Kanye West remains one of the most controversial celebrities around but despite this he continues to be, probably, the most powerful force in modern hip-hop. With his last album, My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy, saw him move deeper into more artistic aspects of his music giving us one of his most personal insights into his thinking and living yet. Yeezus is a departure from his usual style, moving away from polished hip-hop to loud industrial tracks with a breath of the eighties creating his most experimental and unique record yet.
We all know that when Kanye does hip-hop he does it better than anyone, but that is why I think Yeezus is the best move he could have made in his career. It is a record that shows he isn’t phased by expectations (if we didn’t already know that) but it also shows us the he is more multi-faceted than we may have thought. His last album that was a complete departure in style was 2008’s 808s and Heartbreak which, in my opinion, was a poor album where all the songs sounded the same and there was no real punch to it’s overall sound, but Yeezus is something completely different. It’s a powerhouse of an album that grabs you by throat and yanks through a whistle-stop tour of noise-pop and vicious lyrics. His lyrics are on top form here, some of the most inspired lines yet he is both preachy at times and tongue in cheek, mixing up such lines as, ‘I am a God, so hurry up with my damn massage’ with, ‘Y’all niggas can’t control me, I know that we the new slaves’ and further spicing things up by throwing in things like, ‘Eating asian pussy, all I need is sweet and sour sauce.’ The production is as perfect as always as well, drafting in the talents of a huge number of producers including Daft Punk, but it’s also hard to miss West’s usual meticulousness in every single beat. It’s hard to pick stand out tracks from the album, simply because they are all so good. Despite being a short album at only ten tracks that last a total of just 40 minutes there’s not a single second that’s boring. It never stops being noisy but it does have its gentler moments particularly in ‘Hold My Liquor’ and ‘Bound 2’ provide some respite from the raw, minimalistic power of tracks like ‘I’m In It’ and ‘Black Skinhead’. Yeezus really is a complete package of a record one that you wish would continue but realise you couldn’t expect much more from.
The record is a bold move on West’s part, but a move that exemplifies an artist who continues to be at the peak of his game. And a hip-hop artist that can produce a record that is above and beyond what is expected of him. Whether his next album will be the same kind of thing or not I already can’t wait. Young Yeezy has fully transformed himself into the great Yeezus.