When Chuck D of Public Enemy described hip-hop as “CNN for black culture”, he probably did not expect to see the antics of famous rappers become such a fixture of the wider news cycle. And yet Ye – the eighth studio album by Kanye West – finds the controversial rapper in candid, unrepentant form, making the news once again. Over a brief seven tracks, the 40-year-old superstar confirms his production prowess, veering between sparse, hyper-modern styles and compositions which hark back to the soulful bent of the producer-turned-rapper’s early career; a volatile mix of the sweet and the acrid, the sentimental and the tendentious. Lyrically, he is less easy to defend. “I don’t take advice from people less successful than me,” sneers West, the lofty self-made millionaire, on Make No Mistake – a song whose buttery first verse and chorus (sung by Charlie Wilson and Kid Cudi) curdles into a series of self-righteous outbursts. Much of Ye – Kanye’s nickname – feels raw, personal and up-to-the-minute, the album cover-shot having been taken on an iPhone as a private listening party and album streaming session was being set up last Thursday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yikes – one of the best… Read full this story
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