Fragmented Reviews for Every Song on "Yandhi"

An incomplete review for an incomplete album

Image By Ovidiu Hrubaru via Shutterstock ID

Kanye West's gospel album Jesus Is King may have been delayed indefinitely, but he's certainly not keeping quiet.

September 3rd saw the release of Francis and the Lights' atmospheric "Take Me to the Light," which Kanye appeared on alongside Bon Iver. On Sunday, Kanye performed with a gospel choir in a church in Jamaica, Queens. And today, nine of his unreleased songs surfaced on the Internet—as iTunes ringtones.

Take Me to the Light (feat. Bon Iver and Kanye West)

In September 2018, Kim Kardashian announced that her husband's next album would be called Yandhi. That album never appeared and was eventually scrapped, or so we thought. But as of today, people can listen to 26-second excerpts of nine songs from the album via the ringtones section of the iTunes store. To own the tracks, you'll need to fork over $1.29 for each.

In the age of streaming and texting, does anyone call each other or use ringtones anymore? It's hard to say what Kanye's up to, but then again, he's been a reliable wild card for years.

There is heavy speculation that the songs were all leaked by someone other than Kanye, meaning that it's possible that these songs reached us illegally. Regardless, this could be the last collection of secular material we ever hear from West, judging by his recent declaration that he'll "only do gospel music" from now on.

So, to match the nature of the brief samples we were given, here's a short, incomplete review of each song:

The first track, "New Body," places a punchy, vintage hip-hop beat and record-scratch sound over a recording of a flute. The song, which features Ty Dolla $ign and Nicki Minaj, leaked in July. Its release comes after Nicki announced her possible retirement from music, so these might be the last bars we hear from either of them for a while.

Kanye West Ft. Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla $ign - New

"Slave Name" places a triumphant electric guitar solo over chill-inducing choral melodies and flickers of electric piano. In its emotional intensity, it resembles the iconic climax of "Runaway" (though it never quite reaches that level of spiritual grandeur, but then again, it never gets the chance to). The far-too-short fragment now available on iTunes appeared in several versions as a leak and samples the song "Wally Wider" by Delicate Stevens.

kanye - slave name (extended)

"80 Degrees" puts a trap beat over synthy flourishes and slurred falsetto vocals. You can make out the statement, "I can walk on the water," which goes well with Kanye's new born-again religious convictions. Kanye previously teased the song in a promo video, but this is the first we've heard of its release since then.


"Alien" is all lush, stratospheric synths and spaced-out woodwinds, which seem to be the defining characteristic of this album. Opening with the line, "I won't let them get the best of me," this song is reminiscent of the wide-eyed aggression of the Graduate. It leaked in full in July, but it's tough to find online, so you might be stuck with the ringtone for now.

On "Law of Attraction," Wyoming's newest resident begins with a chorus made up of muddled harmonies. It then veers into a rap verse over what sounds like a car door alarm (which has annoyed some fans so much that one made a version without the beeps, though some firmly stand by the beeps). This song was also leaked in full in July and is sometimes called "Chakras/Law of Attraction." It's a seductive collage of futuristic sounds and autotune, the kind of thing that, ultimately, only Kanye could make.


"The Storm" is smooth and glossy, with R&B elements that are almost reminiscent of Drake. "Don't troll yourself," the lyrics say. "Girl you owe it to yourself." Well, that's good advice, but the song itself unfortunately features the late, disgraced rapper XXXTentancion (alongside Ty Dolla $ign), making it somewhat hard to listen to. It does contain the poetic couplet, "We began after the storm inside / leaving then it's just the morning light," but as to whether its lyrical merits outweigh the presence of XXXTentacion (and Kanye's fraught persona, for that matter), that's for listeners to decide.

"We Got Love" features Teyana Taylor. Kanye debuted it on SNL in September 2018, then released the full track on SoundCloud in November, and it can be listened to in full online. It's an ode to success as a protest to struggle. "Love is the new money," goes the chorus—a rallying cry for today's world if there ever was one. A voiceover recording at the end goes, "You can have all the money in the world...but if you can't be a person of integrity while having all these things, then what does it mean? Your value is internal." One would wonder if Kim Kardashian believes this. Regardless, the song seems to indicate the presence of a newly inspired, enlightened Kanye.

Kanye West - We Got Love (Feat. Teyana Taylor)

"Bye Bye" leaked in July (under the name "Bye Bye Baby") alongside "Law of Attraction." It was the third song on an early album tracklist. It's about overdosing, excess, UFOs, and refusing to take one's meds; and in its chaotic energy, it's most similar of ye and the singles that came out last summer.

As songs like "Bye Bye" highlight, Kanye has clearly struggled a lot. If religion is a way for him to make peace with the world and his own mind, and especially if it gets him to renounce his troublesome political viewpoints, we should all be here for it—even if it means that the best we'll get of Kanye West's secular repertoire are 26-second glimpses.

Popdust does not own or endorse any of the audio or videos linked to in this article.


"I Know You All Are Happy Now": Nicki Minaj Quits Music

Nicki Minaj is retiring, and she knows that's going to make some people very happy.

Nicki Minaj and Drake at GQ Men of the Year Party, Chateau Marmont, LA

Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Nicki Minaj has announced her retirement.

She delivered the news in a statement on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, declaring that she's "decided to retire" to have a family.

Keep ReadingShow less

The Best Songs on 2019’s Worst Albums

We combed through the saving grace moments of 2019's biggest disappointments.

2019 has been an odd year for music.

Keep ReadingShow less

The Best Artists on Spotify You Haven't Heard of (Yet)

Six artists who deserve to be pulled out of the underground.


Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Music streaming services like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and Spotify have opened many doors for previously unknown artists.

Lorde, for example, was catapulted to superstardom overnight thanks to merely being featured on Spotify's most influential playlist of 2013, Hipster International, which had nearly one million subscribers. Lil' Xan, Lil' Pump, and the late XXXTentacion all built similarly lucrative careers for themselves after posting their music to SoundCloud.

Even though these streaming services have made it easier for musicians to reach new listeners and potentially build sizable followings, they have also led to an oversaturated music industry, and it has become immensely challenging to be heard over all the noise.

One of the most difficult milestones to reach in the early stages of a musicians career is to break 1,000 plays on Spotify. Maybe you've seen it before: You visit the Spotify profile of a talented band, check out their "popular" songs, and see that even their top-played track has somehow received "<1,000" streams.

The thing is, there is not always a correlation between how many plays an artist receives and how talented the artist is. There are countless musicians out there who toil in obscurity, and this dichotomy is not a new one–there have always been discrepancies in talent between the mainstream and the underground–but the cursed <1,000 marker on Spotify is a uniquely modern and concrete reminder of an artist's lack of exposure.

Hopefully, after today, some of those deserving artists will be able to break that boundary. Here are a few of the best artists on Spotify with <1,000 plays:

Kiana Maye

Her voice is rich and soulful, chilling and haunting. Kiana Maye could be R&B's next queen. Two albums into her career, it is absurd that this talented singer/songwriter has yet to receive the attention she deserves. A Google search of her name will lead you to her music, but nothing in the way of a song or album review. Check out her latest single, "8 (I Know)" below.

8 (I Know)

Yeti Ghetto

This London-based trio only has two singles to their name on Spotify at the moment – "Real Feels," released in February of this year and "Life's a Killer," which dropped last month – but with a full-length album, JINX, set to release later this year, it is the perfect time to add them to your regular rotation. With a sonically abundant yet stripped-down, lo-fi sound, Yeti Ghetto will be sure to impress fans of early Weezer, The Pixies, and Elliot Smith alike.

Life's a Killer

God's Illest Joe

Joseph J. Rivera IV is out to prove that he's the illest Joe there is. His exacting bars and clever wordplay prove it. His flow is rugged; the production, pristine. Repping both Buffalo and Rochester, New York, God's Illest Joe is keeping the authentic grit of the East Coast alive in this era of candy-coated trap pop.

For the Town

Pale Oaks

This band from Athens, Greece has cultivated a sound that is equal parts fresh and familiar. Pale Oaks blends the lackadaisical melodic sensibilities of Jimmy Eat World, the guitar-driven energy of Biffy Clyro, and the emotional gravity of American Football into something brand new and exciting. Their last EP, I've Been Better, was well-received, and a lone single released late last year indicates that they might have another project on the way. Fingers crossed.

Losing Our Minds

The Hashassins

This Massachusetts hip hop duo consists of emcees, William Wallace, and Sincere. Their sound is smooth, groovy, and true to its roots. And their flows are a combination of complex rhymes, storytelling, and laid-back cadences that could be best characterized as effortless. The Hashassins are putting a modern spin on the jazzy and soulful hip hop sound pioneered by old school groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, and Souls of Mischief.

In the Sun

Elliot Taylor

This English singer-songwriter has a once in a lifetime voice, and while some of his songs have gained a few more than 1,000 plays, he certainly hasn't gotten the recognition his moving lyrics and soaring voice deserve.

Devil's Wine - Live


Joyner Lucas Endures a Crisis of Faith in "Devil's Work" Video

Joyner confronts God for taking the good and empowering the bad in his striking new video.

Joyner Lucas soared to fame, seemingly overnight, when his chilling video for "I'm Not Racist" went viral and earned him a Grammy nomination.

But in reality Joyner has been hard at work since his days in the underground hip hop group Film Skool Rejekts, back in the mid-aughts. He had four studio albums under his belt before "I'm Not Racist" started garnering some well-deserved mainstream recognition. Oh, and an Eminem co-sign in an interview conducted by Elton John certainly didn't hurt his career either.

However, Joyner has more than earned all of the attention he's received over the last few years. He's cultivated a reputation for delivering hard-hitting, introspective, and honest bars without sacrificing anything in the way of technical skill on the mic. And in the second single off of his forthcoming album, ADHD, Joyner continues to innovate and impress.

The video for "Devil's Work" features Joyner alone in a church, accompanied only by a half-empty bottle of Hennessy, a statue of Jesus on the cross, and a serious crisis of faith. He challenges God, airing his grievances directly in a way that almost feels like he's serving up a sincere and emotionally wrought diss track to the lord, calling him out for making some questionable and unjust decisions—especially regarding which souls get taken early and which are granted positions of power. "Give us back 2Pac," he pleads, "and take that _____ Suge [...] Give us Biggie, give us Pun, give us triple X / Take that _____ Trump with you, that's a bigger threat [...] I need you to give us back Martin Luther, take Martin Shkreli / Give us back Malcolm, take R. Kelly." Joyner goes on to pay respects to a few other people who were taken too soon: Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle, Selina, Aaliyah, Trayvon Martin, and Emmett Till to name a few.

As one might expect given its political statements,"Devil's Work" has been met with some mixed reactions. Love it or hate it, Joyner has managed to capture a common (if under-discussed) aspect of the human experience: those long nights where we get drunk with doubt and overwhelmed by the sprawling list of senseless injustices in the world. He does so with a certain blend of honesty; raw, emotional candor; and lyrical prowess that only Joyner Lucas could deliver.

Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).

POP⚡DUST |

What Ever Happened to Sam Hyde?

Ted Bundy Is the Ideal Boyfriend in "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile"

Fetishizing Autism: Representation in Hollywood


ALBUM REVIEW | Lil Wayne "Tha Carter V"

Lil Tunechi releases the fifth installment of the iconic series

Weezy F. Baby and the F is for "Finally!"

After a heated legal battle over owed royalties with his label Cash Money Records and his father Birdman, Lil Wayne has released the highly anticipated "Tha Carter V,"the album that most hip hop fans thought would never see the light of day. But alas, the greatest hip hop series next to Jay-Z's "Vol." won't end with 2011's "Tha Carter IV."

The album starts off with "I Love you Dwayne," a heartfelt message from Wayne's mom confessing her love and undying support for her son, the artist and the man. After the tearjerker of an intro is over, Wayne's signature lighter flick hits and it's back to business. A posthumous cameo from the recently departed XXXTENTACION on "Don't Cry" sets the tone for the reintroduction of Lil Wayne when he's in "Carter" mode.

Another standout on C5 is the Swizz Beatz produced "Uproar," a revamped version of the G. Dep Harlem Shake classic "Special Delivery". Wayne brings his Southern Swag to match Swizzy's Big Apple bop and the track is sure to transport you back to 2001 as soon as you hear it. "Mona Lisa" featuring Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar showcases Wayne's duality as a wordsmith and a storyteller. Wayne paints the picture of a femme fatale who is willing to do his bidding at the expense of unsuspecting men of means. Lamar's theatrical delivery acts as the frame for Wayne's version of one of Da Vinci's greatest works.

The theme of family appears again on the song "Famous," which contains a feature from Wayne's daughter Reginae. Though "Famous" is another precautionary tale about the woes of stardom, the serene yet haunting hook provides an honest look into the heart of a man who has been famous since before he could legally drink. "Tha Carter V" also includes contributions from Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, and Wayne's superstar protege Nicki Minaj.

Even though it's been seven years since C4, "Tha Carter V" shows Wayne's enduring ability to craft a body of work that speaks to the current climate. This album also highlights Wayne's influence on today's new crop of rappers who sport face tats, dreads, and imbibe codeine-infused beverages. A tad lengthy for today's music scene, the 23 tracks may be Wayne's way of apologizing for keeping his adoring fans waiting for so long.

Some will say Wayne is nowhere near the artist he was in 2005-2010 when he was putting up Steph Curry numbers on everything he touched. But, if you take the time to listen to the way Wayne's evolved since the first installment of the series, you'll see that he still has claim to the title "The Best Rapper Alive".

Rating: ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Deascent is a hip hop artist, music writer, and on-air personality for "Popdust Presents". He's also the co-front man of The Cold Press. Follow him on Instagram.

POP⚡DUST | Read More…

The Top 10 Hip-Hop Moments of 2017

Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN." wins Pulitzer Prize

BIG BOI -- Exclusive Interview!!! He talks about Atlanta and latest video