Review: Kanye doesn’t disappoint with ‘The Life of Pablo”

By on February 14, 2016
Features

By Matthew Shircliffe–

He is the reason listeners fell in love with music. He revolutionized a genre. He influenced a plethora of artists like Drake, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Big Sean, Travi$ Scott and Chance the Rapper. He renounced the media and he crafted a catalogue of albums that surpasses any artist in the history of the rap game. After strategic marketing and a few title changes, Kanye West released his seventh solo studio album, “The Life of Pablo,” constructing one of the most beautiful LPs of his career.

In the weeks leading up to album, Kanye dropped the two singles, “Real Friends” with Ty Dolla $ign, a chilling instrumental with a clear message and “No More Parties in L.A.” with Kendrick Lamar punching in the lyrical miracles, making it clear those two should collaborate more.

Last Thursday at Madison Square Garden, he held a live stream of his album coinciding with his new clothing line “Yeezy Season 3″ screening the live satellite feed in theaters. The album was the most auditorily pleasing rap albums I have listened to in a while. Many different personalities were in attendance, and they looked like they were having the time of their lives. It was the greatest celebration album release I have ever seen.

After his performance on Saturday Night Light, West dropped the “TLOP” around 1 a.m., crashing his site. It is currently only available to stream through TIDAL.

Many of the artists in attendance at the MSG show contributed their talent, with the likes of Kid Cudi on the second track, “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1″ who came through with the voice of an angel on the hook “beautiful morning, you’re the sun of my morning babe.” Chance the Rapper blesses us with arguably the best rap verse on the album paying homage with his own spin to Kanye West’s and Jay-Z’s 2011 track “Otis,” saying “I made Sunday Candy I’m never going to jail, I met Kanye West I’m never going to fail.” Frank Ocean is the last voice we hear on the long-awaited CDQ version of “Wolves.”

Rihanna offers her incredible voice on the braggadocio track and what I think is the best part off the entire project “Famous” with Swizz Beatz as well. The seasoned producer throws in his background vocals, giving the song the right amount of hype and emotion. It samples Sister Nancy’s “BAM BAM,” creating the best part of the not only the song, but the entire project near the end of the track. The Weeknd is featured on “FML,” another personal favorite of mine. We hear his dark charm backed with the stellar drums, making this one of the heavier records on the album.

Chance the Rapper was one of the most important assets to TLOP. On “Ultralight Beams” with Chance and The-Dream featured, we are given the gospel aspect Kanye was talking about prior to the release. As we hear an immaculate chorus in the background with possibly the best verse that was aforementioned earlier. He also had a lot to do with the song “Waves” getting back on the album after Kanye scrapped it. Chance tweeted late Saturday night “I wrote and arranged and for Waves, and I make great decisions.”

The production deserves a big nod. Veteran producers such as Swizz Beatz, Mike Dean who has been one of the creative minds behind much of West’s work, Boi-1da, and of course, West himself deliver daring production, with edge. On his previous work “Yeezus” it was more about experimentation with a mixture of drill and electro, whereas on this, we are afforded a smorgasbord of different production.

It is only February and we may have been blessed with the album of the year from West who brought us some of hip-hop’s most essential albums. He adds another to the legendary discography with his latest effort. It was a long journey but finally, “The Life of Pablo” hits the airwaves for the world to hear.

About Sam Draut

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