eating away at his city from the inside. He became cynical and jaded. One night as he was leaving a gas station Kendrick was approached by a homeless man who asked for a single dollar. Kendrick went to his car and closed the door but he did not leave as for some reason these two men had their eyes locked and could not look away. The homeless man spoke to Kendrick with a pointed and prophetic choice of words.

“He said, “My son, temptation is one thing that I’ve defeated
Listen to me, I want a single bill from you
Nothin’ less, nothin’ more…

 

…Starin’ at me for the longest until he finally asked
Have you ever opened to Exodus 14?
A humble man is all that we ever need
Tell me how much a dollar cost?”

-’How Much A Dollar Cost?’

Now to understand this reference it is necessary to have the prior knowledge of the biblical story of Exodus where Moses leads the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt with a few verses in particular that are especially poignant. This story applies to Kendrick in this particular situation as he is being viewed by the world as someone who is meant to lead the entire culture forward. However, unlike Moses, this is not something he has chosen to do. Beyond the weight of the cross but he walks through the desert with Lucy following closely behind. Kendrick has embraced his selfishness and put his self-preservation into the forefront of his mind. Walking the soft and gradual path into Lucy’s arms, Kendrick is pulled back by something unexpected from this homeless man.

My selfishness is what got me here, who the f*ck I’m kiddin’?

So I’ma tell you like I told the last bum, crumbs and pennies

I need all of mines, and I recognize this type of panhandlin’ all the time

I got better judgement, I know when nigga’s hustlin’

Keep in mind, when I was strugglin’, I did compromise

Now I comprehend, I smell grandpa’s old medicine

Reekin’ from your skin, moonshine and gin

Nigga your babblin’, your words ain’t flatterin’, I’m imaginin’

Denzel be lookin’ at O’Neal

Cause now I’m in sad thrills, your gimmick is mediocre, the jig is up

I seen you from a mile away losin’ focus

And I’m insensitive, and I lack empathy

You looked at me and said, “Your potential is bittersweet”

I looked at him and said, “Every nickel is mines to keep”

He looked at me and said, “Know the truth, it’ll set you free

You’re lookin’ at the Messiah, the son of Jehova, the higher power

The choir that spoke the word, the Holy Spirit, the nerve
Of Nazareth, and I’ll tell you just how much a dollar cost
The price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss, I am God”


-’How Much A Dollar Cost?’

After this incident, Kendrick has a new outlook on his role in the world. He knows that he has power and a voice that can be heard. Taking a strong stand against colorism inside the black community, gang violence, public perception of black people, and police brutality. Kendrick makes an observation that while there are systems in place to hold back the black culture and neighborhoods however he also sees that the culture is not helping itself with the way it currently lives in American society.

“I been wrote off before, I got abandonment issues
I hold grudges like bad judges, don’t let me resent you
That’s not Nelson-like, want you to love me like Nelson
I went to Robben’s Island analysing, that’s where his cell is
So I could find clarity, like how much you cherish me
Is this relationship a fake or real as the heavens be?
See I got to question it all, family, friends, fans, cats, dogs
Trees, plants, grass, how the wind blow
Murphy’s Law, generation X, will I ever be your ex?
Floss off a baby step, mobbed by the mouth a bit
Pause, put me under stress
Crawled under rocks, ducking y’all, it’s respect
But then tomorrow, put my back against the wall
How many leaders you said you needed then left ’em for dead?
Is it Moses, is it Huey Newton or Detroit Red?
Is it Martin Luther, JFK, shooter you assassin
Is it Jackie, is it Jesse, oh I know, it’s Michael Jackson, oh

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
That nigga gave us Billie Jean, you say he touched those kids?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?”
-’Mortal Man’

With little guidance as he stepped into this role, he turned back to his role model and his similar path. In what can only be described as a prayer, Kendrick completes the poem and reads it to Tupac Shakur. Kendrick asks Tupac several questions in some ways to lead the people from the desert. Finding some sense of comfort from this discussion, Kendrick reads one more poem that was written by a friend of his that inspired the album.

“I wanted to read one last thing to you. It’s actually something a good friend had wrote describing my world. It says:

‘The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it
Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this mad city
While consuming its environment the caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive
One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him, but praises the butterfly
The butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness, and the beauty within the caterpillar
But having a harsh outlook on life the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits
Already surrounded by this mad city the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes him
He can no longer see past his own thoughts
He’s trapped
When trapped inside these walls certain ideas start to take roots, such as going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city
The result?
Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant
Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the eternal struggle
Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.’

What’s your perspective on that?
Pac? Pac…? Pac!”
The interesting thing about this album, planned or not, is that Kendrick was 27 years old when it was released. Tupac was killed when he was 27 years old. In a state of silence afterward, as the album comes to an end Kendrick realizes that beyond this point, he is alone in walking this path but embraces all that comes with it. At this point, Kendrick is anointed and from here onward he walks as Saint Kendrick.

Artificial Selection

Dance Gavin Dance has had an interesting career so far. After 13 years and many line-up changes, the band continues to strive and prosper into 2018 with Artificial SelectionArtificial Selection was supported by four singles, three of which are some of my favorite songs by the band. “Midnight Crusade” is without a doubt with my favorite of the four and has become a song I’ve come to love. “Midnight Crusade” is perhaps my favorite song on the album too due to its impressive vocals from Tilian Pearson. After only being a Dance Gavin Dance fan for about a year, I must say they have become one of my favorite bands in such a short amount of time. Artificial Selection only further maintains my opinion on the group.

Artificial Selection works well not only as an album but also as a collection of songs itself. Songs like “Midnight Crusade” and “Care” are just a couple that can stand on their own as singles as well as album tracks. The 14 song album is a very pleasant surprise and exemplification of the bands long and prosperous career. Every track on this album deserves its place especially a song like “Count Bassy” which I could consider one of my favorite songs of this year. Dance Gavin Dance not only deliver a stellar album but a worthy addition to a career filled with hits and misses. If Artificial Selection is any indication, Dance Gavin Dance can continue to be one of the few 2000’s bands to make it past 2020 and still stay relevant.

Artificial Selection has made me jubilant to call myself a fan of Dance Gavin Dance. I truly have very minimal issues with this album and only find two songs I would actually consider skippable, however, my criticisms are minor as my main one would just be questioning some choices the band made lyrically. With Dance Gavin Dance becoming one of my favorite bands of all time, I cannot wait to see the reception of this album and how it affects any future releases. I have faith that they will continue this style and sound into the next album especially keeping Tilian Pearson around. Until then, I will surely be playing this album until that day comes.

 

Kids See Ghosts Review

As the Cruel Summer continues, I decided to turn this week’s planned 3×3 Monday into yet another Kanye West-related album review. Next Monday should be the return to 3×3 Monday’s as I have a lot of different genres and songs to share. Here’s my track by track review of the new Kid Cudi and Kanye West album titled Kids See Ghosts.

Feel the Love

Kids See Ghosts starts off explosively with the opening song “Feel the Love”. “Feel the Love” begins with a clever and enjoyable introduction from Pusha-T which then evolves into Kanye West seemingly channeling his inner Desiigner combined with the “scoopty woop” vibes from “Lift Yourself” to create a unique and loud chorus to challenge Kid Cudi’s simple and melodic chorus. This song is without a doubt a hell of a way to introduce one of the most anticipated albums of all time. “Feel the Love” seems like the best way to set the youthful and personal tone that this album will take throughout its seven-song course. But the hype doesn’t stop here as it’s simply building up to another great song which is “Fire”.

Fire

If “Feel the Love” was a precursor to the hype levels of Kids See Ghosts, “Fire” subsequently is ultimately the payoff of this buildup. The song features both Kid Cudi and Kanye West reverting to their roots to deliver some serious and suave rhymes accompanied by a simple yet fun beat. Since both started off as rappers and have both gone on to invent and perfect their own sound, this return to form is beautiful. With Kid Cudi doing his usual chorus routine, “Fire” is inevitably what the name suggests. This is one of my favorite songs of this year especially due in part to the nostalgia I get when hearing my idols in their purest form once more.

4th Dimension

If “Fire” was any indication, Kid Cudi, and Kanye West once again continue this back-to-basics pattern into their next song “4th Dimension”. This song features a gospel drum beat over a sample from a Louis Prima’s song “What Will Santa Claus Say”. “4th Dimension” is seemingly a timeless classic as 1936 meets 2018 with the help of Kanye West’s immaculate sampling techniques. The powerhouse duo glides over the beat to deliver yet another memorable song on Kids See Ghosts. Kanye West once again displays that sampling can give life to songs that people otherwise wouldn’t know. This creativity is definitely a highlight of this 23-minute project.

Freeee

Unfortunately, if I had to pick my least favorite song from Kids See Ghosts, it would have to be “Freeee”. While this song is still great on its own, it’s the one song I find myself listening to the least out of the seven. “Freeee” is technically a sequel to “Ghost Town” from Ye, however, it fails to live up to the extraordinary sound and feeling that came from the original. With yet another Ty Dolla $ign feature, Kids See Ghosts could be better off without “Freeee”. I personally believe “Ghost Town” and “Freeee” should’ve been switched but regardless, it’s still a song to find enjoyment in.

Reborn

“Reborn” has got to be the best song on this album hands down. Taking Kid Cudi’s ability to slay any chorus combined with the sincere and down-to-Earth Kanye West we got from Ye is simply a recipe for greatness. Kid Cudi and Kanye West deliver perhaps their best song together of all time with “Reborn”. The message is powerful as Kid Cudi reminds us all to keep moving forward in our search for eternal peace and happiness that we all seek to find in life. This deep message combined with a catchy and dreamy beat is truly the best part of Kids See Ghosts. This constant suggestion to keep moving forward is something that has and surely will stick with me for the rest of my life. This song brings a tear to my eye as it allows me to see the possibilities that life has to offer. Even when life is at it’s absolute worst, it’s important to keep moving forward.

Kids See Ghosts

After the masterpiece that is “Reborn” we enter the final two songs of Kids See Ghosts. With a chorus by Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, the duo decide to go off on their second to last song. The self-titled song is well deserving of the name especially when you take into consideration the relaxed first verse from Kid Cudi that leisurely transitions into an amazing verse by Kanye West who then raps over the smooth beat. This song is very slick and mellow as each of the three rappers lend their voice to increase the level of suave that they have to offer on this track. The highlight of this song has to be the bridge by Yasiin Bey.

Civilization without society
Power and wealth with nobility
Stability without stasis
Places and spaces
Civilization without society
Power and wealth with nobility
Stability without stasis
Spaces and places

With all things considered, this song is perhaps the smoothest and most calm song on this album, which is absolutely refreshing. After this song ends we start the beginning of the end of Kids See Ghosts.

Cudi Montage

“Cudi Montage” is disputably Kid Cudi at his best. While this song is about the rising rates of violence and crime in the world, it also serves as a reminder that we can all be “saved”. With Kanye West detailing the unfortunate and all too real cases of violence in America and around the world, we’re offered refuge by Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Mr. Hudson in the chorus. Their chorus is about staying strong while asking for forgiveness and assistance when it comes to beating the odds in their lives. This touching ending to an amazing album is a reminder that we can all beat the odds and be better people if we actively apply ourselves and seek out the positive people in the world. As I stated in my article about Kids See Ghosts, this album is ultimately about the friendship between Kid Cudi and Kanye West. Their friendship is the ideal example of the transcendental relationship we all seek to have with others in life. “Cudi Montage” ends the story of Kids See Ghosts on a positive and uplifting note that shows friendship and love will always overcome hate and adversity in life.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Feel free to contact me for anything too! Thanks for your continued support! Also, give my Facebook Page a like for updates and notifications for all my future releases.

Favorite Song Friday #4

6/8/18

“Pyramids” – Frank Ocean

https_%2F%2Fimages.genius.com%2F77cebfecfb97c4314570e91f58e3f5c6.1000x1000x1.png

Very rarely does a song come around that can make you feel nearly every emotion over the course of it’s run. “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean is from his debut album channel ORANGE which came out in 2012. This song can honestly only be explained to someone as an experience that must be explored. “Pyramids” feels like a movie after several listens as Frank Ocean gracefully details every aspect of his story about a pimp who falls in love with a client. However, this story is told through using metaphors and comparisons to Cleopatra and her time as a ruler. “Pyramids” is one of the few songs to come out this decade in the R&B genre that I can affirmatively say is worth listening to. With two albums and an astonishing track record, Frank Ocean is definitely on the way to officially becoming the 2010’s R&B icon in my opinion.

“Pyramids” works so well because of its ability to break away from the standard paradigm of R&B story-telling. This song will make you feel many emotions over the course of almost 10-minute runtime. Emotions such as love, hype, and sadness are just a few of the many that I can name that relates to the story of “Pyramids”. The active comparison of prostitution to Cleopatra is quite clever when further investigated, especially relating to the seemingly intriguing fact that Cleopatra has been a relevant topic amongst American media for quite some time now. “Pyramids” is undeniably the standout track on channel ORANGE due to its complexity and replayability factor, however, I must also recommend “Pink Matter” and “Bad Religion” if you’ve never heard the album before. Until Frank Ocean releases another great album you can rest assured that “Pyramids” is my favorite Frank Ocean song and perhaps one of my favorite songs of the decade.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part II

This is the second part of a multi-part release exclusively on this page. (link to the first part here)  My friend Dan Glennon (@ZiggyStarscream) on Twitter and Instagram has been working tirelessly for many weeks to write these entries for my readers. I hope you all enjoy, and I present to you Saint Kendrick: The Cinematic Nature of Kendrick Lamar Part II. If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Thanks for your continued support!

Each of Kendrick Lamar’s albums adds to his overarching narrative of his life and how he lives in it. There is progress in each album as Kendrick grows into his role as the voice of hip-hop but also as an icon of a culture. To truly understand how his works’ impact and originality, the storyline must be placed in less subtle and symbolic way to be fully understood. Kendrick does not make this storyline explicit or easy to understand. Through wit and wordplay is his mastery of the craft, as well as an understanding of the context of the world, is he able to develop his world.

Section 80 introduced Kendrick Lamar to the hip-hop world and helped to place him on the radar of popular culture long before being in the center of it. His foresight into his trajectory in his storytelling, intentional or not, is astounding. This album is where Kendrick introduces himself and a taste of the world around him. Keisha is the first character outside of himself that Kendrick introduces into his world. A young girl who moves on to prostitution at a very young age. As her story progresses she finds herself involved with a variety of clients, run-ins with police as well as one client that would take her life. Keisha was murdered and left to die on the street. Kendrick wrote this song to tell her story to his little sister. Kendrick does not come from a good place in the world but he acknowledges that he is capable of improving it. The theming of the narrative is formed in its infancy; the Good Kid in the mAAd city that becomes something greater than himself and his struggles with understanding his place in the world. As a human being, the same as you and I, he could have been a victim or a savior of the place he came from and the people he stands for. He understands that he is a rarity to break from his early living environment. Kendrick knows that for some reason be it religious, coincidence or just dumb luck that he has been given this opportunity to speak but also with the fame and fortune that goes along with it. He could have developed into another “what happened?” in the allure of the dark side of fame and the wickedness of the world. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions after all. Or could his follies merely be moments of weakness that he can learn from and continue upward with more experience than before.

Now the full story can actually be told.



The Good Kid in the mAAd city: Setting the Stage

 

The second album’s full title is ‘Good Kid mAAd city: A short film by Kendrick Lamar.’ There are many people who would be great at reading into the deep intricacies of every plotline and seeing all the cryptic messages unfold. Often times the voyeur of these symbols and messages will heap unwarranted, over-blown, under-supported or even just seeing much more than is there. A good example of an artist playing with this idea is the famous painting by René Magritte, The Treachery of Images. Magritte pained what appears to be a pipe with the caption painted below, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”, French for “This is not a pipe.” The paradox of the image to the words painted below create a strange combative nature between the image and the words as they still share the same space on the canvas. The open-air interpretation of a vague contradiction could start in one part of discussion and end in an entirely separate place. This painting is a perfect example of an artist hiding a message and allowing for human curiosity and imagination to pull meaning from it themselves. Presenting a narrative in a piece of art is often done in a subtle, nuanced way.

MagrittePipe
Good Kid is not one of those times.

Kendrick states from the beginning that at the beginning that this album is to be listened to as if it was a film. The bars were to be seen as the script and you listen for the scenes. The brilliance of that is for this transformative technique of the media demands that his wordplay is at a high enough level to make a vivid picture of what was going on in each scene. Tied together by skits in between to lead to the next scene, the audience’s mind is placed into a different realm if reception; that of a film as opposed to that of a piece of music. To understand what the album is talking about in each song, the context must be established. This requires the audience to be an active listener and most importantly, listen to the context of the album itself. Essentially, sit back and listen to the movie. As his first major debut album, Kendrick established a precedent for his future works being conceptual and requiring an active listening experience. With a huge commercial success with this idea in mind of active listening and an album as a whole, Kendrick’s future works coming from the same conceptual, holistic approach would be readily accepted and the audience would be prepared to take in as more than just a few tracks tied out over wax. This is the very foundation of the cinematic nature of Kendrick Lamar; we are brought in through a movie and each continuation is seen as such.

The narrative of the album is that of a day in the life of Kendrick’s character inside of Kendrick’s world. Through the slice of life story that Kendrick shares, he shapes a vivid image of what it was like to grow up in Compton and how it shaped Kendrick’s view of the world and how it blended into Kendrick’s world that he was building and opening to us. It is important to understand that the ‘Kendrick Lamar’ in the album’s storyline is not actually Kendrick Lamar. The story takes place as an amalgam of Kendrick’s experiences growing up in Compton. Compton’s lifestyle is long chronicled in hip-hop. By taking a collection of life events he experienced growing up in that environment, he developed a chain of events that stemmed from Kendrick’s decisions navigating through the world. He created a plot.

The actual plot of the album is one that is actually not a ground-breaking concept. Movies like Boyz in the Hood and Straight Outta Compton have given us a window into the lifestyle. By giving us a window the mind now has images to associate with a storyline of similar ilk. The idea of “a day in the life” wasn’t even new to hip-hop; Ice Cube did that already. What differentiates Good Kid? Kendrick presents himself as the total antithesis someone buying into gangster aesthetics and appeal. Kendrick never wanted to be like them but he grew up around it and his authenticity shows. The album takes a new spin on several old concepts which simultaneously gives credence to those who came before Kendrick while in turn, the established artists welcome him.

As for the content of this piece, there are only small segments of this album that actually are continued and weave the real story that Kendrick tells through his future pieces. First, the album starts off with young men praying for forgiveness and promising to follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps. The religious overtones are immediately established. The very first lines from his first major album release are his prayers to God, asking for forgiveness. Christianity and the story of Christ and these religious references are the glue that binds Kendrick’s narrative. While this album merely brushes the idea into the story of the good kid, the ideology is now established.

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.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Feel free to contact me for anything too! Thanks for your continued support!

OPINIONATED: 5 of the Most Essential Hip-Hop Songs

I’m making this list as a guide for people to follow. This first version of this list is my top five current favorite songs of all time. I hope you at least listen to one of these songs after reading! If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Feel free to contact me for anything too! Thanks for your continued support!

5. Still D.R.E. – Dr. Dre

Every once in awhile we need to be reminded who we are in life, however, we should never forget who the Doc is. “Still D.R.E.” is that exact reminder of who Dr. Dre is and the role he played and continues to play in music. This song from his 1999 album, 2001 is and will forever be a statement of why Dr. Dre deserves to have his name in the history books. With a smooth feature from Snoop Dogg, this track captures everything about G-Funk music and releases it with enough power and suave that is almost impossible to beat. This song is the ultimate testament to having street cred especially when it comes to California.

DrDre-2001.jpg

4. Gangsta’s Paradise

“Gangsta’s Paradise” is an absolute essential when it comes to hip-hop music especially from the 90’s era. Coolio really gave his all when it comes to this song, which has been known for being a critically acclaimed and commercial success. Coolio’s depiction of a gangsta’s paradise has been implemented into the minds and hearts of many specifically myself. Over the years, this song has made more and more sense to me as I began to understand the lyrics and the realism that Coolio details on this track. Very few songs have me revisiting them with age, however, “Gangsta’s Paradise” is one of the few exceptions. I must recommend this song to everyone even if you aren’t a fan of rap music and it’s meaning. This song I believe is universal in nature and is able to be enjoyed by almost everyone.

99e8276ca861701389053f2279426033.1000x992x1.jpg

3. Stan – Eminem

“Stan” is one of the greatest rap songs of all-time. This story of a man who essentially is the biggest fan of Eminem is heartbreaking and realistic every time I hear it. The story is powerful and teaches us a good lesson that we should give people time because they are more than likely busier and still attempting to make an effort to talk to you. Another blatant lesson of “Stan” is to simply not be a “Stan” of an artist to the point of it resulting in killing yourself for his attention. With a sampling of Dido and an emotional tale to boot, “Stan” will always be my favorite song by Eminem, while also being one of the most essential songs of all time.

Marshall Mathers LP

2. All Of The Lights – Kanye West

“All Of The Lights” is a certified classic and forever will be in my book. This Kanye West anthem is without a doubt my favorite song from him for many reasons, mainly the beat. The beat is composed mainly of trumpets, drums, and piano to create a chilling theme to an already amazing album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “All Of The Lights” is the culmination of Kanye West’s hard work up to 2010. And yet, eight years later this song still holds up and surprisingly is still my favorite song by him even having released three albums since then. This Grammy-winning song deserves all of the praise it’s been given since it’s release and any further praise it will certainly garner in the future. With features from Rhianna, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Drake, The-Dream, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Elly Jackson, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, and Charlie Wilson there’s no wonder why this will always be a staple of hip-hop music.

268x0w.jpg

1.Mr. Rager – Kid Cudi

My all-time favorite song is without a doubt “Mr. Rager”. This tale of fighting your demons is timeless and always gets me out of a slump because it helps me in understanding people and the problems we all suffer from. I treat this song as if it was a religion, I put my faith, praise, and soul into “Mr. Rager” because it’s the one song above the rest to guide me in life. “Mr. Rager” has never failed to help me, therefore, I have to make it the number one slot on this list. However, this song should be treated as an experience instead of just a song. Listen to this song with an open mind and let the music paint the story in your mind. I feel like it will be impossible for me to ever find a song I would consider greater than this one, however, with Kid Cudi releasing new albums every few years anything is possible.

14137476a886859359839ede660df307.1000x1000x1.jpg

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.

If you like and enjoy the content that I have to offer please consider liking, following, and/or commenting on my posts. It really means a lot. Feel free to contact me for anything too! Thanks for your continued support!