Kanye West: The Life of Pablo

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After much waiting, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo has finally dropped!  The album can be streamed through Tidal, a music streaming service purchased by his long time friend Jay-Z.  The cd opens up with the song Ultralight Beam, you can see a performance of the song here.

There has been a lot of talking about this album, from the name of the album switching from SWISH to Waves, the conflict between Kanye and Wiz Khalifa, to his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, which was also used as his album release party, and a line from his song “Famous” where he states he could still have sex with Taylor Swift, since he made her famous.

You can say what you want about Mr. West, but one thing is for certain.  An album dropped by Kanye West is always going to be a major deal, whether people like him or not.  People are always talking about him, calling him either an asshole, a genius, or something in between, but the thing is, people are still talking about him, which is the most important thing.  In Hollywood, there is no such thing as bad press.

It is all about staying relevant, and Kanye West, along with his wife Kim Kardashian, are very good at doing that.

The album’s title is a reference to Pablo Picasso. The self-referencing numbers such as “Famous” and “I Miss The Old Kanye” sit alongside thematically-linked material such as “Low Lights” and “Highlights,” with “Fade” signing off the collection.

After all the fuss has died down, be it over Yeezy Season or the hype around its launch, the 18 tracks will win comparison with West’s last, Yeezus, from 2013, or albums such as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.

While West will probably object to even this and has already declared it the best album of all time, it is clear that he is moving away from a rap beat and experimenting more. There are hints of gospel and Motown, and he has omitted some of the celebrity collaborations he has released recently, such as work with former Beatle Paul McCartney. As ever there are plenty of other big names scattered around, not least Rihanna on “Famous.” Young Thug, Chris Brown, the Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar also join the party, while there are samples which range from the Jamaican-patois “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy to the gentle introduction of “Human” by Goldfrapp.

Whatever folks make of it, West is sure. It seems he isn’t just the greatest rock star on the planet. Now he is “the greatest living artist and greatest artist of all time,” according to a @kanyewest post on Twitter. Shakespeare, Beethoven, Picasso, Michelangelo and Leonardo move over.

 

Forbes

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