Yeezus Mary and Joseph, All the Angels and Saints, there’s a new Kanye West album out and it’s a small bit mad. He thinks he’s bigger than Jesus (almost), says the word ‘dick’ a lot, and gets impatient about croissants. Pretty much everything you might expect from Mr. West. But all that aside, there’s a bit more to ‘Yeezus’ than a terrible pun and a lot of misogyny.
There are very few artists that you can compare Kanye West to, least of all in Ireland. Perpetually lined up alongside Jay Z, very few other mainstream hip-hop artists can stand beside him. Some stars like A$ap Rocky and Kendrick Lamar have shone bright recently but still have a long way to go to achieve his heights.
So how does ‘Yeezus’ stand up to say ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’, ‘LONG.LIVE.A$AP’, or even his collaboration with Jay Z on ‘Watch The Throne’? The truth is, you can hardly compare them.
Those of you looking for an epic follow-up to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy will be left disappointed and those of you looking for a reprise of The College Dropout won’t recognise your beloved Kanye (unless they listen to Bound 2 and wish really hard). Instead, Mr. West is pushing the hip-hop boat out with this one and it’s nothing straightforward.
‘Yeezus’ strikes with a heavy, unsettled, hyper-edgy tone and goes so far down the line of madness, incomprehension, and heavy hip-hop that there’s scarcely a wisp of the quiet sweetness of his earlier output.
On Sight is a furious oddity, I Am A God is predictably egotistical and unnerving, and New Slaves is a stand out track but is deeply dark.
It’s refreshing to see Kanye move in a different direction. While on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy you had cameos from Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and John Legend, here it’s Mr. West standing pretty much alone. The music is on an edge and he’s pushing his vocal more and more in the verses – Black Skinhead being a prime example – setting aside the vocoder hooks that he’s been known to offer up.
In the end, ‘Yeezus’ is hard to love and that’s something that sets it apart from all that Kanye has touched before. Clichéd as it may be, time will tell whether this is a flop or not. Because right now, it’s impossible to know if ‘Yeezus’ has lost it or not.
If you fancied the edge of Kanye on ‘Yeezus’, you may be interested in Ireland’s own Lethal Dialect. Just as heavy, much more Irish.