Sunday Swim Presented By The Lake Review, Episode 8: Kanye West, “Yeezus”
Sunday Swim is a weekly guest column written by The Lake Review for Sound Over Time, covering classic records that you need to hear if you haven’t already. Follow the Lake Review on Instagram @thelakereview.
When things aren’t going most people’s way, they shut down. The same cannot be said for the artist known as Kanye West. A prolific artist of the 21st century who has proved time and time again that he can be and do anything he puts his mind to. His evolution as an artist has surpassed many of his peers that have been put in the same class as him.
During 2013, a lot of things were happening with Kanye. A deal with Nike gone completely wrong due to lack of freedom and creative control, a baby on the way and trying to follow up what some people have called the greatest album of the 2010s, Kanye was not happy constantly being ridiculed for wanting to control and release a product he knew could change the world, not to mention constant harassment from paparazzi. Like all other times when Kanye is faced with adversity, he put it all into his music and created the project known as Yeezus.
The album starts off with abrupt ear bleeding sounds that could be mistaken for a malfunctioning microwave then leads into a techno beat courtesy of one half of the techno duo, Daft Punk. Kanye comes in rapping about how he’s about to take over in all ways possible. A straightforward record with a combination of production you’d expect to hear on films like A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut if their soundtracks were composed by Daft Punk and Arca (no coincidence they appear all over Yeezus). One thing that can be said about this album is it has no definitive sound, but it all works somehow. Only being ten songs, Kanye and all the guests on the project came together to create a piece of art that doesn’t sound like anything else in hip-hop.
Considered by many to be Kanye’s most ambitious and experimental album, this album is definitely not for the casual music listener. A lot of people didn’t like this album when it first came out due to the all of a sudden change in sound just like on his project, 808s & Heartbreak, but as time went on, lot of people finally saw the record for what it is. A message to all the doubters and the ones who deny you what you are owed.
Released on the same day as records from J. Cole and Mac Miller, the album went on to be number 1 and be universally acclaimed by many critics. Many years later, Kanye has become fully dedicated to his deal with Adidas becoming a billionaire off the YEEZY shoe line and doubling his net worth with the GAP deal soon to be released. Kanye is just one of many examples that shows we all can do whatever we want if we never let anyone tell us what we can’t do.