Kanye West's 6th album "Yeezus" was released on June 18th, 2013, and I finally picked up a copy.
I can't lie...I automatically felt like he was pulling a fast one. Putting out a CD with no cover art, no labels, no track listing, and no nothing...but a price tag and a lyrical warning label. Then I was annoyed with that big piece of orange tape at the side that is now ripped and sticky and gross, and makes my brand new blank case look old like something from 1995. Then I listened to the first track and was like...WTF?
First thoughts: is Kanye trying to prove something? That we'll still buy his album with no promotion, and have it sound like GARBAGE and still have it hit the charts? Arrogant. Over the top.
And then I realized that I had done just that. I had bought the album just because it existed, and because I'm a Kanye fan. And that even though the first few tracks sounded like hot noise, that I would still play the disc on repeat for the next week or so until I fully tried to understand his artistic genius.
I can sense his passion. His desperation. His creativity. His confidence. His insecurity. There is something about Kanye's soul that I really really dig. Regardless.
The album...not so much. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'll listen to it UNTIL I like it, or at least tolerate it. Or worst case scenario, I'll put in on the shelf with countless others that never make the heavy-rotation of my car, and just wait until the music videos come along and make the singles a little easier to tolerate.
I listen to new albums (when I do actually purchase them, which is for a rare FEW artists)...in phases. First off, I do the general scan through and overview. Then I find my favourites, and play them on a repeat a few times to really get into the vibe of it. Surprisingly, the songs I usually love in the beginning, are usually not the same ones I love in the end after I've given the album a listen for a week or so.
Then I take it to a lyrical level, and try to hear what the artist is saying. And yes, this comes AFTER the musical level, because if I don't feel the musical element, I won't even bother with the lyrical one. After listening to the words, I try to internalize the artistic vision, and the bigger picture. What does the album represent for this artist. What are they trying to say? Is it effective?
Track 06 - I'M IN IT
Track 09 - SEND IT UP
Track 10 -BOUND 2
Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales" blog.