A Track by Track Review of Kanye West's The Life of Pablo
Kanye West is that kid in class that is always sleeping but aces every test.
Kanye West is that actor who's a diva but kills every scene.
Kanye West is that boyfriend who forgets your anniversary but makes it up to you with the most perfect date.
I'm sitting here wondering why Kanye West put us through all of these dramatics for the best album he's put out in a long time.
The Life of Pablo was released sometime in the wee hours of the morning when everyone but Kanye and parents of newborns are sleeping. And the first thing I did when I woke up this morning and saw the news was listen to it. Because it's Kanye. And it was everything I expected it to be and more.
I had high expectations for this album based on early singles. "All Day" was fire. "Only One" was touching. I even liked "Real Friends." "Facts" was side eye worthy, but everything else was looking really good for Kanye. And he truly delivered with this album.
Let's talk about first impressions of this album.
On first listen, I was cautious. People like Kanye scare me when it comes to songs talking about God and faith. I'm sure that I have a lot of things to explain to God when I get to those pearly gates but me bumping a blasphemous song is not something I feel like adding to that list (note: I did not and never will listen to his last album because of the name of it). But this is actually a good one. And it got even better when Chance the Rapper came on the track. This was exciting for multiple reasons. First and foremost, we've been waiting for a track from the two of them for forever. Chi town stand up. Second, Chance just brings a magic to everything he touches, and this was the perfect track for him, and the perfect way to start us on this journey of The Life of Pablo.
Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1
I'm still side eyeing Kanye for this one. But my own prejudices aside, this was actually a dope song. Future was a really nice touch. I forgot what it's like to listen to him outside of trap beats, even though it gets a little trappy. This song also hits three different sounds, and it's not weird, and that right there is the genius of Kanye.
Correction: Turns out it's not Future on this song. It's someone named Desiigner, who sounds just like Future. I mean they all do this day, but his flow and sound is the closest to Future so far, and Future should be upset.
Oh the newly famous Taylor Swift line. Rihanna really makes this song for me. There are a couple of lines in this song that I'm sure are think piece worthy. And I'm sure they're coming any minute now, but those lines aside, Rihanna and Kanye should really do more things together. Her voice mixes well with Kanye's feel.
Best. Song. On. The. Album. This is the song that will be on repeat for me all week. I feel like I made this beat myself because my heads bobs so hard with it. My body just responds to this song. Somebody get me a car, so I can play it loudly. I know it sounds really good on the road. I just know it. Kanye snapped with this.
We don't have to discuss this one. It's just words. But it's a nice interlude though.
Something about this feels like classic Kanye. I'm not sure if it's the beat or the way Kanye actually flows on this one. But this is definitely one of my favorites from the album.
Also. "Ima bust the coach's head open on some Diddy shit if he ever talks to my son like an idiot." YAS DAD KANYE. Dad Kanye is a cool Kanye and this is one of my favorite lines on the album. I don't care.
"Lil Boosie with the wipe down." Love it. I actually wish this song was longer. It feels like one of those movies set in the early 1900s and everyone is in white and big poofy dresses, except everyone is also black and ratchet.
I Love Kanye
HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS SONG? First of all, this means that Kanye hears our conversations. But also, you can actually hear his smile here. And there is something really cool about hearing him say "I love you like Kanye loves Kanye."
Waves is a beautiful song. The feel of this song is much like being on an empty beach early in the morning. We get to hear a softer Kanye for the first time in the album. And Chris Brown really adds to the vibe. He was the perfect pick to sing on this song. And it's really nice to get a slow down at this point.
In this song, Kanye said he was revealing the layers to his soul. And "Waves" was a great lead in to get to this point. We welcome The Weeknd into the mix, which is cool. And then we turn the corner back to a more aggressive Kanye, and then enter a really weird point in the song. I can do without ever hearing this song again. It's one of those songs, where if it comes on...okay. But am I going to search it out to play it? Nah.
Kanye actually gave us this song for a G.O.O.D. Friday. And I think it's pretty clear that we all enjoy it. This is reminiscent of the Kanye we all fell in love with and something we can all relate to no matter what level (or tax bracket) we're in in life. The best line on this song, and arguably the album is "I hate when a nigga text you like sup fam hope you good. You say I'm good. I'm great. The next day they ask you for something." BRUH. Every single one of us have had that happen in real life. And if you haven't had it happen yet, it's coming. Trust. Me.
It's hard to imagine that Drake was supposed to be on a song like this on an album called Wolves. This song was just okay until Frank Ocean hopped on the last 30 seconds, and I was just so excited to hear his voice again. *pauses this review to speak with Frank Ocean* Listen, Frank. You promised us an album in July. It's now February. I understand that things happen, but how you just gonna leave us out in the cold like this bruh. Can we at least get a single? You look well. You sound great on the Kanye track. So glad you decided to show your face at the Yeezy Season 3 show, but hey man. We're waiting. We're impatiently waiting. But just, come back okay. Like soon. *resumes review*
Silver Surfer Intermission
Shout out to Kanye for keeping his album hella relevant as to what's going on.
30 Hours is a snooze fest, although I do enjoy the Matt Barnes line, and it's nice to hear Andre in the mix. But this song just lulls me right on to sleep.
No More Parties In L.A.
This was another song that Kanye let us hear for G.O.O.D. Friday. This is an incredibly dope song minus the Amber shot. Kanye, everybody and they mama can tell that Amber loves her some Wiz and that baby was made of love. Stop it. However, I think we can all relate to getting older and getting tired of certain things. And a Kendrick Lamar feature is also always welcome and necessary.
This song is so trash. And I'm so glad there is a second version to at least save it beat wise. But Kanye. I need you to understand. No one gives a single flying fig about your beef with Nike. Let it go man. Enjoy your fashion line and chill.
Fade is the perfect ending to this journey. It sounds like something that would be perfect for a catwalk. It makes me want to vogue, but it still feels like Kanye, which is kind of weird. But it's a good weird. Again, perfect way to end the album.
Overall, aside from a few questionable lines, this was a great project from Kanye. Listen, at this point, I cannot stand Kanye West. He's a misogynist, arrogant asshole. But the man makes really friggin good music, and this is the best album from him in a long time. My only wish is that it hadn't come with the Twitter rants and drama. But hey, what can you do?
What did you think of The Life of Pablo? Let me know in the comments below.
....also if you know who Pablo is can you let me know that as well?