Posted by Brandon Vesely on 06/21 at 05:52 PM
Rap heavyweight Kayne West released his sixth studio album, Yeezus, on Tuesday, June 18.
Kanye continues his legacy of originality and innovation with the release of this vocally-driven album that shows his lyrical and rhythmic talent. Overly dubbed hip-hop tracks defined by electronic and special effects dominate the contemporary hip-hop, industry, and this album’s uniquely simplistic sound serves as a breath of fresh air for hip-hop fans who favor edgy, in-your-face lyrics and modulated rhythms driven by the rapper’s words themselves.
West cites 1980s house music as a key influence for the standout album, which features names like Kid Cudi, Frank Ocean, John Legend, and Daft Punk.
Though West did not release any lead singles in promotion of the album, his team began projecting video performances of his new song, “New Slaves” at various locations in major cities on May 17. He also performed the track, along with another of the album’s songs, “Black Skinhead,” on Saturday Night Live on May 18.
“New Slaves” is a provocative track that explores vestiges of Jim Crow-style racism in contemporary American society. The track reflects West’s continued willingness to release music with genuine, thoughtful lyrics and sometimes controversial themes.
“Black Skinhead” is also aggressive, uncompromising, and lyrically driven. West’s use of vocals give the song a bold feel and craft interesting rhythms that make the track powerful and unforgettable.
Another particularly memorable track off Yeezus, “Guilt Trip,” features fellow rapper Kid Cudi. This track is considerably more polished than “New Slaves” or “Black Skinhead,” and employs electronic instrumentals. However, West still manages to rap in a manner that drives the song forward and gives it a sound that is uniquely him.
All and all, Yeezus is a bold, fresh album that sticks out from the often monotonous hip-hop/rap genre. Kanye’s latest effort is definitely worth a listen and can be found on iTunes and Spotify.
Author: Brandon Vesely
Bio: Brandon Vesely is originally from the Pittsburgh area and is currently a junior majoring in Public Relations and Spanish at Penn State. In his free time he enjoys reading, writing, biking, and spending time outdoors. His musical interests are wide-ranging and include a variety of alternative genres including post-hardcore, indie, noise pop, and pop punk. Some of his favorite artists are Bayside, Yeasayer, Phantogram, and Fireworks.
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