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Kanye West is set to release his new album

2024.01.31 07:26:11 Alvin Song

[A DJ producing. Photo credit: Pixabay]

Kanye West, one of the most innovative yet controversial hip-hop artists of all time, has officially announced the release date for his new album, Vultures.


The album, a collaborative piece between Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign, was originally set to be released in December 2023 but was delayed multiple times after the initial plan.


On the 23rd, Kanye posted the trailer for his album and the release dates for its three volumes on his Instagram account: February 9th for the first, March 8th for the second, and April 5th for the third.


Over the last few years, Kanye has been involved in a multitude of vital controversies - many of his fans believe that Vultures will be crucial for his redemption.


In October 2022, Kanye faced criticism after wearing a shirt that said ‘White Lives Matter’ in a fashion show.


Afterward, he claimed that the Black Lives Matter movement was a failure on his social media and insisted that the cause of George Floyd’s death was fentanyl, not police brutality.


Ironically, he donated 2 million dollars to George Floyd’s family in 2020 - just two years before the controversy.


In December, he faced even more backlash after repeated antisemitism and comments regarding Adolf Hitler.


Kanye was featured on InfoWars, a TV program run by conservative commentator Alex Jones, where he claimed that Hitler was not responsible for the death of 6 million Jewish people and that the holocaust did not happen.


Ever since the well-known interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA award speech in 2009, Kanye has been at the center of controversy - mainly due to his bipolar disorder.


In 2020, his then-wife Kim Kardashian revealed that Kanye had been suffering from extreme stress, especially after the death of his mother, Donda West, in 2007.


Many believe that the disorder could have gotten even worse after Kim Kardashian divorced Kanye in 2022.


Subsequently, many awaited the release of Vultures with both anticipation and concern.


On the one hand, fans believed that Vultures might be his opportunity to recover his reputation as he did with the 2010 release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - an album widely regarded as one of the best albums of the 21st century - after the controversy mentioned above surrounding Taylor Swift and consequent public scrutiny.


On the other hand, the album’s consistent delay is signaling a possible issue with its quality with some fans; the concern was exacerbated after its listening party in Las Vegas was halted after only 30 minutes due to the police.


One consensus, however, is that the album will be Kanye’s attempt to reflect a new musical style.


In his first three albums - The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation - Kanye mainly used the ‘Chipmunk soul’ style, a technique that samples soul music to a high pitch.


In his fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye turned towards a more electropop-esque style, using autotune in almost all the tracks.


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus, Kanye’s fifth and sixth albums, respectively, were generally in stark contrast; the former focused on incorporating as many genres as possible - ranging from progressive rock to art pop - while the latter used minimal sampling and is classified more as experimental hip-hop.


Three out of four of the remaining albums in Kanye’s discography - The Life of Pablo, JESUS IS KING, and Donda - are all classified as gospel hip-hop, mainly due to the artist turning towards Christianity after his mental disorders worsened.


In all the listening parties held so far, however, Kanye mainly featured songs with more sampling, melodic rap, and less gospel, reflecting a clear shift from his previous attempts.


Regardless of the outcome, however, it seems clear that the titan remains one of the most relevant artists after 20 years since his historic debut.

Alvin Song / Year 11
North London Collegiate School Jeju