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Is Modern Kanye Too Problematic to be Considered Good?

My first post! It's been a long time trying to find and feel motivated to write a piece here especially since I had so many ideas for posts. But now, it's finally here. The opportunity has fallen right on my lap! So enjoy, cuz this is about to be a fun ride.

cw: mentions of antisemitism

sigh alright. Time to talk about Mr. West or technically speaking just simply ye. If you have been living under a rock for the past week, ye and fellow artist Ty Dolla $ign have finally released their album, VULTURES 1, one of an alleged trilogy of albums expected to be dropping throughout the year. It has been getting a lot of attention obviously, due to it being a release that has been hyped up by ye and Ty for the last year. It is also notable as this is the first album from ye after his whole stint which involved speaking out about his views on Jews. He had posted on X, formely known as Twitter, that we should go "def con 3 on jewish people" and had proclaimed love and respect for Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany who was the cause of the genocide of 6 million Jews. Reasonably so, people and companies had terminated their relationship with ye, because of these statements. As a person who had really liked Kanye's music and respected his craft, I had found it truly disgusting that he would cause so much hurt to a community of people when through his older music, he was a figure of empowerment for African Americans and overall progressive change for the better good. While I still do listen to his older music and still thoroughly enjoy the music, I was not excited for anything Kanye was going to release. But now we got a new album and everyone, me included, have a lot to say.

VULTURES 1 has been the most polarizing album that I have seen in quite some time. So many people have claimed that this is Kanye back on the top of his mountain. So many other people who still feel gross about ye's whole antisemite schtick find this to not be good enough as it not only addresses his countless half assed apologies, but it feels as though he is continuing to pander with anti semitic ideas. Lyrics throughout the record have bars mentioning Jews with no respect and no thought for consequences for his actions. He has a fanbase that will consistently give him the support he wants, so why would he even bother right? And it doesn't help that the fact that a lot of the people that are fans of Kanye right now and say that VULTURES is amazing all somewhat believe in Nazism. So, what really is the right move in this situation? Is it okay to give the man respect after all that he has done? Are people over exaggerating the hate just a lil bit? Welp, here's my take.

Consider this my in depth "review" of the album, because this is it: this is me going to give my opinion. And I have to say that this is a really tough one to judge just on its own. Is it the weakest album Kanye has ever made? I am afraid I am going to have to say yes to this. On a unbiased level, this is the most whatever leaning into bad sounding albums Kanye has ever made. On first listen, I found it to be pretty decent all things considered. And then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this album just doesn't sound as good as songs that were a part of Donda a couple of years back. All the songs sound like demos with the mixing being the worst part of the album. One main issue with modern Kanye is that he releases his albums incomplete. He did it with Life of Pablo, he did it with Donda and Donda 2, and now this. For someone who comes off as a extreme perfectionist, it does not show. Songs like "PAID" and "VULTURES" and "HOODRAT" sound so bad it's nearly unlistenable. And poor Ty Dolla $ign is just there. It doesn't even feel like a collab album 99% of the time. And you are probably saying: "Well, Hugo, you are sounding a lot like the baby boo boo snowflakes who can't understand true art". And to that I say, how about you let me finish, mmkay? While I found a lot of this album unenjoyable, there are simple glimmers of good in here. Ty is definitely the saving grace when he isn't sounding like crap due to again the mixing. His choruses chart from decent to pretty good, favorites including "BURN" and "DO IT". The features often save the songs becoming too awful. Freddie Gibbs flows hard in the latter half of the weird and stupid "BACK TO ME" (a song that has gotten more and more obnoxious with every listen and reminding me of the dick sucking of Mike Judge by Kid Cudi in his equally hated Speeding Bullet 2 Freedom). Playboi Carti and Travis Scott help make the track "FUCK SMTH" go really hard, which is one of the only tracks I don't hate. And tracks like "DO IT" and "BURN" and "FUCK SMTH" just work perfectly in my brain. They remind me of the old days when Kanye was still the underdog of the world. Even when he was considered rather successful, he was still someone worth rooting for. Sure, he would say a stupid thing or two, but that was just us saying "oh boy, that's just Kanye being Kanye". But something we need to realize is that that excuse cannot save Kanye forever. Hell, that excuse won't save him now and it won't save him later down the line. His public image is forever ruined.

Now, can I score this album? I don't think I can and I don't think I ever will unless I have some sort of epiphany. The album with context alone is pretty fucking awful and even without context, there are some pretty terrible moments but bits and pieces of a good Kanye album. Is it okay to give Kanye and this album a pass? I also don't have the best answer without putting my personal bias into it. It really is up to personal taste. And honestly, who knows it may be considered a great record ten years from now or it may be considered the worst. It is all up to time and the people to decide.



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