Ok so first of all (like with every list) I have to for some reason state that this is my list just so you don’t get upset with it, leave your list in the comments baby. Right so if you weren’t aware, Kanye West came out and dropped five albums one after another, week by week that he had some involvement in. Here is my worst to best list of every one.
5. K.T.S.E by Teyana Taylor
I had not heard much of Teyana Taylor before this release but with Kanye producing and starring on her album I assumed id be in for a treat as a fan of R&B and Ye’s production in general. I put the album on and was met with some beautiful yet simple Kanye production, an entertaining Kanye feature and generally a boring and cliche performance by Teyana. Her voice seems to lack passionate throughout this whole thing while singing basic lyrics about typical R&B concepts. I have little to say about this album because this album gave me little to hear. I’m sorry if you love this record for whatever reason but I can’t agree.
4. Nasir by Nas
Now. Most Hip Hop heads disagree with my overall opinion of Nas. Most put him in every top 5 list when I think he has only one great album and sadly Nasir isn’t it. Right off the bat I want to clear up that I do enjoy this project and do like some songs allot but as an overall album I struggle to return to it and sit through it. Songs like ‘Cop Shot The Kid’ has Nas rapping uncomfortably over a Slick Rick sample before an excellent Kanye verse which isn’t excellent enough for the track to be good. The opening track is a powerful and gran performance but to be followed up by such disappointment wasn’t a good start for me. Songs like ‘Adam & Eve’, ‘Simple Things’ and ‘White Label’ definitely aren’t bad tracks but there’s nothing great about them either, just some nice rap music that I didn’t feel I really needed. Now there is one song on this record I return to often, the track ‘Everything’ has some gorgeous vocals from Kanye and The Dream, it also sees Nas deliver a rather powerful rap verse over a beat that went hand in hand with his raspy voice. Overall this album isn’t bad but I certainly don’t feel it has anything worth returning to apart from 1 or 2 tracks.
3. Daytona by Pusha T
I haven’t ever been too interested in Pusha’s work so when this was set to drop I had little interest… until I heard it. The first track starts off pretty much acapella from push rapping his usual drug rap style with his aggressive voice, but then the beat drops and you are met with a beautiful sounding beat that is reminiscent of the “old kanye” with its heavy used vocal samples and rough aesthetic. The album is short, sweet and nasty. Although I feel the best track is by far the intro track, the album doesn’t have stale or boring moments in it. The song ‘Santeria’ has an amazing beat, wonderful chorus and an exciting beat switch as Push comfortably flows over it. The one song I don’t like on this album is ‘Hard Piano’ featuring Rick Ross, the track was good but amongst all the other incredible production, it seemed kind of unneeded. The song ‘What Would Meek Do?’ features a verse from Kanye himself delivering the events going on around his life in that moment, this verse was one of the first times we heard Kanye rap for a long time since his hiatus. Overall this album is amazingly produced, cleverly structured and holds some raw and passionate rap verses inside of it. I will say I don’t find Pusha T’s very repetitive subject matter too appealing although he does use clever writing to maintain an interest in his music.
2. Ye by Kanye West
Ok so this and the top spot are almost a tie for me. They go hand in hand for me as almost a double album and this being the first disc. This album shows Kanye go through confusion, problems and paranoia throughout its short span. He talks his problems with suicidal thoughts, marriage, sex addiction, mental illness and fatherhood. It’s a very raw and honest album that showcases the true manic life of Kanye West with beautiful and hard hitting production throughout. He has humorous lyrics on ‘All Mine’, vulnerable lyrics on ‘Violent Crimes’ and a breathtaking feature from 070 Shake on ‘Ghost Town’. Even down to the mix on this album you can tell it was a sudden creation and is a beautiful mess. This album showcases the true personality and character of Kanye with just 7 tracks which also make for a great listening experience.
At #1. Kids See Ghosts by Kids See Ghosts (kanye west and kid cudi)
If Ye was an album about the problematic mind of Kanye, this is an album about his and Kid Cudi’s breakthrough and life after the breakthrough. This album is such a deep and hard hitting record when you know the rocky relationship between the two over the past few years and how they can come together and make a beautiful album about overcoming mental illness and internal struggles. The first track even starts off with Cudi saying “I can still feel the love” which Kanye himself has referred to as him looking around after his problematic times and realising his fans, family and friends are still there for him, Kanye’s contribution to this track sees him say no lyrics and almost mimic the sound of a gun for his verse which is surprisingly effective in being like an added instrument to display a manic and heavy back end of the track. This album has lyrics from both artists that stuck with me almost instantly on first listen. Kanye has a line on ‘Reborn’ where he says “give me all the pain” which is a common way mentally ill people get over there struggles, the acceptance that there is pain and inviting it in. Cudi has a part on the last track ‘Cudi’s Montage’ where he almost screams “stay strong” followed by Kanye singing “lord shine your light on me, set me free” which to me was beautiful, if anyone has experience problems with there mental state they often find themselves praying and begging for a higher power or god to set them free when they feel helpless, it was almost like Kanye is giving the role of someone in the sunken place and Cudi was speaking to him acting as a support. With this entire album you find beautiful production, gorgeous and hard hitting vocals which are accompanied by creative use of experimentation. Now i don’t know if its just because this album spoke to me so personally or because over the years i’ve followed these two on such a rocky journey but this album is phenomenal to me, every time I listen I gain a new appreciation for something in it. This album is the perfect example of two musicians coming together and using the best parts of each others talents to make an incredible collaborative effort.
In conclusion i’m really pleased we got these albums. Even though I wasn’t a fan of all of them or do wish some of them had more time into them, this was a historic moment for music and I feel we got some amazing and groundbreaking records from it.