It's been seven years since Kanye West released his sixth studio album Yeezus. Arguably the rapper's most polarizing release, the album received universal acclaim from critics, while garnering mixed reviews from fans.
After releasing his magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, three years prior, the expectations for the follow-up was just as crucial as Late Registration was to The College Dropout. From the soul in The College Dropout, to the orchestra in Late Registration, to the synth-pop auto tune 808's and Heartbreak, Yeezus was Kanye introducing hip hop to another new direction.
The aggressiveness of the harsh instrumentation introduced the dark side of Kanye through the mentality that comes with being the most influential artist alive. After his third album, Graduation Kanye solidified himself as an artist with nothing else to prove. Even with Graduation he pushed the envelope by collaborating with Daft Punk, and played a crucial part in the electronic craze in mainstream music.
With 808's and Heartbreak, Kanye was panned for expressing his vulnerability through the music he wanted to make, but much like Yeezus, he's continuing to showcase his versatility with releases that have become ahead of their time.
The dark, mournful, and twisted production matched with clever yet thought provoking (in weird ways) lyrics evoked with raw emotion formulated an body of work that'll continue to transcend as years pass by. While it's an album typically ranked at the lower tier of Kanye's discography, it's an album that deserves appreciation for being West's most interesting release, sonically and distinctively.
In many ways more than one, YEEZUS, was Kanye West’ adapting into the role of Christian Bale from American Psycho. The harsh reality of the film is that it portrays a lifestyle of materialism and narcissism that is relatable to the dissection of modern pop culture. Kanye, much like Patrick Bateman, loathes the shallow aspects of his surroundings but has an unhealthy appreciation for materialistic goods, while celebrating their exquisite taste to high standards.
Continuing to distance himself from society but yet having his influence plastered everywhere, the character portrayed by Kanye on YEEZUS was abrasive and it was a build up of emotions of someone so misunderstood that caused an distasteful musical statement.