The Life Of Pablo: Is This One Of The Greatest Albums Of All-Time?
By: David Lazo-Pineda
Wowowowowowow! Holy fuck! So, first off, this is just a sample of what his album features as Kanye West’s seventh solo studio album The Life of Pablo has yet to be released to the public. However, this is basically a first-listen run-through of the version played live at Madison Square Garden during his Yeezy Season 3 Fashion Show. You can find pictures from that event on his Twitter page.
Warning: There will be spoilers. I am going to share how my listening experience was. Because lets face it, if you’re a Kanye West fan, you were like “WHERE’S THE ALBUM KANYE?!” since Yeezus dropped in ’13.
Track Número Uno: Ultra Light Beams
Who’s on the opening song off this album? Full of surprises. Last chance, you can still not read this. Ready? There’s a lot of gospel. Church choir type of singing, from Kelly Price, then a melody from The-Dream, who doesn’t get enough credit as an artist but we’ll leave it at that. Oh man, then, Chance The Rapper spits. The part that made me at awe is as follows:
“My daughter look just like Sia, you can’t see her
You can feel the lyrics and spirit coming in braille
Timing of the underground, come and follow the trail
I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell
I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail
You said ‘Let’s do A Good Ass Job with Chance three,’
I heard you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy
Let’s make it so free and the bar so hard
That a day one, gosh darn, part you can’t tweet”
Yup. Lets reflect on that. Chance confesses that Kanye once asked him if he wanted to make “A Good As Job” for “Chance Three.” A Good Ass Job was the album title for Kanye’s fifth solo effort in order to conclude his College, registering-late, graduating, then-getting–well, a good ass job theme. His fifth album ended up being My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and since then, talks about that concept ended. That is, until now. Now, we know following the success from 10 Day and Acid Rap, Chance The Rapper’s third mixtape–or quite possibly, his debut album, could be called A Good As Job which would make things come full-circle; Kanye West being a Chicago-native idol of Mr. Bennett ever since he was a teen and his fans know that by listening to his music. I truly hope A Good Ass Job is the title for Chance’s third solo project and if it does end up being his debut album, lets all buy it, support it and help him win a GRAMMY because it’s Chance’s time to shine. Kanye blessed him anyway, even if you disagree. Moving on!
Track Número Dos: Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Metro Boomin produced the first part of Father Stretch My Hands. Kid Cudi offers some necessary vocals:
Future says one line–yes, Future. Lean-sippin’ Future but he and Metro Boomin are close and that makes Kanye West and ’em tight. Second part includes G.O.O.D. Music’s newest signee as announced via President Pusha T’s Twitter. Desiigner is a Brooklyn, NY artist and Kanye has used his talent wisely on this live version of the album.
Track Número Tres: Freestyle 4
When you listen to this beat, you’re gonna understand why it’s titled “Freestyle” simply because the beat is composed to be rapped on by any talented emcee really. Kanye drops the beat near the end and proclaims he is the Ghetto Oprah. It’s funny, trust me.
Track Número Cuatro: Famous
We get to hear Rihanna, who is just accepting the fact ANTI is her most successful album to date. Then we hear the same drums introduced on Real Friends ft.Ty Dolla $ign, followed by some Woo’s and ad-libs by legendary Hip-Hop producer Swizz Beatz. The first couple bars, Kanye reignites the flame on his situation with Taylor Swift in the past by rapping:
“For all my Southside niggas that know me best
I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex
Why? I made that bitch famous
(Swizz Beatz: God damn)
I made that bitch famous
For all the girls that got dick from Kanye West
If you see ’em in the streets give ’em Kanye’s bests
Why? They mad they ain’t famous
(Swizz Beatz: God damn)
They mad they’re still nameless“
Ah, what sweet, sweet bars. At one point, the coolest shit happens. Kanye & Swizz go head-to-head. Kanye plays with his 808 drum machine while Swizz acts as a hype man and it works to a delightful degree.
Track Número Cinco: High Lights
High Lights gives off the vibe similar to songs like Say You Will, Love Lockdown and Bad News off Kanye’s fourth solo album 808’s & Heartbreak. Young Thug and The-Dream are on this one and it’s so dope. You can never go wrong with Kanye West behind the production and he raps like passionate Kanye which is the type of shit people feel, “They don’t even need to intellectualize it, life is a feeling process” word to Big Sean’s father.
Track Número Seis: Feed Back
I’ve only listened to the second verse of Feed Back and it’s where Kanye raps from the perspective of a fan; kinda like Eminem’s Stan but with satire. Here’s an excerpt:
“See I invented Kanye, there wasn’t any Kanyes
And now I look and look around and there’s so many Kanye’s
I used to love Kanye
I even had the pink polo, I thought I was Kanye
What if Kanye made a song about Kanye
Called I Miss The Old Kanye“
Track Número Siete: Fade
Expect similar drums and strings from No Church In The Wild off the Watch The Throne collaborative album with Jay Z, on this track. Kanye puts his sampling to G.O.O.D. use. Ty Dolla $ign and Post Malone (the guy who made White Iverson) are heard on this one, not a fan of Post Malone but Ty Dolla $ign is definitely a talented singer.
Track Número Ocho: FML
There’s this really soft and slow instrument playing, Kanye does somewhat like a Spoken Word poem and then outta nowhere, The Weeknd’s voice is heard on the hook. Yup. I guess it makes sense because The Weeknd is a Pop-star ever since Beauty Behind The Madness debuted in 2015. Nonetheless, this collab is decent, this is the hook The Weeknd sings:
“Wish I would go ahead and fuck my life up!
Can’t let them get to me,
And even though I always fuck my life up!
Only I can mention me”
Track Número Nueve: Real Friends
We’ve heard this one already. The drums are tight. The beat itself expresses how simplicity can still be a masterpiece. There’s no doubt in my mind that anyone who listens to this track will enjoy it, mainly because we can all relate to it. Once again, Ty Dolla $ign does what he does best and Kanye usually brings out the best in people; maybe that means Kanye truly is one of the BEST. Hmm…
THE FINALE, Track Número Diez: Wolves
We finally get Wolves although it appears on the Live @ MSG version, Vic Mensa’s verse didn’t make it as well as Sia’s verse as heard on their SNL performance last year:
Frank Ocean comes out of the cave he’s been hiding in and sings to close out The Life Of Pablo which is fitting since he opened Watch The Throne with No Church In The Wild; Frankie’s first collab with Kanye:
“The rings all ring out
Burn out, cave in
Blackened to dark out
I’m mixed now, fleshed out
There’s light with no heat
We cooled out, it’s cool out
Life is precious
We found out, we found out
We found out”
Verdict? Judging by this first-listen, I can tell you that it is possible that The Life Of Pablo could be one of the greatest albums of all-time. I can see why Kanye believes it. There’s layers-on-layers-on-layers of content and this is just me scratching the surface. I hope that this album will be in stores soon because I am anxious to own it and I can’t wait to hear the full-studio version of TLOP. Now I go to sleep.