I met The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. It was an amazing experience! We talked in depth about the recent uptick of the disregard of the lives of black males by law enforcement in our country. I also shared my views on the deterioration of the black family, the appropriation of black culture, and the prevalent theme of misogyny within hip-hop. Mommy kept interrupting us with her questions , so I kindly asked her to wait in the car until we were ready for pictures.
Travis Scott once said Kanye’s latest album (7th), The Life of Pablo, would sound like “the Kanye everyone wants”. After a few listens, I can agree. TLOP has pieces of each Kanye, based on the differences of each of his prior 6 albums, all in one album.
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1. Ultra Light Beam - has a “College Dropout” feeling to it; very soulful, organ and drum heavy, choir included, standout feature verses, and lyrically has a continued message to “Jesus Walks”.
2. Father Stretch My Hands pt. 1 - This track, is my opinion, is “Graduation Ye”, where he mastered making anthems and big stadium sounding tracks, without rapping too much. Then, he adds CuDi who helped him beast 808’s & Heartbreaks, especially on hooks. Yet, the song is short and sort of an interlude, which Ye used in the past as a technique to sequence the "Late Registration” album.
3. Pt. 2 - The first part of pt. 2 sounds like some 808’s & Heartbreak / Dark Fantasy shit…lyrically and sonically. Then Ye interpolates his new signee, Desiigner’s song “Panda,” which adds trap influence to the song. Ye didn’t really experiment with clashing songs until “Yeezus”.
4. Famous - Famous was originally called “Nina Chop,” but Ye had Swizz Beatz come and program a beat that made him spit in a very Dark Fantasy-ish way. This track is like “Hell of A Life” & “So Appalled” off Dark Fantasy mixed with “Blood on the Leaves” off Yeezus. Rihanna futuristically encompasses Nina Simone on the hook, but Ye makes sure to add Nina’s original voice to the end of the song.
5. Feedback - sounds like it couldv'e easily been on “Yeezus”. Fire.
6. Low Lights - Low Lights sounds similar to the “All of The Lights interlude” on “MBDTF,” with a similar eerily beautiful intro of piano as “Diamonds” on “Late Registration,” on top of a prayer over the track.
7. Highlights - this is Ye advancing how to classically use features, of different musical genres, all on one track, which he first mastered around the “MBDTF” album. His raps on this track are very “College Dropout”-ish, lyrically and flow wise.
8. Freestyle 4 - another track that’s fire and couldv'e easily been on “Yeezus”.
9. I Love Kanye - this is Ye identifying his roots, around the “College Dropout” era, lyrically, and even in his cadences.
10. Waves - another song like “Highlights,” where Ye advances his ability to make fire collaborations. He pretty much uses this skill to complete the TLOP album from here on. This collab is with Chris Brown, who bodies the hook. Chance the Rapper wrote this song and fought for it to make TLOP. Ye was also going to call his album “Waves,” based on how dope the song is. It sounds new, but if it had to be sonically reminiscent of any prior Ye album, I’d say it’d be “Graduation”.
11. FML - Ye makes a fire track with The Weeknd. Lyrically, he goes off in “808 & Heartbreak” cadences. The Weeknd’s voice, and the topic of this song, fit as an extension of when Ye was very reflective of his personal feelings on family & life as a celebrity on 808’s as well.
12. Real Friends - pure “Late Registration” type shit. Heavy drums, poignant & introspective raps + a R&B innovator on the hook (Ty $).
13. Wolves - I love Wolves. Shit sounds like it couldv'e been on “Cruel Summer”or “Yeezus”. Ye adds Frank Ocean, who lyrically enhances the song, like he did on his features on “Watch The Throne”.
Ye also adds raps and a bridge, where he once again goes off in a College Dropout- type tirade, speaking of family, religion, and society with in-your-face / profane lyrics that are humorous, but very real.
14. Silver Surfer Intermission - Ye gets French Montana to contact Max B on a phone call, to basically shit on Wiz Khalifa, who made a tiff about Kanye naming is album “Waves,” without paying homage to Max. This is another interlude to continue the album, similar to the sequencing of “Late Registration,” even though this intermission starts the bonus songs on TLOP.
5. 30 Hours - Lyrically and sonically “Late Registration Ye,” who, on the track, is presently rapping about his life during the “College Dropout” days. Ye adds Dre 3000 on the end of the song, just so his voice can bless this soulful track, which has a funky hip hop beat, with a simple yet, beautiful sample.
16. No More Parties in LA - Kanye raps along Kendrick Lamar and holds his own, stepping his bars back up over a Madlib beat skeleton. Ye also re-samples the same Ghostface excerpts from “New God Flow”. This song has a similar spirit to the collabs of the original “G.O.O.D. Fridays,” even though it’s just Dot & Ye going in.
17. Facts - Braggadocio Ye. “Watch The Throne” raps, because he basically is assessing where he’s at in life and shitting ostentatiously. Beat was re-done by Charlie Heat, and the track is also lyrically reminiscent to “Cold” or “Go Hard” with Ye & DJ Khaled, as you can tell Kanye was having fun on the track as well. Probably shouldv'e got Khaled to put Cloth Talk on it.
18. Fade - reminds me of a modern day “New Workout Plan,” sonically. Great sample & collabs by Ty $ & Post Malone, just by how they fit in the song.
Ye has described this album as his “gospel” album, and that’s cool, but to me, it sounds like what his greatest hits would sound like sonically, and at times lyrically (as far as cadences & flows), but in an individual album he made. That’s pretty dope. I can’t call TLOP a classic this very moment, but it’s definitely fire and overall feel good music that you want to play at least once a day.