Hip-Hop

Stream Kanye West's 'Ye' Album

After previewing his latest album on a Wyoming ranch for a select group of journalist and A-listers on Thursday night (May 31), Kanye West unleashed the 7-track Ye project on Friday morning (June 1). With guest spots from Nicki MinajTy Dolla $ignYoung Thug and Jeremih, it is a brutally honest chronicle of West's recent struggles, beginning with the jarring "I Thought About Killing You." 

Over a chorus of Auto-Tuned vocalizations with no beat, 'Ye opens with the lines: "The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest/ Today I seriously thought about killing you/ I contemplated pre-mediated murder/ And I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so/ Today I thought about killing you/ Pre-meditated murder/ You'd only care enough to kill somebody you love." The shockingly direct track then finds Kanye getting even more real, saying he realizes he should probably say something positive to offset the darkness, but then opts not to. Once the dark, rumbling beat finally kicks in, 'Ye chronicles the different rules he lives by, summing it up with the line "If I wasn't shining so hard/ Wouldn't be no shade."

The album dropped on all major services and after months of hype it lived up to the brutally candid vibe that West had been sharing in his sometimes confounding, polarizing tweets and statements about everything from his support for Pres. Trump to his feelings on slavery. "Sometimes I scare myself/ Shit can get menacing, frightening," he sings on "Yikes," which name-drops Russell Simmons ("Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too/ I'mma pray for him cuz he got #Metoo'd"), TMZ, North Korea and 'Ye's avowed superpower ("that's my bipolar shit/ ain't no disability/ I'm a superhero) over a grinding beat and the hook "Sometimes I scare myself, myself."

The album also features the rapid-fire, lascivious "All Mine" (with a shout-out to Tristan Thompson) featuring Ty and Valee, the old school gospel-flecked, contemplative "Wouldn't Leave" (which references his comments about slavery being a choice) with Jeremih, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Ty , followed by, "No Mistakes," which has a lush, soulful vibe that harkens back to 2007's Graduation thanks to swaying backing vocals from Charlie Wilson and Kid Cudi. It glides to a close with the uplifting, Stevie Wonder-like "Ghost Town," on which West yearns for a day when things will settle down ("I feel free/ We're still the kids we used to be/ I put my hand on a star/ To see if I still bleed/ And nothing hurts anymore/ I feel kind of free") with help from 070 Shake, John Legend and Cudi. 

The final, soothing track, "Violent Crimes," features Dej Loaf and a spoken outro from Nicki Minaj on a track in which 'Ye gets serious about being a father, a good husband, rapping "Father forgive me, I'm scared of the karma/ 'Cause now I see women as something' to nurture/ Not somethin' to conquer/ I hope she like Nicki, I'll make her a monster/ Not havin' menages/ I'm just being silly." 

The new album is one of many GOOD Music albums this summer, including Pusha-T's Daytona, and the upcoming Teyana Taylor and Kid Cudi records.

Stream Ye below.