Kanye West: Yeezus (review)

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Whatido Wurld,

So, we all know it’s Yeezy Season whether we like it or not.  Here at SwitchFlip Media, we are certain that he is definitely suffering from scrupulosity these days.  As turned off as he makes most of America feel by his outlandish behavior and constantly spewed verbal vomit via media, most of us patiently wait for the next delivery in his art each and every time!  What Kanye West delivers as an artist (Especially at this point in his critically celebrated career) will always attract fans of culture.  Just when he was publically forgiven and ushered back in while standing next to the beloved Jay-Z for their collaboration Watch The Throne, Ye has to “tear it down” with the media antics that surround his personal life (ie. KimYe, the baby, the reality show, etc).  Perhaps this is what Kanye is actually going for with this latest piece of musical art.

We feel he is trying to show growth in sound and in life by stripping it down to the bare minimum.  Obviously it seems pretty hypocritical coming from the excessive flashiness he is mainly known for.  From the packaging of the artwork, to his less-than-tangible marketing plan, Kanyes method of madness only seems to make sense in his own head.  However, he has an army of loyal followers (industry, critcs, and hardcore fans) that will take time to digest and celebrate his sixth studio album Yeezus in it’s entirety.  Is this Kanye’s best work to date?  Probably not as a whole.  Did he push boundaries for the sake of Art?  Absolutely.  You be the judge.  Click the CD image below to stream the album, and download it since it hit stores today (June 18th).  But first, check out our review below as to how we break down each song on this delivery.  Give us a shout and feedback on the album too!

-SwitchFlip Media

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01. On Sight (Prod. Daft Punk)

-This is a true album opener.  Daft Punk killed the production.  Kanye comes out hungry.  We like this one.  It’s short, but good.  ‘Nuff said.

02. Black Skinhead (Prod. Daft Punk, Travi$ Scott, Mike Dean)

-This is a fantastic industrial punk/dance record that takes hip-hop to another plateau.  Daft Punk did a fantastic job with the tribal yet metallic production.  The screams are fitting, and even the title is fitting for the type of originality this cut brings to the table in music these days.  Sounds like Kanye’s been doing his homework by listening to mid 80′s industrial/progressive rock.  Think Skinny Puppy, or Ministry, or even Trent Reznor.  This goes in the Win column for Kanye.

03. I Am A God (feat. God, Justin Vernon) (Prod. Daft Punk, Hudson Mohawke, Kanye West, Travi$ Scott, Mike Dean, Rick Rubin)

-Besides the completely unruly and egotistical title of the song, this song is a BANGER.  There’s nothing you can say about it; you can hear the balanced sounds from each of the producers credited on this track.  It’s gonna bang in the clubs, in the gym, in the car, in the headphones, etc.  Ye’s riding this track well with his flow and lyrical content is actually meant to be “tongue-in-cheek” funny.  Remember, Hip Hop was  originally about MCs being competitive against one another for the top spot.  We like to think this is where ‘Ye is going with the content, not seriously comparing himself to a an actual Diety.  He’s definitely crazy, but c’mon son.

04. New Slaves (Prod. Daft Punk, Travi$ Scott, Hudson Mohawke, Mike Dean, Kanye West)

-Kanye does a great job with his lyrical content on this song, probably one of the shining moments on the album.  It may be a hard listen to those that are not into racially charged controversial lyrics.  But ‘Ye isn’t really that deep people…he thinks he is, but there’s plenty of other artists that come with more information than this.  The production is minimalistic yet well done.  The marketing scheme of projecting his image against buildings (prior to album release) was genius.  This will be a staple on the album while in full rotation.

05. Hold My Liquor (feat. Chief Keef & Justin Vernon) (Prod. Young Chop, Mike Dean, Arca, Rick Rubin)

-This is the head scratcher on the album to us.  I mean, his support of Chief Keef (besides being a Chi-Town representative) has been a huge surprise to most of us who find this lil hoodlum wack as hell.  Justin Vernon & Chief Keef on the same track doesn’t work for us. This is the weakest song on the album for sure.

06. I’m In It (feat. Justin Vernon) (Prod. RZA, Travi$ Scott, Mike Dean)

-I’m In It is really pretty crazy because you have 2 artists that worked on the project who deliver performances that are totally against their signature sounds!  First of all, you always know when are hearing a RZA production.  So this was a crazy surprise to hear he took the lead on the production (besides some roots-reggae circa WuTang Iron Flag era).  The biggest shocker is hearing Justin Vernon (lead singer in Bon Iver) singing a hook full of swagger.  It ends with the type of braggadocious one liners you expect from ‘Ye.

07. Blood On The Leaves (feat. Tony Williams) (Prod. TNGHT, Kanye West, Mike Dean)

-This is the longest song on the album, clocking in at 6 mins.  However, the length doesn’t disappoint as it seems to be the most “grandiose” delivery  (in formal song structure) in which we expected from Kanye.  It sounds barely #PostDarkFantasy.  It doesn’t surprise us because it is one of 4 songs that Kanye actually produces, and from the credits it looks like he took the lead on this epic jam.  As soon as the horns break in, instant goosebumps.  If you aren’t a fan of his 808s n Heartbreaks style, then the last 1:30 seconds of the song may annoy you.  But the hook and the song in general is probably the best on the album. The “Strange Fruit” sample is Mega.  This has to be the most #SwitchFlipCertified track on the album.

08. Guilt Trip (feat. Kid Cudi) (Prod. Symbolyc One, Arca, Travi$ Scott, Mike Dean, Ackeejuice Rockers)

-More of the voice modulation (aka Autotune) style going on here, but production is spacey yet palpable.  Kid Cudi appears which shows some unity between them since he left ‘Ye’s “G.O.O.D. Music” label a few months ago. Cudder’s hook goes with the guilt trip song title/theme but it seems like it’s a tongue-in-cheek homage for his own exodus.

09. Send It Up (feat. King L) (Prod. Gesaffelstein, Arca, Daft Punk, Hudson Mohawke)

-This one sounds like a good song to mix (as a dj) in the clubs, with the horn/sirens.  You can tell Hudson Mohawke was involved in production.  The reggae hook at the end is random (but a good one).  Mos Def’s version is way more topshelf than this interpolation.

10. Bound 2 (feat. Charlie Wilson) (Prod. Kanye West, No I.D., Symbolyc One, The Heatmakerz, Rick Rubin)

-Bound is the only song on the album that sounds like it could fit on Graduation or Late Registration era Kanye.  Of course No I.D. (his mentor) is on the production with him.  Back to the original ‘Ye roots.  Charlie Wilson and Rick Rubin add the soulistic yet minimalistic flair.

Note:  Rumor has it that international versions (ie: France) has 4 bonus songs w/o titles.  We look forward to hearing those as well.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Trailer)
ALSO check this out:  Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s fifth joint film effort The Wolf of Wall Street.  The first official trailer  features Kanye West’s Yeezus  hit “Black Skinhead”  as the “I’m aware I’m a wolf” theme song.  The movie will premiere in theaters November 15.

The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West): No Church In The Wild

Sisters n Bredren,

Here’s the official release to “No Church In The Wild” from Jay-Z & Kanye West’s 2011 mega-hit album Watch The Throne.  The visual imagery compliments the song in high cinematic fashion.  Filmed in Prague last month by director Romain Gavras, you get the classy European artwork mixed with the rough rebellion street fight.  We think it’s stunning how Gavras tells the story of the song without including Jay, Ye & Frank Ocean (who sings the hook).  If you are planning an overseas trip this summer you can catch Grammy Award winning super hero duo continue on their European concert tour.

-SwitchFlip Media

Yasiin Bey: N****s in Poorest

Happy Leap Year Day,

I’m pretty sure most people know by now that Mos Def has abandoned his stage name as of 2012.  Under the new moniker Yasiin Bey, Mos Def will release new music on Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label.  Perhaps that statement proves an insight over the whole drama about his version of The Throne’s  “Ni**as in Paris, entitled “N***s in Poorest“.  Very socio-economic and politically driven, this clever song is an “interpolation” of Jay-Z & Kanye‘s big concert anthem.  Released to coincide w/ the 47th anniversary of Malcom X‘s assassination, Yassin kills it with the poignant lyrics in stark contrast to The Throne’s verses.  After reading many debates, we’ve come to the conclusion that we agree most with Young Guru (Jay-Z’s longtime engineer and Philly area native).  Check what he has to say out after the video.  After Yasiin and Talib performed as Black Star on mega-talk shows like The Colbert Report, we know the world is waiting for new Bey/Def & Black Star material this year.  As a #SwitchFlip Certified bonus, we added a new track called “You Already Knew” as well!

-SwitchFlip Media

The Throne: Ni**as in Paris

Whatagwan Kinfolk,

Okay, so here it is.  The Throne shot their official video for the club-banger “Ni**as in Paris” at their ridiculous 2-day sold out stop at Staples Center here in LA.  There’s a photo sensitivity disclaimer on this, so epileptics are warned.  Stylistically, this is a fantastic reinterpretation of being at the concert on psychedelics!  Jay & Ye definitely ran things in 2011.  It’s been confirmed by the group that they are ready to put out another album as well as solo releases for 2012.  With over a decade of creative synergy, excellent marketing and brand management, and obviously great respect for one another, there’s no telling what stratosphere they’ll take us this year.

-SwitchFlip Media

Pusha T: Trouble On My Mind (f/ Tyler the Creator)

Happy Friday Earthlings,

Pusha T’sFear Of God II: Let Us Pray is now in cyberstores near your fingertips. This was a very highly anticipated album slated to drop earlier this year.  It has a gang of features on it, but this is the official debut of the 1/2 version of Clipse brotherhood. Signed to G.O.O.D. music, you know he’s coming with heat and high level production from Kanye’s label.  Check out Trouble On My Mind featuring Odd Future’s Tyler the Creator This came out quite a bit ago, but now the album’s out, let’s recap.  SwitchFlip Certified for Shizzle!

-SwitchFlip