Whatever your opinion of Kanye West is, you can’t deny that he has made some great music. The enigmatic figure, love him or hate him, loathe his manipulation of the media and outspoken personality, his relationship with Kim Kardashian, he’s an artist who has consistently released good music, whilst pushing boundaries and often changing perspectives. On ‘Kids See Ghosts’ he is joined by long-term collaborator Kid Cudi, who like Kanye is returning to music after battling depression.
Dark, twisted, extreme and epic all at the same time. This is how I responded when first asked what I thought of Kanye West’s newest album ‘Yeezus’, and several listens later my opinion hasn’t changed one bit. From the outset I think people knew this wasn’t going to be your typical Kanye album, and after revealing the singles ‘New Slaves’ and ‘Black Skinhead’ these thoughts were confirmed.
In his usual lavish style Kanye put them out via video projections in various locations across sixty-six countries, this was certainly something different and whole new experience for fans, gathering an unbelievable amount of expectation and hype around the album. Apart from the projections though and appearing on ‘Saturday Night Live’ once, the album had minimal promotion, West stating ‘with this album, we aint drop no single to radio. We aint got no NBA campaign, nothing like that. Shit, we aint even got no cover. We just made some real music.’ In a world were everything is pretty open and things are hard to keep a secret, this level of mysteriousness over the project definitely aided in catching peoples curiosity and attention. This all culminated on the official release date of June 18th, although the album was leaked by an unknown source four days earlier. Despite the leak though the album shot straight to number one in several countries, but has received a mixed reception by many. Some think it is a ‘masterpiece’ whereas others feel it is one of his ‘least compelling’ pieces of work, heres my view. It is certainly different compared to previous albums, but that’s where I feel people go wrong, because this project is incomparable to them, it is a completely different sound and focus point for Kanye and take the album on its own, with no outside influences, it’s a brave, bold and ultimately brilliant piece of work. He experiments with several sounds, going from a techno transient feel, to Jamaican ad-libs and jazz infused beats, to fast paced drums, and it works superbly like ingredients to an amazing smoothie that you thought would never work.