Yeezus, the sixth solo studio album from Kanye West, is best categorized as synth/rock, techno hip-hop with hints of Jamaican dance hall, and a handful of soulful song samples. Recorded primarily in Paris, Yeezus showcases Kanye‘s ability to continually evolve his sound and to push the boundaries of what hip-hop can be. Executive produced by Rick Rubin, the album is minimalism at its finest, with many songs driven forward by a single synthesized beat or a hard pounding drum. While the collaborations with Daft Punk, who produced three songs, lend to some deconstructed industrial sounds – you immediately hear them on the opener “On Sight.” It commands your attention from the very beginning and serves as a proper intro for the rest of the record.

BUY Kanye West’s sixth solo studio album Yeezus on iTunes NOW!

Premiering over the past few weeks, the initial singles “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” marked a full force return from an unapologetic West. The tracks were particularly social-minded with lines like “it used to only be n****ers, now everybody is playing, spending everything on Alexander Wang” referencing us as being new slaves to materialism. Both tracks are standouts on the album but don’t come even close to the greatness of “Blood on the Leaves.” Featuring a sample of the song “Strange Fruit” by Nina Simone; Kanye expresses how he has to deal with a failed relationship/pregnancy in a modern media age. Although originally put off by the jarring disparity between the seriousness of the scenarios, I eventually came around to the idea that Kanye’s struggles may be a greater statement than the problems themselves. The girls, the drugs, the money, the cars, the clothes – they are all a huge part of his life and seem to control most of what he does. He is a slave to the shallow-materialistic society we adore, and he is ready to act as king Yeezus. In “I Am God,” West repeats the sentiment while yelling about these same cars, clubs, restaurants, etc. The more I listen to the song, the more I couldn’t imagine it being any other way. “I Am God” is typical Kanye West. Kanye screaming about anything other than his croissants would defeat the purpose of him being Kanye West. He’s not trying to be anyone else, he knows who he is and he’s not trying to apologize for it.

Overall, the best way to I can describe Yeezus is to compare it to a couture garment. Meticulously made and highly conceptual, you can appreciate the genuine labor that went into creating it. You aren’t really sure that you can wear it everyday, and probably only a small amount of people will really appreciate it for what it is; everyone else will probably look at it and think “wow that’s is a really ugly outfit.” 4/5

Amanda ‘Bergz’ Berghorn -

BUY Kanye West’s sixth solo studio album Yeezus on iTunes NOW!