On June 1st, the controversial and always effervescent Kanye West released seven new tracks via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings, and it landed him the number one album on the Billboard 200 chart. This is not the first time we have seen Kanye top of the charts, and in fact, this is his eighth album to land on top of the Billboard within the first week of its release.
But where did the inspiration come from?
Well, I’m happy you asked. If you’re unfamiliar with Kanye’s latest mindfulness stunt- you’ve been missing out. Luckily, I’m here to fill you in. Which brings us to the first of three reasons you should give it a listen: the Wyoming ranch Kanye took over for the making of this album. The Jackson Hole resort in Wyoming is where Kanye holed up for months in search of a peaceful oasis, and it is where Kanye and his team gathered to create the 24-minute album. Talk about your Ka-neigh. (it’s okay to laugh at that joke, especially if you’re alone.)
Preceding his album release, Kanye was caught in a PR storm when he publicly endorsed America’s self-proclaimed, and sadly, right-proclaimed leader, Donald Trump. If sporting a specially autographed MAGA hat on Twitter wasn’t enough to have us saying, “You’re better than that, Kanye,” it was his boast on TMZ that really grabbed us by the… well, you know what. When Kanye was rampaging through the TMZ office, he was caught on camera stating slavery was a choice, which had everyone jumping off his bandwagon. Although this could be a reason to verbally destroy Kanye, I somehow find solace in this new shift of attitude.
This brings me to my 2nd reason to put aside Kanye’s troubling political viewpoints: “Wouldn’t Leave.”
Readers, I can always appreciate a little vulnerability and closure through lyrics. “Wouldn’t Leave,” the fourth of seven songs on Ye, addresses the magnitude of his influence on the public.
I said slavery’s a choice, they said ‘how Ye?’
Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day
Now I’m on fifty blogs, gettin’ fifty calls
My wife callin’, screamin’ say we ‘bout to lose it all
Well, make that 51 blogs Mr. Ye. While many may see this as beloved wife, Kim, rarely becoming the brains of an operation, I choose a different perception. One of self-reflection. How saddening is it, that we are so consumed by political affiliations. In fact, we place these at the forefront of our humanitarian values. Kanye continues in the song to talk about his, “gentle mental,” and who are we to criticize and resent someone based on a twitter scheme?
But enough of the back story, let’s discuss the title.
“I hate being bipolar. It’s awesome.” Can I get a RELATABLE?? We have this preconceived notion of what it means to have a Kanye-level of self-love and admiration. But my third reason to set aside your old school T-Swift and pick up this album is Kanye’s juxtaposition of self-love. We see him one way in the spotlight, but this album is a glimpse behind closed doors. Kanye wrestles with things, and he is giving us a pure form of himself in this album. He is challenging us to see him as a real person, rather than a public enemy. This album could have very well been titled, “I love Kanye” with a huge picture of himself and we would continue ordering our iced chai tea lattes on our way to our minimum wage jobs. Because that’s what we expect from him. And I, for one, am enjoying this internally-conflicted Kanye.
We love him for his undying need for artistic expression through music. So I plead, readers, ask not what Kanye West’s political agenda is, but ask your parents to pay your monthly Apple Music bill. Then listen to Ye and be transformed by the lyrical artistry of a rarely vulnerable Kanye.
What do you think of Kanye’s new album? Comment below!
featured source image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/146718900339331029/