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Kanye West|The Life Of Pablo

The Life Of Pablo

Kanye West

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The back story of Kanye West's 2016 release, The Life of Pablo, is nearly impossible to put in a nutshell, but it involves an ever-changing album title, including one that offended Wiz Khalifa so much that a twitter war ensued. Then there was a "Bill Cosby is innocent" tweet, and a consensus among producers and insiders that this was the culmination of his career. There was the Season 3 release of West's fashion line, a coinciding event that seemed just as important to Yeezy as dropping this LP. More important, maybe, since the runway models all made their cues while The Life of Pablo missed its release date, and while the idea that this is Kanye's career in one album can be loosely applied, it's more an angelic-themed LP in the vein of 808s & Heartbreak, with another vicious, trite, spiteful, parasitic release nibbling at its host. The opening masterpiece, "Ultralight Beam," represents the angelic side, offering a complicated emotional ride with the Gospel of Kirk Franklin fueling the song's jaw-dropping climax. Then, on a smaller scale, there's "No More Parties in L.A." with Kendrick Lamar and Madlib as co-producer, plus samples of Junie Morrison and Larry Graham, all supporting a smooth, rolling soul song they never could've imagined -- one about dropping your own shoe line -- plus "sheets still orange from your spray tan." Add the gorgeous "FML" ("I will die for those I love/God, I'm willing to make this my mission"), which comes with the Weeknd, and a marvelous sample of post-punkers Section 25, and the vibrant The Life of Pablo circles the wagons around family and soul mates in a manner that makes this the most holy of endeavors. And yet, when "Real Friends" explores the flipside, the emotions are tweet-sized and click bait, because paying a cousin a quarter million just to get a laptop back, just because of ex-girlfriend nudes, seems like G-Unit bragging or yesterday's bossip. There's the much talked about Taylor Swift diss in "Famous," which is not only callous, trite, and illogical but sits on a sub-Yeezy beat, and yet "Waves" (sounds like Kraftwerk remixing Chris Brown), "Highlights" (Young Thug and Yeezy connect supremely, like Drake and Future), and "Low Lights" (nothing but bass and a woman testifying for pure perfection) are all captivating, and make Pablo a soul-filling, gospel-fueled alternative to West's vicious, industrial-powered LP Yeezus. The bleached anuses that ruin expensive t-shirts in "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" just don't seem as interesting in this context, but the other way to look at the erratic Pablo is as an "instant" LP, one that was mastered at the last minute and debuted via streaming. On that count, it's a fascinating, magazine-like experience with plenty of reasons to give it a free play, and with "Feedback" adding "name one genius that ain't crazy" to the mix, Pablo excuses itself from the usual criticisms, although it could have been tighter.
© David Jeffries /TiVo

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The Life Of Pablo

Kanye West

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1
Ultralight Beam Explicit
00:05:21

Terius Nash, ComposerLyricist - Kasseem Dean, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Rick Rubin, Producer, Co-Producer - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Swizz Beatz, Producer - George Young, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Kirk Franklin, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Derek Watkins, ComposerLyricist - Kelly Price, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The-Dream, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Plain Pat, Producer, Additional Producer - Shanika Bereal, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenyon Dixon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Chance the Rapper, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Potter, ComposerLyricist - Chancelor Bennett, ComposerLyricist - Donnie Trumpet, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Nico Segal, ComposerLyricist - Mike Malchicoff, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - DJDS, Producer, Additional Producer - Aaron Encinas, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Crystal Lewis Ray, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lakesha Shantell, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Samoria Green, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chavonne Stewart, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Green, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tiffany Stevenson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Whitlow, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Samuel Griesemer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

2
Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 Explicit
00:02:16

Mike Dean, Producer, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Rick Rubin, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Leland Wayne, ComposerLyricist - ALLEN RITTER, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Metro Boomin, Producer, Co-Producer - Sam Griesemer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Potter, ComposerLyricist - DJ Dodger Stadium, Producer, Additional Producer - Chancelor Bennett, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Lee Barrett, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

3
Pt. 2 Explicit
00:02:10

Mike Dean, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Rubin, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer, Co-Producer - Menace, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Caroline Shaw, Producer, Additional Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Sidney Selby, ComposerLyricist - Adnan Khan, ComposerLyricist - Desiigner, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Lee Barrett, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

4
Famous Explicit
00:03:16

Kasseem Dean, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Winston Riley, ComposerLyricist - Havoc, Producer - Jimmy Webb, ComposerLyricist - Rihanna, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kuk Harrell, Producer - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Swizz Beatz, Vocals, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Bacalov, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Bardotti, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Mixer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marcos Tovar, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hudson Mohawke, Producer, Additional Producer - Kejuan Waliek Muchita, ComposerLyricist - Enzo Vita, ComposerLyricist - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Ross Birchard, ComposerLyricist - Ernest Brown, ComposerLyricist - Patrick 'Plain Pat' Reynolds, Producer, Additional Producer - Giampiero Scalamogna, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Chancelor Bennett, ComposerLyricist - Zeke Mishanec, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Balaguer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Charlie Heat, Producer, Co-Producer

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

5
Feedback Explicit
00:02:27

Mike Dean, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer, Co-Producer - Ernest Brown, ComposerLyricist - Marcus Byrd, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Chancelor Bennett, ComposerLyricist - Darius Jenkins, ComposerLyricist - K. Rachel Mills, ComposerLyricist - Ardalan Sarfaraz, ComposerLyricist - Manouchehr Cheshmazar, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

6
Low Lights Explicit
00:02:12

Mike Dean, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Sandy Rivera, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Griesemer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Potter, ComposerLyricist - DJ Dodger Stadium, Producer

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

7
Highlights Explicit
00:03:20

Terius Nash, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Southside, Producer, Co-Producer - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Tyler Bryant, ComposerLyricist - Kelly Price, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joshua "Southside" Luellen, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - EL DEBARGE, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - The-Dream, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Plain Pat, Producer, Additional Producer - Nathaniel Alford, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Jeffery Williams, ComposerLyricist - Velous, Producer, Co-Producer

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

8
Freestyle 4 Explicit
00:02:03

Mike Dean, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Will Gregory, ComposerLyricist - Alison Goldfrapp, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Hudson Mohawke, Producer, Co-Producer - Robert Locke, ComposerLyricist - Ross Birchard, ComposerLyricist - Caroline Shaw, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Potter, ComposerLyricist - Sidney Selby, ComposerLyricist - Samuel Griesemer, ComposerLyricist - Trevor Guerikis, Producer, Additional Producer - Trevor Gureckis, ComposerLyricist - Timothy Norfolk, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams, II

9
I Love Kanye Explicit
00:00:45

Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

10
Waves Explicit
00:03:02

Chris Brown, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - A. Williams, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hudson Mohawke, Producer, Co-Producer - Ross Birchard, ComposerLyricist - Ernest Brown, ComposerLyricist - Leland Wayne, ComposerLyricist - Elon Rutberg, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Derrick Watkins, ComposerLyricist - Metro Boomin, Producer, Co-Producer - Chancelor Bennett, ComposerLyricist - Kevin Ferguson, ComposerLyricist - Jahron Anthony Brathwaite, ComposerLyricist - Charlie Heat, Producer - Robin Diggs, ComposerLyricist - Theodore Livingston, ComposerLyricist - Darryl Mason, ComposerLyricist - James Whipper, ComposerLyricist - Fred Brathwaite, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

11
FML Explicit
00:03:56

Mike Dean, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Paul Wiggin, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hudson Mohawke, Producer, Additional Producer - Travis Scott, ComposerLyricist - Ross Birchard, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Ernest Brown, ComposerLyricist - Leland Wayne, ComposerLyricist - Marcus Byrd, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Mitus, Producer - Lawrence John Cassidy, ComposerLyricist - Darius Jenkins, ComposerLyricist - K. Rachel Mills, ComposerLyricist - Christian Boggs, ComposerLyricist - Vincent Cassidy, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

12
Real Friends Explicit
00:04:12

Mike Dean, ComposerLyricist - Jalil Hutchins, ComposerLyricist - Havoc, Producer, Co-Producer - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Darren King, Producer, Additional Producer - LAWRENCE SMITH, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Matthew Samuels, ComposerLyricist - Kejuan Waliek Muchita, ComposerLyricist - G. Proby, ComposerLyricist - Boi-1da, Producer - Frank Dukes, Producer, Co-Producer - Tyrone Griffin, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Adam Feeney, ComposerLyricist - R. Thomas III, ComposerLyricist - Darren Charles King, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

13
Wolves Explicit
00:05:02

Mike Dean, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Christopher Breaux, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Sia Furler, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Plain Pat, Producer, Additional Producer - Matt Larson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Boi-1da, Producer, Additional Producer - Ryan McDermott, ComposerLyricist - Sinjin Hawke, Producer - Cashmere Cat, Producer - Elon Rutberg, ComposerLyricist - Lincoln "Sugar" Minott, ComposerLyricist - Alan Brinsmead, ComposerLyricist - Victor Mensah, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Hoiberg, ComposerLyricist - Jordon Heskett, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams, II

14
Frank's Track Explicit
00:00:38

Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Lonnie Breaux, ComposerLyricist - Sinjin Hawke, Producer - Cashmere Cat, Producer - Alan Brinsmead, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Hoiberg, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

15
Siiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission Explicit
00:00:57

Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist - Noah Goldstein, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - French Montana, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Karim Kharbouch, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Max B, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Charly Wingate, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

16
30 Hours Explicit
00:05:23

André Benjamin, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Dean, Producer, Recording Engineer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Cornell Haynes, Jr., ComposerLyricist - Jason Epperson, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Karriem Riggins, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Pharrell Williams, ComposerLyricist - Isaac Hayes, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Aubrey Graham, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chuck Brown, ComposerLyricist - Charles Arthur Russell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

17
No More Parties In LA Explicit
00:06:14

Dennis Coles, ComposerLyricist - Sam Dees, ComposerLyricist - Highleigh Crizoe, ComposerLyricist - Larry Graham, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Herbert Rooney, ComposerLyricist - Walter Morrison, ComposerLyricist - Madlib, Producer - Andrew Dawson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Tina Graham, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Guitar Watson, ComposerLyricist - Kendrick Lamar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ronald Bean, ComposerLyricist - Otis Jackson Jr., ComposerLyricist - Ike Schultz, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Derek "Mixed By Ali" Ali, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

18
Facts (Charlie Heat Version) Explicit
00:03:21

Mike Dean, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Southside, Producer - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Aubrey Graham, ComposerLyricist - Joshua "Southside" Luellen, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nayvadius Wilburn, ComposerLyricist - Sonny Uwaezuoke, ComposerLyricist - Ernest Brown, ComposerLyricist - Leland Wayne, ComposerLyricist - Cydel Young, ComposerLyricist - Kyle Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Metro Boomin, Producer - Nicholas Smith, ComposerLyricist - Charlie Heat, Producer

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

19
Fade Explicit
00:03:14

Stephen Garrett, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Seats, ComposerLyricist - Rapture Stewart, ComposerLyricist - Robert Owens, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Barbara Tucker, ComposerLyricist - Norman Whitfield, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Louie Vega, ComposerLyricist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cornelius Grant, ComposerLyricist - Larry Heard, ComposerLyricist - Che Pope, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tyrone Griffin, ComposerLyricist - Ronald Carroll, ComposerLyricist - Sam Griesemer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Potter, ComposerLyricist - Ryan Vojtesak, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Austin Post, ComposerLyricist - Benjamin Benstead, ComposerLyricist - Harold Matthews, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

20
Saint Pablo Explicit
00:06:12

Shawn Carter, ComposerLyricist - Deric Angelettie, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ronald Lawrence, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Norman Whitfield, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Producer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Chris Galland, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sampha Sisay, ComposerLyricist - ALLEN RITTER, Producer, Co-Producer - Sampha, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Ike Schultz, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC

Album Description

The back story of Kanye West's 2016 release, The Life of Pablo, is nearly impossible to put in a nutshell, but it involves an ever-changing album title, including one that offended Wiz Khalifa so much that a twitter war ensued. Then there was a "Bill Cosby is innocent" tweet, and a consensus among producers and insiders that this was the culmination of his career. There was the Season 3 release of West's fashion line, a coinciding event that seemed just as important to Yeezy as dropping this LP. More important, maybe, since the runway models all made their cues while The Life of Pablo missed its release date, and while the idea that this is Kanye's career in one album can be loosely applied, it's more an angelic-themed LP in the vein of 808s & Heartbreak, with another vicious, trite, spiteful, parasitic release nibbling at its host. The opening masterpiece, "Ultralight Beam," represents the angelic side, offering a complicated emotional ride with the Gospel of Kirk Franklin fueling the song's jaw-dropping climax. Then, on a smaller scale, there's "No More Parties in L.A." with Kendrick Lamar and Madlib as co-producer, plus samples of Junie Morrison and Larry Graham, all supporting a smooth, rolling soul song they never could've imagined -- one about dropping your own shoe line -- plus "sheets still orange from your spray tan." Add the gorgeous "FML" ("I will die for those I love/God, I'm willing to make this my mission"), which comes with the Weeknd, and a marvelous sample of post-punkers Section 25, and the vibrant The Life of Pablo circles the wagons around family and soul mates in a manner that makes this the most holy of endeavors. And yet, when "Real Friends" explores the flipside, the emotions are tweet-sized and click bait, because paying a cousin a quarter million just to get a laptop back, just because of ex-girlfriend nudes, seems like G-Unit bragging or yesterday's bossip. There's the much talked about Taylor Swift diss in "Famous," which is not only callous, trite, and illogical but sits on a sub-Yeezy beat, and yet "Waves" (sounds like Kraftwerk remixing Chris Brown), "Highlights" (Young Thug and Yeezy connect supremely, like Drake and Future), and "Low Lights" (nothing but bass and a woman testifying for pure perfection) are all captivating, and make Pablo a soul-filling, gospel-fueled alternative to West's vicious, industrial-powered LP Yeezus. The bleached anuses that ruin expensive t-shirts in "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" just don't seem as interesting in this context, but the other way to look at the erratic Pablo is as an "instant" LP, one that was mastered at the last minute and debuted via streaming. On that count, it's a fascinating, magazine-like experience with plenty of reasons to give it a free play, and with "Feedback" adding "name one genius that ain't crazy" to the mix, Pablo excuses itself from the usual criticisms, although it could have been tighter.
© David Jeffries /TiVo

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