In today’s hip-hop world where aesthetics and new sounds dominate the music, The Life Of Pablo’s impact will not be forgotten. Once again Kanye proved that he is THE influencer in music, even in a generation that is not his own. With The Life Of Pablo, he validated that on and off his album.
The Life Of Pablo is Kanye’s seventh solo album and his ninth album in total. It was supposed to release on February 11th, but from mastering issues and then a delay from Chance The Rapper the album released a couple days later. Kanye did premiere the album like he promised at his Yeezy Season Three fashion show, demonstrating his influence aside from the music.
Kanye was able to combine the delicate worlds of music and fashion like few can. The influence of Kanye was once again shown at his Yeezy Season 3 premiere. He enlisted the biggest names in both fashion and music to help his cause. Along with trendsetter Ian Connor, Kanye got India Love, and the Jenner siblings, Kendall and Kylie plus more for his show. He used his influence to formally introduce the world to some of raps biggest up- and comers, Lil’ Yachty and Young Thug, as he put them front and center.
Kanye’s genius was in full display online; he used social media like never before to promote his album and his brand. Days before the album even dropped Kanye was trending because of some controversial tweets towards Wiz Khalifa. The “beef” apparently has since been fixed, but that wasn’t his only twitter moment. When the day of the album release came and went with no album, Kanye used twitter to sooth his anxious fans. Kanye used social media to build the hype train that was his album and it worked. In two days, T.L.O.P. went Gold in illegal downloads. He also used twitter and his album to promote Tidal, and it worked too because Tidal received over a million trial subscriptions when the album did release. Genius move Kanye West, genius.
Then finally the album; honestly The Life Of Pablo is beautiful. He did so many things right with this album, but I will start with production. Typical of anything Kanye, production was flawless. This album has the Yeezus feel to it; a lot of the songs on here have electronic beats, but where it separates from Yeezus is the use of “Old Kanye”. Kanye brought back the much needed soulful Kanye that was missing from Yeezus and was desperately missed by his fans.
The track-list was fire and jam-packed with features. He enlisted the help of some of music’s biggest names; Rihanna, Chance The Rapper, KiD Cudi, Future, The Dream, Young Thug, The Weeknd, Ty Dolla Sign, Chris Brown, and even Frank Ocean ( considering how quiet he’s been, it was a big moment.) The features helped make the album fyee, and the fact that each feature fit perfectly was the icing on the cake.
So what were the standout tracks? The best song on the album is far and away Ultralight Beam. Chance The Rapper delivered a standout verse which is arguably the best singular verse on the entire album. As Chance begins this bible rap verse, he sings about protecting God’s name, and keeps with the biblical allusions all the way through; the verse hits its climax toward the end as Chance spews the bars ” I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell/ I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail”
My personal favorite song on the album was Real Friends, and to me, the second best song overall. Real Friends was the album’s radio hit and there was good reason. Real Friends displayed old Kanye at his finest. I always thought Kanye was best when he is reminiscing in his music, and he was on this track. Ty Dolla Sign was the feature on the track, and honestly it was beautiful. Ty$ fit perfectly on this song, singing a couple lines throughout the song, but never his own full verse, and he handled chorus duties magnificently .
FML featuring The Weeknd, Waves featuring Chris Brown( another personal favorite of mine, Breezy sounded angelic on here), Wolves, the track he resurrected Frank Ocean for, Highlights, and No More Parties In L.A. No More Parties was another single released and it featured Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick absolutely snapped on his verse, and then Kanye snapped even harder. Any track Kendrick gets out-rapped on should say it all. Also listen to the I Love Kanye interlude, thank you Kanye.
Kanye said that this would be the greatest album of all time,he would take that back for good reason because this album is not, truthfully this isn’t even the greatest Kanye album ever, but that’s not taking away anything, this album is marvelous. Pretty much every song on the album is fire, an album you can listen all the way through. We shall see where this album ranks when 2016 is all said and done; I personally believe this won’t be the best album of the year, but I do believe on thing: The Life Of Pablo will go down as the most influential rap album of 2016, which in turn would make it the most memorable. So mission accomplished Kanye.
Thank you Yeezus.