Kanye West tweeted that he was $53 million dollars in personal debt and asked tech billionaires such as Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg to help fund his future projects rather than “open up one school in Africa like you really helped the country.” This guy is a treasure! While both admitting that he’s rich, yet needing money to get out of debt, it leaves us thinking WTF!?!? You can imagine Kanye currently has a few big bills to pay. Last week’s huge Madison Square Garden fashion show, which was shown live to cinemas around the world, was just the latest in a string of super expensive projects.
But how much of this is real? Is he just trying to drudge up publicity for his new album? Is the album that good (or that BAD) that he needs to scoff up media attention by publicly asking CEO’s for a loan? Well, let’s see.
Kanye’s own reviews for his newest release are glaring. He’s referred to The Life Of Pablo as “one of the greatest albums” and the album went through a highly publicized litany of title changes. After the initial excitement brought from the live streaming of Kanye’s Madison Square Garden Yeezy Season 3 Fashion Show slash album premier listening party wore off, us fans were left to focus on one thing and one thing only – the music. But the album was released days late on very select streaming sites and online vendors. His fans, critics and the Internet en large haven’t been kind to T.L.O.P.
Combining elements from The College Dropout, 808 and Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and other past albums, the lyrical and production value of Pablo are a stripped down reinvention of the old-style Kanye. The production of Yeezus was amazing. But this project was supposed to be the fruits born from the full progression of Kanye’s work. Pablo didn’t go beyond the expectations. The 18 track album is arranged like a medley of short songs–the album is only 58 minutes long.
Each song is a bit like its own story. And we all love stories. But the tracks don’t share a common musical thread. The only thing they seem to share is disappointing song lyrics. Last month, world famous songwriter Rhymefest revealed that he stopped working with Yeezy. When fans asked Rhymefest if he would be working with Kanye in the future, he replied, “Nah his mind and spirit isn’t right. Rhymefest quitting Kanye could be one reason T.L.O.P. seems to go way left. His newest rap style is much slower than his older stuff, and he wasn’t a speed-rapper to begin with.
The album has some great features. The Dream, Andre 3000, Young Thug, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Kendrick, Chance The Rapper, and producers Cashmere Cat and Swizz Beatz are all featured on Pablo. Everyone wants to be on a Kanye record but no one wants to say anything when things sound wrong. Kanye actually blamed the records 3-day-late release on Chance The Rapper, tweeting that Chance was pushing for them to finish “Waves” on Friday, the day it was supposed to drop. There’s also the fact that T.L.O.P. isn’t actually for sale anywhere. It’s available for streaming on Tidal and for download on Kanye’s website–and that’s it (for at least seven days, according to Kanye’s Twitter). He’s keeping it off of iTunes and Apple music and he’s asking major “white publications,” like The Rolling Stones, not to write about the record. Still, the album grabbed a 9 out of 10 ranking from Pitchfork. Tidal has it climbed to the number one spot in the App store since T.L.O.P’s release, and the project is a self-proclaimed “gospel album.” As usual, the project is well produced and it has no shortage of features from hip hop’s top artists, but it just isn’t a game changer. So maybe Mr. West is trying to hedge his bets and grab a loan while the fire is still (somewhat) hot. With a loan, he can at least assure the record label the post-production money in that 53 Million dollars he’s in debt would be returned. Otherwise, its his funeral. But knowing Kanye, he’d interrupt his own funeral just to compare how great it was over Michael Jackson’s! Geez!