Careful! If you make Kanye West mad, he’s probably not going to let it go. In fact, it’s almost certain that he’ll retaliate with some type of punishment. And, judging by a lot of what he’s got to say on Yeezus, said punishment will, in some way, involve his dick. West spends a lot of time on Yeezus talking about his dick. Like, a lot. Specifically the people and/or things he’s going to be putting it into. Also the things onto which he intends to ejaculate (often this is also used as some sort of retaliatory gesture).
Kanye! You can’t just go jizzing all over everything!
Doesn’t matter. Kanye is going to brick all over your wife, and all over her clothes, and he’ll probably get some on you, too, if you don’t watch yourself. Such is the warning implicitly contained within Yeezus.
The dude’s clearly in a vengeful mood, and his trajectory as of late has been kind of an interesting on. We got My Beautiful Dark, Twisted Fantasy which was something of a self-examination (unsurprising, then, that DTF stands as his most bombastic and grandiose album to date) and Watch the Throne which was something of a “LOOK AT MAH SHIT” that plopped right on the floor at the same time as the relatively doomed Occupy Wall Street. Now ‘Ye is pissed, and Yeezus is a glistening, throbbing “fuck you” of aggressive defensiveness.
Opener “On Sight” lands like snake spit, with acid keyboards that didn’t come here to make friends. The first three tracks, produced by Daft Punk make it clear that West has set out to do something radically different, SOMETHING THAT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.
Well, unless you’ve listened to Saul Williams’ Niggy TarDust, to only name the most obvious example that comes to mind.
Still, this is different for Kanye. Existing in some weird space right between maximalism and minimalism, Yeezus is a dark wash, rife with sharp edges. This album is all sinew and bone, and it shows West for the expert curator that he is. Behind the boards, he really knows what he’s doing. Yeezus is an unreserved assault, but still manages to show a smooth edge here and there (Justin Vernon is a welcome presence on pretty much any album, it turns out).
It’s hard to think of Kanye West as having something significant to say when he spends so much time talking about nutting all over various things. Still, the guy shows his penchant for wordplay every once in a while, and seems mostly aware of how fucking ridiculous he is.
“Hurry up with my damn croissants” became an Internet sensation the day the album leaked, and that happened because West knew it would. He put that line in the song because it’s an obvious Kanye-ism, something we’d all expect him to say. The music cuts out around it, and it becomes at least a bit clear that the line is meant to carry some comedic weight. Still, it’s delivered in earnest and with a privileged intensity that’s usually reserved for a certain kind of asshole. West might be capable of shining a light on himself...but self-effacing he will never be, and changing is something he’s unlikely to do. So a different-sounding record will have to be it.
West knows he’s not easy to love, and Yeezus is his assured embrace around that fact. If you don’t like it, be careful.
He might just yeeze all over your face.