Charcoal illustrations by Robert Longo.
yeezus: FIRST & SECOND listen review
by christian louisana
1) on sight (7/10)
-hypnotizing house/edm inspired production under kanye just talking that shit. bars and bars of his usual rap banter and humorous punchlines. the song cuts out for 10-15 seconds in the middle to some kind of soul sample. not really sure the purpose of it on the second liste, but this song is still dope. i heard him play it live in a video recently for a bunch of people, it sounded pretty cool and i’m sure it knocks in the whip
2) black skinhead (8/10)
-he performed this on SNL or the late show or something, i forgot. crisp, heavy drums complemented with…i’m not sure, green day/metal/punk rock synths and presence? nice flow with powerful lyrics where he compares himself to a skinhead and names himself a menace to society in most people’s eyes. high energy levels, and even though it’s punk rock inspired, i really like it. it still knocks, and he screams a bunch at the end but i still like it. there he goes, transcending genres and blurring lines again…effortlessly, too
3) i am a god (6/10)
-he’s really talking that shit again…he explained the concept of this song, that he’s absolutely acknowledging god, but he’s just saying he’s right under god in terms of power, highness, etc. beautiful production. more edm/house inspired synths and basslines. absolutely no one can match or top ye’s production on this album or in general. on the first and second listen, this song doesn’t really do that much for me. i liked it, though
4) new slaves (9/10)
-the most meaningful and deepest song on the album, at least so far. i love this song. dope flow, dope production, dope lyrics. i loved the projections on the buildings too. he’s calling out black people for falling into the lull of materialism and stereotypical ‘rapper’ tendencies. woozy basslines and very interesting keys on top of the drums. this is going to be a crazy song performed live. he starts spazzing about 2 minutes in. i love when he spazzes, because it’s still somewhat controlled but still emotional. around 3 minutes in it segues into a soul-sounding autotuned and filtered out singing performance by ye, followed by I think frank ocean singing some inaudible lyrics. very lush and uplifting. this part just sounds like something from a future frank ocean album.
5) hold my liquor (8/10)
-this intro reminds me of ‘lost in the world’…followed by a chief keef chrous that’s autotuned out, and it’s actually not bad. i knew kanye wouldn’t put the mediocre chief keef on his album. he told him exactly what he wanted. more great production, ye’s talking about being drunk…i love the refrain at the end of the fist verse, dope guitars. the bridge is beautiful. lots of layers to the beat. lush guitar solo, followed by a dramatic outro. it’s impossible to dissect the deeper meanings and the lyrics of each song on the first listens, which goes for every song.
6) i’m in it (9/10)
-ye spitting about a nice LiL sexual encounter, this song has a LoT going on in the production. some jamaican-esque sounding dude is spazzing as the beat speeds up. he’s now singing in falsetto over ye saying ‘i’m in it’, this is nice. more crazy production. no two parts of each song is the same for more than like 2 minutes. i love it. daaaaamn, dope drums and flow towards the very end of the track. this probably bangs crazy in the car. love it overall
7) blood on the leaves (7/10)
-some autotuned ye singing, reminiscent of ‘put on’ and just 808’s in general, over a woman singing over a piano. crazy beat drops at around a minute, you can tell TNGHT had a large part in the production of this track. it’s busy to say the least. in all the hecticness of the song, the piano still remains in the background which is interesting to me. ye talking about girls wanting him and his second string bitches, i really can’t keep track of what he’s talking about. the production on each song is distracting. i can’t wait to read rapgenius later. ye singing the outro. REALLY singing the outro now. liked it.
8) guilt trip (7/10)
-cRaZy production, kid cudi in the background. can’t really tell what he’s talking about again. cudi handling the bridge, ‘if you love me so much, why you letting me go’…guess that’s why the song’s called guilt trip. the sample plays continuously till the end of the song. some dope strings carry you out.
9) send it up (8/10)
-opens with a king L verse, who i’ve never heard of before. dope verse. can definitely hear the travis scott production and influence. more classic ye lyrics, followed by the simplistic king L hook. heavy drums and brassy synths. the jamaican-esque guy is back. i like this guy. segues into another soul sample…i’d love to know what these mean. ye rapping a little over the sample. actually, it’s not the same song lmao, i wasn’t looking at itunes. it sequed into…
10) bound 2 (8/10)
-soulful yeezy. still don’t really know what exactly he’s talking about. great production though. charlie wilson comes through for a few seconds and kills it. seems to be about kim (the song)…no drums, which is a nice contrast to the whole album before it. charlie comes back again and KILLS it again as the beat segues into more edm/’yeezus’ production. charlie handles the outro. back to the soul sample. this album confuses me, but i love it.
i can’t rate this album. i can’t. i don’t understand it, i want to understand it before i criticize it. it’s all over the place, but consistent. it’s loud, in your face and courageous. no one does what this man does. i’m really going to have to read reviews and rapgenius until i get it, but it’s not a bad thing. i have to play this in the car too, my headphones can’t pick up on everything going on at 100%. listen to it, and don’t jump to conclusions. this is a slow burner.