Kanye is the G.O.A.T. as far is Hip-Hop production is concerned – debate yourself. I’m not here to review this album or to stan/cape for Ye (ok i’m lying) … he’s my OG! What i’m going to do is tell you my favorite & least favorite tracks on The Life Of Pablo, in order. Here is what I like and what I don’t care too much for. Here’s nothing:
***** TOP 5 *****
This is my favorite track because Ye is spitting. Not only is he spitting, but he’s intertwining humor, satire and real life into a witty monologue. “I wake up, all veggies no eggs / I hit the gym, all chest no legs.” Shit like that. I’m not extremely proud of this, but Nelly was by far my favorite rapper going into high school. Like, I went to his concert with my then girlfriend and everything. So the “Andele andele, E.I. E.I., uh oh” and “it’s getting hot in here, that’s all that I know” siced me (made me extremely excited). The bars about the 3 star hotel, Double Tree, Not the Aria, Waffle House, ‘don’t start with me’. Dope. “You was the best of all time at the time though.” Shit like that. I love how Ye spit this “I remember rapping for Jay and Cam, young producer just tryna get his flows off / I remember being nervous to do Victoria Secret til I pictured everybody with their clothes off.” I like how wordy the second part of that bar is, it flows. “.. i’m driving with no winter tires in December, Skirt, skirt, skirt like a private school for women.” Bars like that. When he uttered “help me out 3 stacks” .. and 3 stacks helped him out .. i’ve never heard anything greater. I love how Ye is freestyle flowing at the end, I ALWAYS freestyle at the end of Ye tracks. Always. So I felt a connection. That’s why he’s my OG. He’s confident enough to show the process. And who doesn’t understand that 30 Hours is a play on 30 Showers? Gotta love Ye!
This is my second favorite track because Kanye is extremely brash, rude and overly confident. I love that shit. “I bet you me and Ray J would be friends / If we ain’t love the same bitch.” Overall I just like the fun, upbeat cocky flow. “I’m a shift the paradigm, I’m a turn up every time.” Ye uses his celebrity to advance himself, as he should, and to challenge corporate structures. Whoever thinks Ye has sold out is tripping. No sell out is going to say “advice for all my niggas, impregnate Bridgette / so when she have a baby, she gon’ make another nigga.” There are far too many quotables on this record. The Dream (I typed the Game originally, LOL) is blessing this track with his vocals. “I need every bad bitch up in Equinox / I wanna know if you’re a freak or not.” Apparently, Bob Saget fucks with Highlights too.
Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2
I fucks with this track because the production is Trap Rooted. It changes the direction of T.L.O.P. I love how aggressively Ye sings here. This is my introduction to the new dude Desiigner; I was sure he was Future until I saw the “Panda” record all over my timeline. I have no idea what Desiingner is saying, but sonically, it sounds good. Definitely a banger.
I’m not sure how this is number 4 because I really, really like this song. It’s a testament to how good T.L.O.P. is (again, debate your mother nigga). Honestly, FSMH2 & Famous could be interchanged. I think the way Ye opens up FSMH2 gave it a 1 up. However, the little Sister Nancy “Bam Bam” sample/remix catapults Famous up there too. Rihanna sounds so damn good on Famous. Too got damn bad ANTI bored the fucking shit out of me. I hope it grows on me, but anyways. Can’t deny the bravado behind the Taylor Swift sass (FDB). I’m team Yeezy. “I be Puerto Rican Day parade floating / The benz Marina Del Rey Coasting.” I can’t get enough of his luxury rap. Shouts to Nina Simone, too.
Ultra Light Beams
Now don’t get me wrong… I 100% understand how GREAT Ultra Light Beam is. It’s like Kid Fury said, probably the best song on the album. I wouldn’t argue. I can’t get enough of the little girl… DAS IT! Chance KILLS it. Kelly Price KILLS it. The Dream KILLS it. Kirk Franklin KILLS it. I’m not a Christian and that’s probably why I’m not drooling over this track, it’s really churchy. But I enjoy every bit of it and I fucking FEEL when that choir (or whatever) sings in unison. It MOVES me. The Dream has one of my favorite singing voices; him and Jeremih can sing virtually anything and i’ll get my life.
***** 2nd Tier*****
Unlike most of my contemporaries, I like the Weeknd. Lol. He is very much singing like, well, The Weeknd and I must say I enjoy it over Mr. West’s production. My favorite part of this song, much like Famous, is when the musical sequence (trying to sound like I know what i’m talking about here) changes. The sample used this time is Section 25’s “Hit.” I have no idea who those folks are and this is what I love most about classic hip-hop producers; their ability to take something old and make it brand new. “See before I let you go, one last thing I need to let you know / you ain’t never seen nothing crazier than, this nigga when he off his lexapro.” This may come off as facetious, but I think otherwise.“I’ma have the last laugh in-the-end (Indian) / cuz i’m from a tribe called Check-A-Hoe.” This song is Ye showing his vulnerability, “revealing layers of his soul.” This was originally in my top 5, and honestly probably should be in place of FSMH2. But 9/10 i’ll play FSHM2 before I play FML even though FML is the better song, overall.
Father Stretch My Hands 1
Kanye is a fucking fool. Models, bleached assholes. Like forreal?! I understand how this can be off putting to some, but this exemplifies what I adore about Ye. He is an artist, period. Don’t censor him. Also, i’m a big believer of if you believe it, if you think it, if you conceive it … it can’t be “wrong”. When genius’, indigos, deep thinkers, etc… say things like “We are Gods” – what we mean is we have the ability to think AND create. That’s Godly. We don’t expect you to get it. Carry on.
To me, this is a continuation of Welcome To Heartbreak (808’s) where Ye is being introspective, reflecting on being absent from peoples lives who matter to him. It’s about tarnished friend/relation-ships. I can relate; I feel like a deadbeat cousin sometimes too. And a deadbeat friend. Hearing these sentiments help me cope with being an introvert. An introvert who yearns to create, to shift paradigms and to simply be FREE. I didn’t like Ty Dolla $ign for a long time. I now appreciate the texture he offers on tracks like “Real Friends.” He kind of has a reggae flow when he sings, I like it. This song is refreshing, a polar opposite to the other side of Kanye I love. Do you see his Dilemma? I do.
No More Parties in L.A.
I opened up the post with my favorite line from this entire project. Is it THEE best line? Nah. But it pretty much sums up Kanye’s underlying existence. It’s so good and so timely. Kanye is always current, never wasting words! Fuck! Who hasn’t watched Narcos? Who wasn’t rooting for Pablo?!?! Who is willing to deny Kanye is a creative Genius, to the likes of a Pablo Picasso? I think the title (No More Parties) is another way of saying “I don’t seek your validation anymore Hollywood, i’m creating the standard over here, you might want to come fuck with me.” It’s Ye making the industry compromise and respect his genius. If they don’t fall in line, it’s “back to our regularly scheduled programming, of weak content and slow jamming.”
The beat behind Feedback is kind of corny. “I can’t let these people play me /Name one genius that aint crazy!” is the best part of this song. This sounds like it was a Yeezus reject. It’s catchy. But corny. “Hands up, we just doing what the cop taught us.” Yeezy being timely again. “I be saying what I feel at the wrong time.” Facts. “Fashion show in Gotham, I need another costume / PETA mad cuz I made a jacket out of possum / Awesome, Steve Jobs mixed with Steve Austin / Rich slave in the store picking cotton.” This has to be a Yeezus throw away. He should have put it on there instead. Kanye just flossing on this song, defending himself against the negative feedback he receives. He said it himself “I’m the ghetto Oprah” and gives out proverbial furs, jets and big booty bitches to “audience members.”
“Step up in this bitch like, i’m the one your bitch like.” That’s just the wave. I don’t really care too much for this song, to be honest. Chris Brown collabs here, nothing to write home about. I wonder if when Ye finished this he liked it so much we wanted to change the album name to Waves. I’m glad he didn’t, if that was the motivation. This song is just ok. I wanted the album’s title to remain Swish! And this cover art would have been dope. HOWEVER. After rocking with T.L.O.P. it’s almost a masterpiece (stan mode fully activated).
This joint is very Michael Jackson-esque. Must I say, it is so very nice to hear Miss Frank Ocean!!! Damn I miss her voice!! Frank, COME THROUGH! This is more like a chant as opposed to a song, and that’s one reason it’s so low on the list. It’s dope though. For sure. I thought the whole Wolves concept was something him and Drake would create from. Did he switch it up and use Frank? Or is he throwing us for a loop, hoping we’ll forget about the Drake shit and just hit us with it. I feel like this has some kind of biblical frame of reference i’m unaware of. “Cover Nori, in lambs wool / Surrounded by, these fucking wolves.” Am I right?
I think I think too much too. I wrote a rap “I think I think too much and I feel too little / That’s why I roll these leaves with the trees in the middle.” So immediately, I felt a connection with this song. I love how the “rock the boat” flow is used here “i’m gon work the middle / til it hurt a little.” Owww! I love how this songs feels. It’s bouncy, its like an 80’s feel. I think, I was all of 1 thru 3 years of age in the 80’s, fuck do I know lol. I just know it’s from a different era where another genre of music was considered popular. This was in the last category, but it got moved up to 2nd tier. I realized I just hadn’t listed to this track as to why I didn’t care too much about it. It’s more musical than lyrical. It’s nice. Shout out Post Malone!
I like the effects Kanye puts on his voice here, he is a master at manipulating sound and using his own actual voice accompanied by auto-tune as an instrument. I actually woke up and found myself reciting the lyrics and playing this first in the morning. I think this is Ye showing he can make the kind of music that’s on the radio, easily. This freestyle is funny, vulgar, flagrant. “What if we fucked at this vogue party? Would we be the life of the whole party?” Uh..
I Love kanye
Like. Whatever. I’m not even sure exactly what the title of this is (maybe I should download Tidal lol). The Old Kanye? I Love Kanye? It’s an acapella fresstyle where Kanye is kind of poking fun at himself. Up and coming producers have taken his vocals and laid their beats behind them. The one I heard from Key Wane? Wasn’t very impressive. By the way, if Kanye releases TLOP in the hard copy format- I’M COPING IT. For the record.
Silver Surfer Intermission
This is just an intermission, so it’s nothing to write home about. We are well aware of the “beef” between Wiz and Ye prior to this dropping. I’m sure this was just used to clear the air, to squash all beefs and to show the comradery among rap stars. Max B didn’t say anything quotable or too “wavy” so this intermission is just meh. Again, it’s a timely milestone marker for us 10 years down the line.
This song is like the Pep before the Ultra Light Beam rally. It’s meh. It’s another church inspired spoken word segment. It fits well into the project, but I could live without it personally. The fact that highlights follows this track is funny to me. It’s like Ye is intentionally putting tracks in this order, pairing (using my concept) dilemmas. The raunchy, brash records next to the thought provoking, classic joints. This interlude could accompany Jesus walks, in the sense of just because i’m not “your” version of Christian, doesn’t mean i’m any less Christian than you.
Now I don’t think this song is to be taken seriously. It’s a throw away track and here simply to antagonize Nike execs. Ye is just being Ye, being controversial while simultaneously sticking his middle finger up at these corrupt ass corporations. I honestly could have done without ever hearing this song. Part of me wishes he left it off the album, but it’s timely. In 10 years we’ll be able to remember exactly what the environment was to influence such a song. Just like the Freestyle 4, Ye is showing he can make any kind of rap music. His content is like an Olympic Swimming pool. It’s luxurious, has several of it’s own lanes, it’s shallow, it’s deep – and regardless if it’s used for exercise or recreation, it’s undeniable. It’s recognizable. It’s all inclusive.
You did it again Mr. West. Another 1.