Review: Yeezus

The music production on Yeezus is cutting-edge, brilliant and unlike anything out right now.  It’s heavy, it’s complex and it prompts the listener to either rage or just dance.  DJ’s are going to get a LOT of mileage off this album, much like ‘Watch the Throne’ did.  If you’ve ever been somewhere, anywhere when ‘Niggas in Paris’ plays, you know that song makes typically normal, rounded people go buck-wild and act like idiots.  ‘Yeezus’ is so promising right up until the second Kanye opens his mouth.

To quote Samantha Bee on the Daily Show, “My father was a longshoreman with Tourette’s, and what came next would have made him blush like a schoolgirl.”    I’m not so naïve to believe that I wouldn’t at some point on this record be offended by the lyrics.  I’ve listened to hip-hop long enough to know I should expect a derogatory attitude towards women bordering on misogyny, bragging about owning luxury cars/watches/yachts, statements about the superiority of their skill set and how they’re still real despite belonging to the 1%.  However, Kanye not only steps over a certain gray line, he shits all over it then uses women to walk across his shit-stream to avoid getting his shoes dirty.

From ‘I am a God’:

I just talked to Jesus
He said, “What’s up, Yeezus?”
I said, “Shit, I’m chilling
Trying to stack these millions.”
I know he the most high
But I am a close high
Mi casa, su casa
That’s that cosa nostra
I am a God (x3)

No, seriously, those are the lyrics.  Can’t even make this shit up.  It gets better in parts, but it also gets worse, like when he talks about fisting a girl (Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign/’I’m in it’).  I’m not even talking about the screams he has on a couple songs that’s gotten a lot of people’s undies in a bunch.  The screaming is fine.  Well, the screaming is terrifying but it has its place on the songs.  A little research sheds very important and interesting light on the matter: Half of the lyrics for the album were recorded in two hours.  Meaning most of the help he had on the songs prior to that last-minute deadline was dedicated to the music itself.  They likely didn’t hear the lyrics over the music until the record was finished.  They were probably more disappointed by the album than anybody.

I feel completely justified in my expectations of this record.  ‘My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy’ was a masterpiece that helped to define an era in hip-hop, that helped West to bounce back from a lesser, imperfect effort uncharacteristic of his production abilities.  His production help he enlisted for ‘Yeezus’ are among the industry elite.  Who else can get Daft Punk and Rick Rubin to work on the same record?  If anything, this album proves that producers can only do so much.

Oh, and if you’re stressing about the sacrilege of a song where Kanye claims to be “a” God and not “the” God, where he claims a direct hotline with Jesus, he assigns ‘God’ half the credit on ‘I am a God.’  I don’t know what God’s cut is, or if this ‘God’ that is credited is the traditional Abrahamic monotheistic God or Kanye’s alter-ego ‘God’ making a place in a newly announced polytheistic branch of…is it still Christianity?  Time may tell.

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One thought on “Review: Yeezus

  1. If you’re looking for a more…let’s call it “educated” view on “Yeezus,” see what Lou Reed (of all people) has to say about it. My two favorite parts:
    “…why he starts the album off with that typical synth buzzsaw sound is beyond me, but what a sound it is, all gussied up and processed. I can’t figure out why he would do that. It’s like farting. It’s another dare — I dare you to like this. Very perverse.”
    and
    “He starts off cool on that track but he winds up yelling at the top of his voice. I think he maybe had a couple of great lines already written for this song but then when he recorded the vocal, but then he just let loose with it and trusted his instincts. Because I can’t imagine actually writing down most of these lines. But that’s just me.”
    Pretty much sums it up, but if you want to read the whole thing, you can find it here: http://thetalkhouse.com/reviews/view/lou-reed

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