Weekend Music – Real Time Kanye

Lets get this out there – I can’t stand Kanye West’s music. I have no opinion on the controversial tabloid stuff that people seem to hate him for. I’ve been listening to hip hop all my life so making mental leaps to justify big egos and questionable actions are nothing new to me.

However I’ve never sat down and listened to a full album so what do I know? One thing I do fairly regularly is sit down and listen to full albums of artists I think I dislike to see if it’ll change my view. Today, it’s Kanye.

This review is done in real time. I have the album wiki page is open to try find basic info but otherwise I don’t know much about this album at all.

Ultralight Beam

I like the gospel feel, and the female singer nails it. There is a nice flow, at times reminding me of Rich Homie Quan, who I’m down with (I can feel Kanye fans recoiling at that sentence), is it Chance the Rapper? The wiki page for this has like 14 writers but doesn’t say who is singing or rhyming on it though? Fuck if I know.

Ultimately it doesn’t really go anywhere for me. It just kind of hangs there aimlessly.

Father Stretch My Hands

Beat is tight, gospel feel. Who the hell is singing on this though. No one is credited again? Kanye but who else? What’s with that?

Oh boy, what is that opening rhyme about bleached assholes? That is terrible. I like how it turns into an autotune/moog style jam. I can dig on that. Throwback 90s RnB chorus is good but then it drifts away randomly and finishes? What happened?

Pt 2

I can bounce with this initially. Who is rhyming here? Again no indication. This is straight bullshit because it’s tight and I’m pretty sure it’s not Kanye?

And it’s ended randomly. Seriously, does Kanye make full songs anymore or just gives up with some random shit at the end.

Famous 

Is that Rhianna? Ugh that’s a terribly corny start to the rhymes here. Here is Kanye in all his half assed rapping glory. Just phoning it in. Somehow the 18 or so writers on this didn’t come up with a legit verse. How is that even possible.

Beat is on lock though. Would love to hear someone with flow hit it. Get Pharaohe Monch on this.

Sister Nancy sample on point. That’s a really clever use of that sample but seriously, if you fuck up that Sister Nancy sample then you may as well give up.

Once again though the song has just a bunch of random shit to finish.

Feedback

I’m fucking bored by now. Oh lord he is a terrible rapper. People defend his rapping sometimes but he is really really bad. Beat is pretty nice. Love the twisted carnival sound. Rating so far: dope.

Why does Kanye keep using the same words to “rhyme”. That shit was corny back when Heavy D rhymed “cream” with “cream” but somehow Kanye made a career out of it.

Beat is dope still. Once again it ends up in a random mess to finish. I bet people say this is progressive or something. I disagree.

Low Lights

Gospel feel – again great singing talent going uncredited. The wiki page for this album is obscenely long and I’m not going to dig through it to find out. This is a real time review.

Where is this song going… oh to the end.

Highlights

Pretty standard start. Autotune that I can dig on this as background music. Love those fingersnaps. Wait, is there a verse or a structure here? Now there’s some sort of refrain – oh here we go Kanye. He’s talking about how famous he is and stuff.

This isn’t so bad. Beat creeping along, some deft heavy synths. Fingersnaps keep me knodding. Seems he ran out of lyrics so just started repeating them again. That’s kind of his thing right? Do people like that or just overlook it? And it ended.

Freestyle 4

I hope this isn’t actually a freestyle…

Sounds like it is? For a world famous rapper this guy is really bad at it. Beat is great. Can we get a good rapper in here? Also he just seems to rap a lot about how he does sex. Like, a heap. Is he overcompensating? We get it bro, you fuck.

What’s happening now? Song ended.

I Love Kanye

Some sort of meta thing. I don’t get it and it’s not interesting enough for me to care. I never want to hear the word “Kanye” again.

Waves

He says bitch a whole lot. Like, disturbingly so. Even NWA were doing it for effect but it just sounds like he’s saying it instead of “her”. Once again, I like the beat. Oh man Pharaohe Monch would destroy this and it would be glorious.

It’s not really going anywhere though. Is that a whale dying?

Looking at the producers and writers on each track this has to be the perfect example of “too many cooks” right? None of this shit works. It’s just random ideas for about a minute then a different idea. There are heaps of talented people on these tracks but they all suck.

Once again, just kinds of ends randomly

FML

lol FML Is it 2009 again? Sounds kind of like the Bojack Horseman theme. I’d like to watch that again. I’ll probably do that after.

This doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. I’m seriously tempted to turn on Bojack (Netflix opened).

Wait, here’s a beat. Let’s stay with it. There’s a nice 80s drum break.  It’s pretty boring again. There’s an episode of “Horsin’ Around” on netflix. Did people know that? Wait, nvm, it’s just the intro.

This song reminds me of something now. It’s changed randomly. Is that a Nirvana sample? And it’s over.

Real Friends

Bojack took me a while to get into if I was being honest. I remember watching it and thinking it was no different to many other “adult” cartoons.

This song is fine so far.

People kept saying that Bojack was some groundbreaking thing, but I didn’t get it. Pretty much like FKA Twigs. In fact when I think about it, both FKA and Bojack clicked with me at the same time and I realised both were brilliant. I’m really looking forward to the next series.

The other guy on this track is great. Kanye is just ambling through the track like he normally does. Just saying stuff and repeating it.  I like the hymn style ending to this.

Wolves

I don’t think there were any wolves in Bojack? I can’t remember any but it’s been a while since I watched an episode. This kind of keeps the hymn feel from the previous song.

Horses are really solid, like when you pat one you feel how much muscle and strength is in there. I bet Bojack could really do some damage to the other characters in the universe. Although I’d be curious about that cat lady’s strength. Cats are surprisingly strong – we’ve been trying to give our cat medication lately and when he sees it, you can fee…

Wait, the female singer in the middle of this is legit. Who is it?

… feel him flex and start squirming. It’s like a snake. All muscle and wriggles. It’s a little freaky.

Kanye rapping again, just repeating the same words and saying bitch a lot.

What if Mary was in the club? Is this dude serious? That is just stupid shit right there. I thought it ended but it was just an animal noise interlude. They’ve fallen in love with this Fifth Element style opera/hymn. Wrap it up already.

Oh they did.

Frank’s Track

Frank Ocean. Doesn’t get much though. Seems pointless?

Siiiiiiiiiiiiler Surrffeeeer intermission (I couldn’t be bothered counting and getting the right number or repeated letters).

It’s a phonecall intermission. You know how these go.

30 Hours

I dunno. More Kanye. Repeating himself a lot. He says “eyy” a bunch too. “Bitch eyyy eyy bitch bitch eyyyy” could be a Kanye song. It always sounds crude when he talks about sex stuff. Which is weird because he’s a rapper but for some reason when Kanye is singing sex it’s creepy and a little angry.

I feel like if you sped this beat up it would be an awesome late 90s big beat tune or a Rudimentary song or something. Ultimately, this is going nowhere though. More “ey eyyy eyy”. No “bitch” for a while. He’s overdue.

Apparently this is a bonus track? But there are 3 tracks left? He’s just saying “eyy” and random shit now. This has over a minute to go. “This is my version of a shoutout track” but he’s barely shouted out anyone. Do people still do those? I always hated them. Now a fake phonecall?

No More Parties In LA

Produced by Madlib and this beat is tight. Is that Kendrick on this? This is fun.

Here’s Kanye for some of that classic repetition. Ok I’ll give him credit for this… not bad. I bet Madlib and Kendrick wrote his verse here. It’s too tight for Kanye. I think I could draw a line between his writing and the other writers. The lyrics go from great and tight to random and repetitive. Now he’s being creepy again.

This is probably my favourite song on the album. Cut out Kanye and it’s killer. Maybe Method Man could get on this and it’d be a party starter.

Facts (Charlie Heat Version)

Street Fighter samples still aren’t played out. I always have time for those.

Is he rapping about his shoe deals?  This is boring as fuck. Is he dissing Jordan’s? Oh man. Honestly though, I don’t mind this song. I could bounce to this in a club I guess.

Fade

Final song. This album is… fine I guess. I wouldn’t listen to it again.

Love that throwback slapbass synth. So far a fun party song but it’s not really going anywhere.  Ok it went somewhere, this is actually pretty good. Reminds me of a Girl Talk or Nightmares on Wax/2ManyDjs party mashup. But it just kind of ends.

All in all… I dunno. I don’t think I’ll listen to this again. The worst parts were Kanye’s rapping. The best parts were everyone else and that Madlib song. I feel like you’d be doing better to just listen to a good rap album. With so many producers it feels like it just went nowhere. No one directed it to give it any sort of character or vibe – or I guess the direction was Kanye and some self pity and the word “bitch” a lot which isn’t really something I want to listen to.

There is also zero lyrical content that isn’t weirdly angry sex stuff or just Kanye talking about Kanye. I just don’t get the excitement and popularity of his music and I feel like I’m missing something. I wouldn’t really call it a rap album, it’s probably more of a pop/indie album in the vein of Radiohead but with hip hop producers and singers.  Where the best moments for me are the straight verse/chorus parts and everything else around it is just kind of frustrating.

This will probably be the only time I listen to a Kanye album. I would like to listen to some Pharoahe Monch though. Let’s do that instead.

These two songs were on the same album that was pretty much ignored. Which is crazy because it was ridiculous.  I guess boom-bap hip hop isn’t cool anymore and corny repetition is? Whatever, these bang.

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