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Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo may be the most controversial album released in recent memory. It’s had three different names, a changing release date that’s still ongoing with potential for a new version, and forced millions of dedicated fans to download tidal to listen to it (or pirate it like a million others). It’s gained infamy for misogynistic lyrics about Taylor Swift and questionable album art. Yet, it’s worth all of this and more.
The Life of Pablo, like Kanye’s journey to finally releasing it, is messy. It feels more like a rough
draft of an album or a mixtape than a polished final album. There is zero continuity in the feel or organization of the music going through the album. The album switches suddenly from songs that are
almost gospel sounding to aggressive profanity, and then back to freestyle raps. Songs have titles such
as Father Stretch My Hands Part 1 and Part 2, with very little in common. But this isn’t a bad thing. The
entire feel of the album is frantic and rushed, and slightly confused about what it is. But, so is potential
future presidential nominee, reality TV star, clothing designer, father, and rapper Kanye West. He’s lost
and songs such as Real friends and famous explore his struggle in relationships and with fame, while
others explore his identity and self-perception such as I love Kanye, and his past is confronted in 30
His spirituality and life as a father are expressed in Father stretch my hands part 1. West knows exactly what he is doing in designing his album with such a confused and rushed feel to it. The Life of Pablo is in its essence about Kanye’s current life and persona. In Feedback Kanye laments, “name one genius that ain’t crazy;” Kanye is genius just like the titular Pablo Picasso, he’s an artist who makes messy art but is still confident in the ultimate genius in his work.