Sparse rock chords, medium-sized rhymes and women as objects is how Yeezus sounds to Kris Ex, who reviewed Kanye West's latest album in L.A. Weekly. He also notes West's misogynist lyrics, despite becoming father to a baby girl, North West, with girlfriend Kim Kardashian, last weekend.
The album is short, clocking in at 40 minutes, and only one of its ten songs is listed as primarily produced by West. Whereas his past albums have concentrated on radio-friendly melodies, lush production, arena rap and navel-gazing, Yeezus is stark and minimal and seems determined to be the music that comes on in sketchy warehouse parties at about 3 am when your second wave of drugs is wearing off and you'll try whatever anyone has, because YOLO.
Much like 2008's 808s & Heartbreak, the rapping on Yeezus seems to be an afterthought. (Rick Rubin, who executive-produced the album in the 23rd hour, revealed that vocals for five songs were laid in two hours before West caught a flight to Milan.) This is actually a good thing, because as a rapper West is often silly, sloppy and belabored — the type of guy that may or may not be serious when angrily demanding croissants, and doesn't realize that the 300 were Spartans (not Romans) or that C-Murder came from the Calliope (not Magnolia) projects. (He also doesn't know who starred in In Too Deep [Omar Epps, not Mekhi Phifer]). None of this stops him from rapping with gusto, because even when he gets bested by guest rappers on his own songs, as on Late Registration's "Gone," he claims his superficial raps as super-official.
Yet the glaring deficiency in West's raps on Yeezus is not his skillset as much as it is his utter lack of empathy for women as human beings. So, yeah, the guy with the trophy girlfriend who just gave birth to his daughter manages to throw a few lines that could be read as unintentional jabs at Kim Kardashian. On "On Sight," he raps "I know she like chocolate men/ She got more niggas off than Cochran" which seems a little too close to home on too many levels.
Read Kris Ex's entire piece at L.A. Weekly.
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