Kanye West — ye

Sasha Severtson, Reporter

If anyone has high standards for an album, it is Kanye West. The Chicago rapper has cemented himself as one of the generation’s greatest after making genre-defining albums such as Graduation, 808’s and Heartbreak and Yeezus.

When West finally dropped the self-named ye after a two-year hiatus, critics were quick to jump on the seven-track album. The rapper’s eighth collection received much backlash for its short runtime, spoken verses, controversial themes and unpolished sound. However, it is these traits that make it one of the most unique and best albums of the year.

Kanye has never been afraid of singing about contentious subjects as evidenced on the ground-breaking 808’s and Heartbreak. He continues this on ye in which he explores conflicted minds and mental illness.

The album opens with I Thought About Killing You which is an introspection into the dark side of thoughts- the ugly ones no one wants to admit they have but still must deal with. He continues this as tracks like Yikes and Ghost Town explore his internal struggles such as bipolar disorder, which he was diagnosed with in 2016.  He continues to open himself up on Wouldn’t Leave, which discusses the harsh criticism he is all too often familiar with and the mark it leaves on his confidence.

One of the traits that has allowed Yeezy to create consistently good albums is the unique sound of each. Ye continues the trend as he delivers verses with an almost conversational tone. This compels listeners to actually hear what he is saying. This slower speed is combined with the drawn-out, unpolished beats and soulful features of PARTYNEXTDOOR and Kid Cudi to embody the theme of introspection into a tortured mind.

“I think Kanye took his music in a new direction like always, and I really enjoyed it. The album had great production and features, such as Kid Cudi’s feature on Ghost Town. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely one of my favorite albums of the year,” said junior Anders Law.

Though the album did not reach the levels of success of his former projects, ye made a timely contribution to the rap genre by bringing attention to and opening up the discussion on mental health and addiction. The project’s overall quality and consistency is a hopeful preview for his next album Yhandi, which is set to release in 2019.