A very important disclaimer; we are not here to speak on Kanye West, the artist. We are not here to speak about his fashion industry woes, his views on our culture, or any of his antics outside of the music. This will be solely on The Life of Pablo, the album exclusively on Tidal. After what felt like the most drawn out, messiest rollout in recent memory we finally have Yeezy’s latest album and it does not disappoint at all.
I wanted to go track by track and breakdown every record and how every collective piece to each record was beautifully weaved but I want everyone to experience the album themselves. From the features to the samples, The Life of Pablo feels like the soundtrack to a very specific stream of consciousness. You feel every contradicting ideology in Kanye’s head and the best part is that it makes perfect sense. Musically, the Chicago native has expressed an artistic vision by curating every sound on the album to paint his own masterpiece. Using every resource from a Nina Simone sample to Andre 3000’s background harmonizing to create an auditory mural. Kanye returns with a 20+ track record, something that is very rare in this era of albums yet it does not feel drawn out. The album has over 16 features yet it doesn’t take away from Kanye’s spotlight. Kanye West bends all the rules perfectly.
The album’s title, The Life Of Pablo, can be referring to Pablo Escobar. The Colombian drug kingpin that made it to the top with a “good and evil” duality whose legacy is both admired and hated. A man lost in his reign and power, a feeling very familiar to Mr. West. The album could also be referring to Pablo Picasso, a pioneer of cubism who forced the art world to see things in multiple angles rather than one. Kanye, like Picasso, presents his music on TLOP from multiple angles. The most likely interpretation of which Pablo the rapper is referring to would be Paul the Apostle. Paul translates to Pablo in Spanish. Paul spent his time preaching to those that didn’t believe, which was revolutionary at the time. It isn’t so farfetched to believe Kanye feels the same way.
Everyone has their favorite version of the man we know as Kanye West. The Life Of Pablo gives you the best qualities of every one of Ye’s other albums. It’s as refreshing as The College Dropout with the inspiration of Late Registration. It provides you with Graduation’s stadium music and the pain of 808’s & Heartbreak. It spews My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s confidence while being just as rebellious as Yeezus. The Life of Pablo is Kanye West’s musical climax thus far and it’s up to you whether or not you want to see it now or later.