Though a new album from Kanye West is imminent, excitement and anticipation seems notably low. Here’s why the new album from our most artful and critically applauded pop star might be a letdown.
He’s Focused On Other Shit
Kanye’s Adidas line, a line he’s been mentally focused on since his first line for APC, is launching any day now. Kanye aspired to create “the biggest apparel company in human history,” which sounds cool, but time consuming. Though the clothes look… fine, they come with high price tags that make them less attractive than other athleisure options.
The Features Seem to Be Kinda "Eh"
On previous albums, Kanye has reliably included up-and-coming stars and given them their breakout: Think Nicki Minaj on “Monster”, King L on “Send It Up” and Kid Cudi on 808’s and Heartbreak. Though an official tracklist hasn’t been released, the feature choices on his songs so far are less inspired.
Though Vic Mensa is often cited as an up-and-comer, he’s had that status for a while now; collaborating with Mensa and Sia (boring choice) for a boring song isn’t exactly setting the hype cycle aflame. While the inclusion of Paul McCartney seems tantalizing on paper, it’s been tough to discern exactly what McCartney plays or does on “FourFiveSeconds”. The closest thing to forward-thinking is the inclusion of London grime artist Skepta for “All Day”.
Though “Only One” contains a sweet message — a message Kanye says came from his mother in a dream — it feels a little bit like a demo and free of the usual Kanye flourish. “FourFiveSeconds” feels like a song that’s about to snap, but it never does. “All Day” produced an unruly live product whose energy didn’t make it to the record.
The Songs Seem to Be Kinda "Eh"
Kanye has released a batch of singles—“FourFiveSeconds”, “All Day”, “Only One” and “Wolves”—all of which have failed to land in a major way. “All Day” rose to number 15 on Billboard’s Hot 200 but “FourFiveSeconds” peaked at 35.
However, there have been some dope moments along the way. For instance: See above BRIT awards performance.
Drake Kind of Ruined His Shit By Releasing His Mixtape
Kanye’s used to being the top dude, a spot that he acknowledges someone else has taken. Fans of Kanye’s music and the way he brands his personality onto the stuff he records, may be terrified by the idea of Kanye trying (and maybe needing to) out-Drake Drake.
Though aspects of the rollout to So Help Me God — or Swish — have been underwhelming to date, there have been a number of nice moments. For instance, the Grammy performance felt particularly touching and sincere (though the moment did not last long).