By Krista DeJulio & Ryan Fitzgerald – Co-Editors-in-Chief
It’s been almost three years since our lord and savior Kanye West released the darkest, craziest, most politically driven album of his career, “Yeezus.” It brought us “I Am A God” (in which he raps about croissants, the household staff, and his garage), “Bound 2” (an “1851 Chronicle” editorial staff favorite), and “Black Skin- head” (which was in an Animal Planet commercial). But what will this new album bring us?
Kanye’s new album has been renamed four times at this point. Initially, it was “So Help Me God,” then “Swish,” and then it was “Waves” for a hot second, but now it is titled “The Life of Pablo.” At first Kanye teased the name by mysteriously tweeting its new title “T.L.O.P.” He even offered a free pair of his signature Yeezy sneakers and tickets to his Yeezy Season 3 show at Madison Square Garden, where the album will debut for anyone who could guess what the four letters stood for.
No one was able to decipher the message, and he eventually let the world know. Kanye wouldn’t be Kanye if he didn’t do everything his way. He’s a writer, singer, rapper, producer, self-proclaimed rock star, and apparently a presidential candidate for 2020.
Kanye is angry but he’s focused and knows what he wants when it comes to music. Fellow rapper and producer Travis Scott, who has worked with Kanye, went as far as to say that the musical icon wasn’t sleeping or eating during the process of creating the album.
Mr. West would never release something if he didn’t think it was the greatest thing that could ever be released. That’s why he’s changed the name of the album four times, and only released a handful of singles since “Yeezus” (“FourFiveSeconds” has Rihanna on vocals and Paul McCartney on guitar and the music video for “Only One” features daughter North). More recent singles include “Facts,” where he goes after Nike (only Ye would make a diss record aimed at an entire brand), “Real Friends” which features vocals from Ty Dolla $ign, and “No More Parties in L.A.” featuring the prophet Kendrick Lamar (a collaboration we have only dreamed of). These songs give the feeling his newest album will be unlike his last installment “Yeezus.” But that’s Kanye – experimenting.
Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, Sia, Vic Mensa, and Post Malone are just a few of the names who offer up their vocals and raps for Kanye on the newest album. Who knows what else the music legend has in store.
The tracklist for “The Life of Pablo” is 10 songs, including “Real Friends,” and “Wolves,” a song featuring Sia and Vic Mensa, was first premiered on the “Saturday Night Live” 40th Anniversary Special last February.
At this point, Kanye could name his album almost anything and it wouldn’t matter; we’re still going to buy it and listen to it non-stop until our ears ring out.
The man has his moments of spontaneity. He is outspoken to the highest degree. He has made mistakes over the years. But not when it comes to his music. His music has been the furthest thing from a mistake. Unlike many musicians, there’s not one song on any album of his that’s easy to skip. We have firm beliefs “The Life of Pablo” will be no different.