Yeezus: Kanye West

24 Jun


I Am A God.

The best albums have a way of redefining the world in their terms. You stumble across one and then for a while it owns you. You hear it as the background to everything you do. You never play anything but them, but you can never make the music loud enough. The world fades and takes on the album’s tint. You feel yourself change. This is why I’m very careful about when I listen to Unknown Pleasures. This is why you should probably be careful around me while I’m on Yeezus.

I Am A God.

Yeezus is mean. This is not an album for radio. It doesn’t have to care about what you think and it knows it. This is about being a God, about being above the petty concerns of mortals. This is being Kanye West being nasty. The music is harsh, the lyrics are cruel and the album is designed to hurt. God is not forgiving, he is vengeful. If listening to this doesn’t make you uncomfortable then you haven’t heard it at all.

Due to that though, this album is intentionally hilarious. Kanye West has made an art of being over the top and this album is his masterpiece. Whether it is the ludicrous hubris of I Am A God, or the continuous conflation of African-American civil rights movements and graphic sex acts or even just him speaking Swag-hili, the irreverence of Yeezus makes for the funniest album that I have heard in a long time.

I Am A God.

Being a God has responsibilities as well though. You need to be greater than those whom you want to worship you. This may not be what you expected or are used to, but this is definitely a great album. Blood on the Leaves is his greatest song yet and New Slaves, I’m In It and Bound 2 are all cuts most rappers would kill for. While the album as a whole may not be as immediately listenable as MBDTF or even Watch The Throne, it is still very strong music.

In fact, it is astonishingly good music considering how intent it is on breaking new ground. Putting out an album this fresh is a difficult task in and of itself, and not only accomplishing that but also generating one of the best sounds of the year is incredibly impressive.

I Am A God.

This is not just an album, this is a cultural napalm bomb. This is the work for which Kanye West will be remembered. Pioneering, dangerous and very individual, this is the album that only Kanye could make and we thank him for it. Yeezus.

4 Responses to “Yeezus: Kanye West”


  1. Happy Birthday to Us! | Top Five Records - June 25, 2013

    […] to start a music review website that heeded neither genre nor country. We wanted to talk about hip hop as well as psychedelic rock. We wanted to talk about Chennai as well as Massachusetts. We wanted to […]

  2. Review – The Marshall Mathers LP 2 | Top Five Records - December 1, 2013

    […] one shining exception, this has been the year of mediocre rap album from big name artists. The Marshall Mathers LP 2, […]

  3. The Top Five Songs of 2013: Nikhil’s List | Top Five Records - December 26, 2013

    […] comebacks (including a return to Blue Note bandleader after no less than 43 years). There has been major rap release after major rap release after major rap release after major rap release (with a very refreshing […]

  4. The Top Five Albums of 2013 – Nikhil’s List | Top Five Records - December 30, 2013

    […] (full review here) is Kanye at his biggest, his most brash, his funniest, his most aggressive. My Beautiful Dark […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: