“Dark Knight feelin', die and be a hero
Or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”
-Jay-Z, ‘So Appalled’
On his spectacular debut album “The College Dropout”, Kanye West came out with a song titled “Never Let Me Down.” The gist of the song is that, despite whatever trials and tribulations that Kanye and Jay-Z went through, they would never let us down. Now it may be telling that I am willing to take rappers at their words when it comes to things like that, but here I am.
I used to be a bigger fan of different artists, but as time has gone on and I listen more to the older songs, West’s work stands out. Ask me my favorite Kanye album, the answer differs by the day (That answer will never be “Graduation”, though.) When he releases albums, I will always want to think that I will not be left dissatisfied with the end product.
I was led to believe that Kanye would be releasing his latest album, “Jesus is King”, this past Friday. As of October 3rd, this album has not hit the internet, vinyl, or any other way I could possibly listen to it. According to TMZ, Kanye said the album is finished, but every time that he listens to it, he keeps wanting to tweak it. I guess that is understandable because Kanye has a reputation for being methodical.
In my experience, the best music makes you think in selfish ways. When I listen to OutKast, I feel a certain way about the world. When I listen to Kanye’s old stuff, it makes me feel a lot of emotions, because his songs are one of innate emotions.
This feels like a good time to disclose that I am not particularly religious, but I was looking forward to a Kanye West gospel album. The man can get the most out of many beats, and it would have been interesting to hear him with a chorus, and how he could get other featuring artists, who mainly do secular music, to get them to a religious tune. His mind is one that sees famed hip hop group Clipse be on a song with Kenny G.
I knew in the back of my mind the album was not going to come out on September 27th, even as my anticipation built. I knew once it did not drop on that day, it was not going to come out on the 29th, which was that Sunday. I knew, even while writing this, we probably are not going to see that album for a good while.
Is it possible the game has passed Kanye by? It could be true, but this is an era where older rappers are thriving in a way they never have. Pusha T, who is the president of Kanye’s label, put out a world-class album last year in Daytona while he was 41. 2 Chainz, a contemporary of Kanye’s, has been largely successful in the rap game after 35 and has put out a couple of good albums after he hit 40. Jay-Z released “4:44” when he was 47.
However, Kanye’s last couple of albums can be best described as mediocre and more accurately described as lackluster. He seems to not know which direction he wants to go with his music, and it is starting to show. I thought I would be listening to this album after midnight, enjoying a crisp album. However, none of that has happened, and it makes me sad. I want to experience that new music from my favorite artist. After years of making great music, he did it. He finally let me down.