'ye' is a Low Point for Kanye, But His Lows Still Tend to be Pretty Damn Entertaining.
Of course, these sentiments are also laced with sexual innuendos alluding to his sex-tape-queen-turned-reality-mogul-wife Kim Kardashian, and all of the ways their family commercializes self-obsession, Trump included.
Imagine a close friend whom you admire deciding to become a performance artist in the dead of their successful, promising career. Imagine that same friend making really bad art pieces as they go into massive debt, publicly parading their induced narcissism as impassioned genius.
You may have already guessed who the friend in question is; cue the only rapper who can make an album more embarrassing than Snoop Dogg as Snoop Lion. ye, Kanye West's latest 24-minute album and ostentatious art excursion in Wyoming, features some of the laziest rhymes of his entire career. It's like watching an icon strip himself of everything that made him special and wonderful under the guise of self-transformation and worse, mental health.
ye is Kanye's confessional album, the piece of art where he talks about just how tortured and hard his life is and why you, as a fan and consumer of music, should value his artistry even during his wildest antics. And it's another album that sounds like West rewrote most of the songs an hour before mastering it. (Thankfully, Pusha T got the good Kanye.)
Of course, these sentiments are also laced with sexual innuendos alluding to his sex-tape-queen-turned-reality-mogul-wife Kim Kardashian, and all of the ways their family commercializes self-obsession, Trump included. His vision has always been grand, his drive and spirit equally inspiring. He almost single-handedly revived Jay-Z's career, producing a good portion of The Blueprint.
Recently, his Twitter rants, public support of America's most embarrassing president, and affiliation with America's most annoying, albeit bankable family have manifested a hot-headed megalomaniac who's convinced he's rewarding the world with his talents. But his brand of celebrity is counterfeit, his ideas becoming less and less imaginative and more claustrophobic, revealing a man who's drowning in his own conceit.
Kanye West is a talented man. Kanye West is a smart man. That's why his descent into complete stupor accentuates his flaws, insecurities, and imperfections as glaringly primal side-effects to a man who was always a little full of himself. These days, the sensationalism surrounding West is bigger than his music, and that's an unfortunate summation of his rap career: The egotist who lost it.
Examining his career, however, is futile; in retrospect, West was always working up to something, and as a perfectionist and chronic revisionist/procrastinator, it's hard to decipher with whom he was competing. Himself? Media? His reflection? Why is he always defensive, equipped with a rebuttal for every concern we never voiced? For a man with a head as big as West's, his delusions were never unforeseeable. Black America and even your mom knew we'd lose him. Luckily, even West's lows make for listenable music, and ye ends before you start listening. "Poopedy woopedy poop de scoop"…I hope Kanye West starts saving some of his money or at least keeps his wife. The real world isn't kind to us common folk, but old Kanye would remember that.
Shaun Harris is a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.