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Album Review: Kanye West, Yeezus

From the May 1 announcement of Kanye West’s sixth studio album Yeezus—via a subtle Tweet from West simply reading “June Eighteen”—fans and critics knew it was going to be a different album, reflecting Kanye’s ascension to rap godliness. Without releasing a single or music video to help promote the LP, Ye approached marketing it to the masses guerilla-style—projecting one of its standout tracks “New Slaves” onto buildings all over the world from drive-by trucks—but still employed more traditional formats like an appearance on SNL, where he premiered two new songs. Today, Yeezus sees the light of day, and it’s a moving and innovative work; its grand ambition harkening back to another one of West’s break-the-mold albums, 2008′s 808s & Heartbreak.

In a rare recent interview with The New York Times, Kanye explains a revelation he had  about the progression of his sound leading up to 808s, dubbing his groundbreaking fourth LP the “first black new wave album.” He reflects, “I didn’t realize I was new wave until this project… I am a black new wave artist.” With Yeezus, he takes that black new wave genre and forcibly meshes it with house, punk, dancehall and drill in earnest. The result is a collection of his angriest songs yet, accented with enough clever barbs and Kanye charm to make even his most biting commentary accessible.

Though Yeezus marks a sonic departure from West’s orchestral instrumentation on last year’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation, Cruel Summer, it explores some of the same ideas—excess, social status, inequality—as his collaborative project with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne (2011). Only this time, the themes are discussed with more humility and humor, as Kanye doesn’t feel the need to keep up with Jay’s emotionless grandiosity. Yeezus is home to some of Kanye’s most provocative writing to date, and it sees him perfecting his formula of dissecting power and otherness with a masterpiece mix of awareness, ignorant wit and fuck-off confidence.

The production is equally aggressive and bombastic. In theTimes piece, Kanye touches on working on Yeezus with master producer Rick Rubin, who’s created a reputation of producing by reducing (sounds, vocals, etc.). Just as he described, the album is filled with minimal production; there are thundering drums which quickly show up then disappear and warped samples (screeches, gasps, sirens) sprinkled throughout. It’s by far his least musical project, swapping the warm sounds of College Dropout and synth-pop beats of Graduation for more staccato, repetition-driven rhythms. If it all sounds weird, that’s because it is, but the motley musicality is justified by Kanye’s mixed messages.

On the album’s centerpiece, “I Am A God,” Kanye alters his voice to play tongue-in-cheek, as if in on the joke that the same artist who made the God-fearing “Jesus Walks” also made an album called Yeezus. He clarifies the confusion with the line, “I am a God, even though I’m a man of God/My whole life in the hands of God, so y’all better quit playin’ with God.” In a juxtaposition of himself and God, he plays with identity so cleverly that it’s more entertainment than commentary, or commentary masked as entertainment, something Kanye’s always expertly walked the line on. Later in the track, a few beats after yelling, “In a French-ass restaurant; Hurry up with my damn croissants!” Kanye admits, “I just talked to Jesus, he said, ‘What up, Yeezus?’” He’s at his best when he reminds us of how hilarious he can be, even at his “most-high.”

Another standout comes on the Chief Keef-featuring “Hold My Liquor,” an update on West’s slept-on Graduation cut “Drunk And Hot Girls.” On it, Keef shines—his hook is in equal measure heartbreaking, hopeless and empty—and gives Kanye room to pirouette through sirens and filtered drums with snarling, otherworldly couplets. The track’s lyrical highlight comes with the resentful lines: “Then her auntie came over, skinny bitch with no shoulders/Tellin’ you that I’m bogus? Bitch you don’t even know us!/’Baby girl he’s a loner, Baby girl he’s a loner’/Late-night organ donor, after daddy disowned ya.” He maintains a similar tone with “Blood On The Leaves,” an ominous lust memoir that finds Kanye flexing his forgotten rapid-fire rap skills one second and singing an 808s-esque regretful refrain the next.

Yeezus‘ quick and hypnotizing pace finally leads to its emotional and musical highlight, the closer “Bound 2.” It’s a twisted, compelling love song that’s reminiscent of some of West’s classic soul-tinged records. On “Bound,” Kanye raps romantically (“Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures/One good girl is worth a thousand bitches”) and quirkily (“I wanna fuck you hard on the sink, after that give you something to drink/Step back, can’t get spunk on the mink”) about an unnamed love. It’s a perfect sendoff that reminds you of Kanye’s roots while pointing you in the direction of his future.

With Yeezus clocking in at a short 40 minutes, Kanye achieves his goal of creating a stripped-down, minimalist project; there’s nothing extra or out of place here. More importantly, Kanye makes it abundantly clear that he’s still got a lot to say, and a lot of new ways to say it.—Dan Buyanovsky

  • Dommi.

    ayeeeeeeee

  • Yeezusseasonapproching

    originality just an XL ?

    • Kurama

      That’s probably because of all the misogynistic lyrics.

    • DatDudeBruhBruh

      That’s because Kanye kinda went into Death Grips lane on most tracks… not to mention he’s not the first rapper to kill a TNGHT beat (Pretty sure XV did that first).

  • dieslow

    This album is absolute garbage

    • fuck Benn Simms

      for an ignorant person who refuses to give change a chance… YES.

      BUT the sad truth is that most of the people hating on this album havent even listened to it yet or listened to it properly. First time i heard it i gave it a 6/10. after the third listen it definitely goes up to an 8/10, that low because after you listen to the lyrics on born sinner, you realise that yeezus lyrics are almost completely shit. (NOTE: Some good kush with the album helps btw ;))

      However, im my opinion, they are both great albums, that should not even be compared. These albums are seen by most as just music, when infact it shows where these artists are in their lives.

      KANYE: is in a horrible place to be honest, he’s at that point in your career, when youve been in the game so long you start to lose your self and get so caught up in your hype, you feel like youre unbeatable. if you listen to his previous work, you can see that all his albums were also great as far as production goes AND he also had good lyrics, simply because he wasnt one of them mainstream junkies, who just talk about money and cars. No doubt kanye is creative, but the fact is that after you lose yourself, its only a matter of time before you lose everything.

      COLE: on the other hand is in a great place, a humble place, where he knows how good he is, and still refuses to be too proud, where he has realised that the people are important and not the labels or the magazines. I think one of the amazing things is how even when he raps about women, he’s not solely talking about how he has many of em, but more about the pain he causes them, painting them as victims.

      I think this line alone shows you the difference between both men.

      “IM a man of the people, not above but equal”

      and at the end ill pick born sinner, simply because it reflects a better message and it also has some nice ass beats.

      • Note

        “you realise that yeezus lyrics are almost completely shit. ”

        Yet you gave it a 8 out of 10…..

        This is the very logic that is killing hip hop…You spent more time talking about the artist personal lives instead of the music. If the lyricism is close to shit…how can it be equated to anything close to greatness??? Lyricism is the main ingredient in Hip Hop…if its sub-par then how can you score it so high???

        “BUT the sad truth is that most of the people hating on this album havent even listened to it yet or listened to it properly.”

        Listened to it properly??? Oh you mean just say its a good album….right….in the end you have no clue to people’s perspective on the album. We all have our taste. If you like it thats cool but don’t run that bullshit to justify overrating a shitty album. Change is fine…but when the change is detrimental to the quality of the album then its not a positive thing. Giving points to a album just because its “Different” is about as pure of a dickriding move as you can do.

        • coop

          ” This is the very logic that is killing hip hop…You spent more time talking about the artist personal lives instead of the music. If the lyricism is close to shit…how can it be equated to anything close to greatness? ”

          well said

  • Ugo

    Yeah originality is without question an xxl…. and lyrics an xl he was snubbed in my opinion. i guess they dont want him to have too many xxl’s and thats understandable. good review

  • truth

    XXL really needs to update their rating scale, or at least start giving out more M’s and L’s. Because at this point, XL means “good”, L means “ehh”, and XXL means “album of the decade”. Yeezus wasn’t perfect but it’s no better than other albums that got an XL this week? I disagree

    • erik

      Born Sinner got L and that album is far >> than Yeezus. Biased XXL magazine

      • aegentirony

        What you smokin on son? Pass that SHit!

        • rushing_123

          What you smoking on son? Born sinner > 808 and heartbreak > yeezus.

          • QQ

            ^ Idiot probably haven’t even listened to it

      • Matt Cosgrove

        Yeah really. That’s also what happens when you have different individual people doing these reviews, as opposed to a board of people deciding. But who’s to say that their opinion means anything more than the consumers? In my honest opinion, I think Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” was the best album released on June 18th! I know not a lot of people will agree, but it’s my opinion (XXL did give it an XL rating though). I thought it was the best, followed by Born Sinner, followed by Yeezus, which I’m not a huge fan of. I think Yeezus deserves an L at the most.

      • DatDudeBruhBruh

        Born Sleeper got an L because it’s Trash nigga… let Coal take his L like a man, you ain’t gotta protect the lil Eeyore lookin-ass nigga.

        Yeezus and WMWTSO the only albums niggas needed to buy this month… dunno why anyone would waste they money on Coal’s recycle bin classic.

        • andythecoolkid

          ‘Yeezus’ is just another over-hyped album by some shitty artist. Just saying, brah.

  • Slick Joe

    I think Cole could get a XXL…

    • burr

      nope…

    • AFS

      I agree. next album cole better get an XXL.

  • http://fredgatesdesign.com/ Fred Gates

    Two words: Saul Williams.

  • mango

    hahahah good review xxl thanks to kill the hype of this pop hiphop nigga

    • you’re a fucking retard. how the fuck is a XL a hype killer? fuck you and your fruity name.

  • BrianRaider

    G.O.O.D. Review!

  • Jordan Schrock

    Yeezus was trash except Bound 2, New Slaves & Black Skinhead. Bound 2 is what I expect an entire kanye album to sound like

    • fire

      what do you think his intentions were with this album….defying expectations. he could have made an entire album that sounded like bound 2 but that wasn’t the point. “he’ll give us what we need, it may not be what we want”

      • Jordan Schrock

        I think his intentions were to make experimental music and it just didn’t work

        • KelCarr

          I agree man. Just because he was experimenting doesn’t give him a pass for a mediocre album (and thats being nice). It’s not hard to understand where he was trying to go, but for me it just did not work.

      • Six

        What we need? If he gave us what we need, we wouldn’t see comments stretching longer than an elephant tusk comparing it to another album.

    • Eddz

      YEAH! WE WANT THE SAME THING ALBUM AFTER ALBUM AND FOR HIM NOT TO CHANGE ANYTHING! BECAUSE THAT’S HOW GREAT ART IS MADE, Right?
      YEAH!

      • Jordan Schrock

        If that same thing is actual good hip hop then yeah I’ll take the same thing over and over instead of shitty death grips inspired garbage.

      • Charles Al Dente Andrews

        fucking douche go check out some real art by Picasso and Basquiat and tell me them motherfuckers don’t stay true to not only their artistic method, i.e painting, but individual expressive style i.e impressionist. The challenge is staying relevant WITHIN your chosen field, not selling out for whatever’s hot at the time. If real artists moved like Kanye Warhol would have been doing graffiti towards the end of his career, and calling it shitty ‘nu wave’ art. Ive studied art and it pisses me off so much that Kanye’s lame excuse for an album not only gets a pass but is heralded as the artistic watershed the world has been waiting for. G.T.F.O.H… *Reaches for section.80 & bs reducing headphones*

        • what kind of fag, writes what he’s doing?

        • what kind of fag, writes what he’s doing?

          • Charles Al Dente Andrews

            One thats *flicking thru your netflix while your mum cooks my dinner*

          • Once again, you’re a fag.

        • https://www.facebook.com/asabere.akwasi Akwasi Asabere

          You think Kanye is selling out? Not at all man.

        • Wllm

          oooh so you’ve studied art eh? so you think that makes you more qualified to trash what he’s trying to do? seriously shut the fuck up with that ‘real artist’ shit. you do realize music changes as the years go on right? rap from 1983 does not sound the same as it does today. if you studied art then you’d realize picasso switched styles frequently during his career, so why is kanye not allowed to do the same thing?

          • Charles Al Dente Andrews

            No, studying art qualifies me for nothing, in all honesty, but it makes me smart enough to know that when Kanye tells me him and I are the “New Slaves” for corporate america, then turns around and tries to sell me overpriced ugly as fuck Nike Yeezys at 150 a pop, to not take anything this douche says sincerely. And if that has stimulated your two brain cells into some form of hyper-conductivity, Remember a little song called “Goldigger”? same dude that made that is now Kim K’s baby daddy. I’ll let the irony of that sink in for a while. No rush..

          • chip delicious

            clearly you didn’t really listen to this album/take the time to understand the lyrical content, rather than listening to the album once and taking the lyrics literally. Major douche chill happening over here

          • Charles Al Dente Andrews

            Riiiight, because i refuse to be sucked into Kanyeezy’s massive gap hole means i clearly dont have theintellectual capacity to grasp his lofty rhetoric..phhahahaha..You fake wannabe artistic hipsters kill me. Forcing yourselves to consume crap while smiling and asking for more. At the end of the day you wanna spend your time listening to shitty pre-pubescent screams that your problem brah. Just don’t expect the rest of educated society to join you in your lunacy.

    • Six

      I agree with saying Bound 2 and Black Skin Heads being the best tracks on it but I disliked how Bound 2 switched up. I felt like it sounded a little nutty although I liked both sounds, just not in the same song.

  • Rigby

    Psalms 82:6. Educate yourselves

  • deez

    This Album is absolutely disgusting, didnt think he could make anything bad but boy was i wrong

  • Timo Pylvänäinen

    originality XXXXXXXL

  • Str33tJustus

    Born Sinner > Yeezus

    • ad

      No.

      • rushing_123

        Yes.

    • BOB

      If you’re deaf then yes

  • #1Adam

    This album fucking sucks. This nicca is trying to pass off bootleg ego. I’m so fucking disappointed I could spit. Thanks for nothing nicca. Did I tell you I wanted Techno, I don’t think I did. Leave Kim and go find your hip hop. This album isn’t worth breakin trees up on. Don’t rap till you fix ya life.

    • Wllm

      why the fuck do you think kanye gives a fuck what you think? he’s making music he enjoys making and if you like it cool, if not don’t fucking listen to it. simple as that.

      • Cocaine Howie

        This “fuck the fans” era of music these mainstream artists are in is for the birds

  • Ed

    Kanye’s worst album lyrically, yet still manages an XL. Not an enjoyable listening experience. About as commercial as a Doritos add at the Super Bowl. Born Sinner > Yeezus.

  • Ernie Espinosa

    Born sinner blows this out of the water, and the sad thing is I am a Ye idealist. I never heard anything from him I didnt like. I am glad I picked up J.Cole too or else I would be real pissed today

    • QQ

      J Cole = Snooze Fest you just like basic HipHop

  • Comic Book Guy’s Bar: CBGB

    Kanye isn’t saying anything new. He’s saying the same shit he’s been saying differently. There is a HUGE difference critics seems to read WAY into Kanye’s simplistic lyrics finding meaning where there isn’t one. X at best

    • This Company is a Joke

      Dammit I meant “L” at best.

      For all you Americans here Kanye’s beats has been done in the UK for YEARS. Not as original as you think

  • UK

    everyone whose dissin this ablum is a straight hater. It’s not as epic as he hyped it up to be, but it’s still a great album.

    • KelCarr

      Just because someone doesn’t like something does not mean they are hating. It’s just a matter of personal preferences. Disagreeing does not make you a hater. Stop it..

  • Chewie

    People who are hating on the album just don’t appreciate the uniqueness. They prefer a strictly hip-hop album. This album grows on you and it may not be his best album, but its up there

    • David Branch

      ahh, an album shouldn’t have to grow on you, that’s what beards do. Disappointing because it’s coming from a label called G.O.O.D Music. He’s still exploring his artisitc pithiness at the expense of his fanbase… and knowingly. He said himself that he doesn’t care if his core fans don’t feel it. should have released this jawn under a phoa name.

      • AFS

        I couldn’t agree with you more!!!!

      • https://www.facebook.com/asabere.akwasi Akwasi Asabere

        Why can’t albums grow on you? For some people it takes time to adjust to something, especially if an artist does something different. This is G.O.O.D Music. You think all the great albums were automatically liked by all people? You honestly think that it didn’t grow on some people? If so then you’re narrow minded.

      • B

        I completely disagree, some of my favorite albums took a lot of time to grow on me. And often my favorite track on an album is one I slept on at first. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying something on your first listen, but some music has a lot more depth and requires digging deeper to fully understand.

        • SS87

          You do know that “this album has to grow on you” is code for “this album is awful, but if i play it enough times, it’ll convince to me like it” right?

      • 2012Industry1

        Albums SHOULD grow on you. If you love it straight from jump, that’s hype, not love, not great.

    • 8====D~~~~(.)(.) = babies

      if u want uniqueness listen to stankonia, idlewild . sorry album was a miss

    • Lucien Rodriguez

      Not true at all. I liked Lupe’s Friend of the People album. But Yeezus is bad. No drums on the whole album? Absurd. He even got Rick Rubin to help on it and Rubin is renowned for making bangin ass drums. Big fail.

  • LL

    Fucking horrible. I got Bound 2 on repeat though. Love that soul sound!

  • jay deLuca

    fuck kanye u cant make a hor a housewife bozo..album is trash ray j hit first then kim#greatness starts @ 4:45am…

    • Man you’re a faggot. Please go suck Ray J’s dick and get off of this site.

      • Jay DeLuca

        Fuck u puss its west coast rules cant make a hoe a housewife dumbasssssss

        • …And you still want Ray J’s dick in your mouth. Queer.

  • XXL fucked up…again

    Should had gotten a XXL…

  • Mack

    An XXL undoubtedly, anything below that is irrelevant.

  • The Anti-Ghostwriter

    This album is dreadful.

    The stripped-down production works well but West’s over-reliance on auto-tune during the second half of the album completely derails it. As for “originality,” it is difficult to attribute anything to Kanye when you consider the army of ghostwriters who have contributed towards the album (check the liner notes – it is terrifying, even Farnsworth Bentley is listed!).

    The production deserves an “XL” but the (paid for) lyrics an “M” at best. If Kanye wanted to make a political statement, he should have approached Dead Prez or Immortal Technique, rather than relying on F.Bentley and Lupe Fiasco!

    Chuck D must be laughing his ass off. Yeezus is about as pro-black or reactionary (whichever term you choose to use) as getting an endorsement from Fox News.

  • Pierce

    how is originality not xxl, have you ever heard a rap album like this before? hahaha

    • Cocaine Howie

      This isn’t a rap album

  • Jake

    Production: M
    Lyrics: S
    Originality: XXL tbh

  • http://bit.ly/10mGDTH Michael

    My rating: 6.5 out of 10.0

  • bluedragon41

    I cant lie it was mad original. The beats on half the songs were just cluttered and loud. His lyrics were just terrible.

  • CRock

    Why is Kanye so angry at the industry that got him the Louis bags and Kim K? I applied him for trying to be original but he didn’t let his hip hop fans know.

  • Cheeba James

    If I put a bunch of electronic noise together with some lyrics would that be considered creative? This album was noisy & annoying. Born Sinner was way better hands down. Yall got it wrong once again. Hire some new bloggers!

    • https://www.facebook.com/asabere.akwasi Akwasi Asabere

      Actually go put a bunch of electronic noises together and see how it comes out. You don’t appreciate it cause you can’t look out of your comfort zone of music which born sinner, a good album, adheres to. Kanye did something beyond amazing with this album, it’s different in so many good ways, ways in which you and many other people just can’t seem to see. I can’t fault you though, people have their tates. But do go saying Kanye just threw some electronic noises together, that man is a GENIUS when it comes to his production, if you think it’s just “noisy” then you’re lost, idk what to tell you.

      • Note

        Sounds like bullshit. Its ok to try something new, but that alone shouldn’t be praised. In the end if the music sucks then it sucks. We all know Kanye is talented but he failed on this project. Especially considering how great his past work has been. Different is fine and dandy…but when you lose quality in the product that you are producing it isn’t worth much.

        • https://www.facebook.com/asabere.akwasi Akwasi Asabere

          YOU think he failed on his project, me and others don’t, at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. Also Kanye is not being praised for doing something different, he did something different when 808s & Heartbreak came out. He is being praised because he did it so well, people weren’t expecting that. You might hate it but obviously people love it, otherwise it wouldn’t of gotten an XL and many other good reviews on other sites.

    • P

      you’re dissing daft punk, you know

  • Tony Ruquss Carbetta

    YEEZUS IS HORRIBLE!… WORST KANYE ALBUM BY FAR… #BORNSINNER

  • Invaderrjl

    I feel like Yeezus was really different and that kinda pissed off regular people as Kanye was trying to make art not rap, better bring back Graduation Kanye, kanye

  • Jeremy Ryals

    lol everyone that’s badmouthing the album… is listening to it right about now.

  • Jay

    Yeezus & Born Sinner just simply can’t be compared although Born Sinner deserved more ratings than what XXL gave it. I understand to an extent why they’re albums are being compared, as Cole and West are in the same league (Hip-Hop) as rappers. BUT!!! we should be realising that what Kanye has put out isn’t a proper Hip-Hop album, he’s on cloud 81 experimenting with sound. Him and Cole had two different concepts in mind. It wasn’t like a real competitive shit with same ideologies. The only thing that made these two albums compete, was both albums being released on the same date hence only SALES becomes the competition to be won out of the two albums. But in general, Kanye was working on taking sound to a next level, Cole was working on taking Born Sinner back to his natural roots.

  • SS87

    LMAOOOOOO at the beats being XXL. Shit sound like some dark techno, shit you’d hear in some rave clubs or something

  • 2012Industry1

    A lot of these comments come from people that don’t know how to grasp a concept of an ALBUM! This is all coming from the “singles & jingles” generation! This past decade, we’ve only been blessed with a few deemed CLASSIC ALBUMS. I’m not saying this is a classic, but saying it’s garbage and wack is ignorant! Dope Concepts, Dope Music, Dope Cohesiveness…all make a great album. Born Sinner shouldn’t be compared as it’s thriving to prove something totally different. This is why Hip Hop is dead, it’s because the audience won’t let more than one idea coexist without one being better instead of it being dope too! XXL was really buggin on that Cole review, but they were almost on point with this one. Lyrical deserved an XL because it stuck to his overall theme. The audience “fans” are bugging and y’all killing Hip Hop as we know it!

    • Six

      It’s hard to even consider some of this hip hop. The beats contain hip hop elements but trying to go to Daft Punk to co produce beats is different. Don’t get it twisted because I love Daft Punk and I loved Kanye’s old work but I’m tired of faithful fans defending his work as unique. XXL is upsetting for giving it an XL. I guess someone got slipped a couple bucks for this review and/or some people are shaking in their boots after seeing how Kanye (the baby) gets when people judge his work less than perfect.

  • Tina

    This album sucks so bad it’s embarrassing!

  • TELL THE WORLD MY NAME

    DESERVES AN “S”
    WACK RHYMES, HORRIBLE PRODUCTION
    THIS REVIEW IS PURE POLITICS

  • Da Don (Givenchy Lifestyle)

    how much did kanye paid y’all???? its seems dx and xxl mag can’t stop sucking his dick

  • S.I.K.

    Ppl are just narrow minded. Yall are gonna look back in a few years and say this is a classic. but for now you can feel smart listenin to j cole album which you will forget about in a few months.

  • FamOverEverything93

    Album was dope! cope it

  • Clark

    “Guilt Trip” to me is the only listenable song on this album, if only for the Eagles’ sample in it and Kid Cudi lending whatever credibility he has left as a producer. Everything else is either too grating or too cliché. And I agree with previous posters who say that this album is not hip-hop. No, I’d venture to say this is something more like if you combined industrial with popular rap as it exists today. Is it art? Well, yes, the synths are hard, and it offers a few interesting ideas in that regard. But really nothing that deserves top ratings in any respect.

  • Jay DeLuca

    Fuck this artist i lost respect 4 him & his music used 2 like it..until he got with that hor..”WESTCOAST RULES U CANT MAKE A “HOE” A HOUSEWIFE” Dr.Dre Chronic 2001..u 4got bozo KANYE Lame ray j hit 1st then chris and the dumb ass has a kid with her#greatness starts @ 4:45am..

  • fred handy

    Yeezus may be too experimental for many conservative hip hop fans. The rap audience is the most fickle of all the music buying public. What’s hot today is wack tomorrow. There is no fan loyality. Hip hop acts that were hot 10 years ago probably couldn’t sell out a 7 Eleven today. Many missed Saul Williams “Niggy Tardust” industrial flavored hip hop album in 2007 (produced by Trent Reznor) but it was a shot that many in the rap game should have heard. I’m personally, sick of these motherfuckas rapping over sugary soft over produced beats all the time. Rap needs some harshness, distortion, and venom. I want the music to be just as angry as some of the lyrics. Every few years something needs to come along a shake things up, get people talking and fuck up the program. Yeezus does that.

  • Leader Not A Follower

    Yeezus is a masterpiece. If you really think J. Cole is on Kanyes level, then your crazy. Not saying J. Cole is bad, shit, I got Born Sinner and loved it. I even got Mac Millers album, even though I didn’t like the first one, but i liked his second album. Maybe you people are just too closed minded, assuming most of you heard only like two songs, or felt your inner dick rider kick in and said, “this doesnt sound like “Real hip hop. im gonna hate it cause all the “real hip hop listeners are going too.” Mutha fucka, open your fucking mind. This album is fucking insane.

    • Leader Not A Follower

      my bad “real”….”real” lol

    • Leader Not A Follower

      my bad “real”….”real” lol

  • vanchi

    everyone mad cole didnt get a better rating is everyone dumb in the head this was far better den BS what kanye did on his album was incredible nothing like this has ever been made. and ill be the first to say j cole is one the my favorite rappers and definitely deserved an XL but he shouldnt have goten higher then kanye YEEZUS > BORN SINNER

  • vanchi

    also for the people saying kanye needs to stay the same as he did are ignorant af sure the music he put out before defined his career today but it doesnt mean you dont change after a while jay -z doesnt sound the same as he once did and he still making bangers and is still considered in the top 5 rappers ever he was just simply exploring new music and it work 100% diz album deserves an XXL all the way and j cole should definitely get an XL simple as that

  • Jez

    “Yeezus”? Jeeeeesus man, get over yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Billys-Kingdom/100002933798378 Billy’s Kingdom

    albums centrepiece is “Blood On The Leaves” and “Drunk And Hot Girls” was a dud

    • What the fuck are you talking about? “Drunk and Hot Girls” was on Graduation…

  • Ant

    Although some may enjoy hearing this music I personally don’t, the production on this album is good but its not the style of production which I would like to see on a hip hop album. Yes, this maybe be original…something we haven’t seen in Hip-Hop before but when I listened to the first song ‘On Sight’ I was very confused.

    Kanye hasn’t had great lyrics since 2007-2008 and it isn’t his style anymore and I don’t really mind.

    Overall this album is just disappointing to me, I don’t usually expect much from Kanye because I am not as big a fan as I was before 2009 but this disappointed me even more. Music is a combination of different sounds which sound good to people; if this type of music sounds good to you then great, have fun and enjoy listening to it…But what really irritates me is when people jump on the bandwagon saying this is such a great album JUST BECAUSE IT IS KANYE. These biased reviews are killing Hip-Hop as well as a load of other things.

    Personally I think this should have been rated an ‘L’ because of it’s originality to Hip-Hop and strong statements made in various songs in the album. An album like Born Sinner deserves a ‘XL’ but because the modern Hip-Hop community is full of bandwagoners, we get biased reviews like these.

  • Champion

    People Need To Understand That This Is Kanye West He’s A Musical Genius And Makes An Impact On Not Just Rap Music But Music In General. This Album Was One Of The Most Original, Well Produced, And Lyrical For 2013. This Isn’t A Rap Album It’s A Kanye West Album, Honestly Kanye West Is One Of The Most Influential And Musical Artist On How He Creates His Music, Whether It’s From College Dropout To Yeezus He Creates His Own Genre Of Music To Show That Hip-Hop Can Be Made Into Various Styles.

  • LIL JOSÈ

    I like the production of Yeezus – but lyrically this was so bad. I know see why Kayne thinks Lil Wayne is the best lyricist. Both Kayne and Weezy are going backwards lyrically speaking. I mean Kayne whatever happened to them nice punches or even being honest on a track – there is no connection between Kayne and the people no more. Twisted Dark Fantasy we felt your pain as fans and listeners of music. As for this it’s like you trying too hard to be part of the industrial sounding ‘Death Grips’ sound, poorly executed Kayne – an L for me purely on Beats and Originality. And what was the point of the Frank Ocean feature and least lets hear the dudes vocal range or hear him clearly – what a waste of a feature!

  • M

    Kanye’s producing skills have far surpassed his skills as an emcee. thats the problem with this album. There is definitely originality and a distinctive sound on all the tracks, but his lyricism is just flat, unoriginal and his wordplay attempts are soft. bars like “i keep it 300 like the romans”…the Spartans were Greek. “Now you sittin courtside, wifey on the other side, gotta keep em seperated, i call that apartheid”… meh.
    dont get me wrong, he’s moving forward, but not as a rapper. imagine kendrick lamar flowing over these beats. that would be more of a match on quality. and if this got an XL, Born sinner should have got one too. you guys acting like rolling stone, grow a pair and give the credit where its correct next time.

  • Jomelon

    There are a few bangers on this album, heartbreaks and 808′s had way more and that was what I called originality. love Kanye but this was definitely NOT his best work, he has done better political commentary and produced better beats, with way more originality than this the majority of his beats are simply french disco and trance with rap over it. Great albums can coexist but this was simply not great. XXL rating system is just shady

  • Jay DeLuca

    i took the time 2 listen 2 this over the wknd..first 3 listens i was like this garbage…but after a couple..this thing is brilliant..its not hiphop but its own unique style and im lovin the samples grown folk stuff im 28 going on 29 so the “MUSIC” is appreciated wasnt gonna cop but now i must..aint better than the j.cole thou hell no..#greatness starts @ 4:45am

  • BOB

    For those trashing Yeezus and singing Born Sinner’s praises, EVERY music critic in the world can’t be wrong about which is better. Just sayin.’ Oh and the production on this album is incredible, just ask someone who y’know, actually knows a thing or two about it and not the guy standing outside the mini mart.

  • kamaze

    Yeezus was kanye’s biggest mistake next to have a child with that gold digging whore kim

  • Bert Lang Jr.

    fire whoever wrote this review because they dont know what music is…. THIS ALBUM FUCKING SUCKS and i liked 808 and heartbreaks im a kanye fan

  • Mike

    XXL PLEASE read the f*cking comments! Yeezus was rated higher than Born Sinner, I don’t believe this…

  • Tare

    Yeezus was garbage and you gave it XL over Born Sinner? i’ve seriously had to have a rethink about whether you know what you’re talking about at all…

  • Peace

    You’re reading into it way much. Yeezus is a lazily thrown together collection of verses and rhymes with terrible, obnoxious music. The lyrics don’t matter if the music is awful

  • Obi Patrick

    Why do XXL give pop mainstream albums XL ratings and real hip hop albums L? Either they are getting paid off or clearly have no knowledge about the culture they report on

  • Ryan

    This is the WORST ALBUM I’VE HEARD IN YEARS!!!!!
    So disappointed.

  • louie

    It’s a matter of personal preferences.
    From a title “Yeezus” I just expected more…

  • Gilbert

    Listen to this album. This is Kanye. 100% (808′s & Dark Fantasy Kanye) The beats on this bang and “Blood on The Leaves” probably has one of the sickest samples of all time. “Guilt Trip” opens ears, “I’m In It” makes you bop your head and “Bound 2″ is just the bow on top. I think lyrics deserve a XL (because he did get emotionla later on in the album) and originality a XXL (because beat wise no one has mastered this like him, this is his sound he made this purely on his intelect) so this should be a XXL album.

  • UOENO

    These reviews are just rediculous. You cannot compare apples and oranges. J. Cole and Kanye’s work in NO WAY compare. The competition had to due with album sales and people are tryna put em up against eachother when theres no competition. Anyways, I was excited for Yeezus forever, and I was disaponited. Everyones being so damn easy on Kanye, for what? I dont know why I should cut someone who called his album YEEZUS slack. Unique is the only word he gets and thats cuz no one else would make crap like that. “Listen to it more often until you like it” is you kidding me?!? So in other words, brain wash yourselves into thinking this album is worth listening to. I listen to beats in public places and I have this album on so low with the fear people will hear this shit bleeding out my headphones. The beats of this album are mental, like they make me feel mental. Can’t even bang my head to this album. At leasts its “unique”. Right?
    Fuckin joke this album was.

  • AngryCitizen

    How is Yeezus not a fully Original? What else out their is out there? DUMB review.

  • Josh Kriese

    The fact that this album didn’t receive an S rating is shameful. This is HANDS DOWN the WORST album to drop in the past decade

  • andythecoolkid

    How does ‘Born Sinner’ get an L but ‘Yeezus’ gets an XL.
    Seems like XXL has to get their shit straight.

  • DALITO

    wow… i totally disagree…. this abum really is nothing special… kanyes falling… KANYES SOUL GOT TAINTED BY THE MONEY LOL

  • King John

    This shit was wack as fuck, it was hardly a hip hop album. Weakest lyrically Kanye as ever come, how you go from Dark Twisted Fantasy to this?

  • James Green

    there are songs from the jump i liked. black skinhead and new slaves. what ever number 7 is. i don’t have the internet so i dont know names or titles. but it sounds like 808′s and dark twisted ran into each other before he released the throne or cruel summmer. maybe two more tracks just to fuck around with more or add more chi rappers since he so chi town now. and i bought it twice!!!!

  • cmack510

    beats need to be knocked down…while half of his songs had good production on it the other have had weird bizarre beats on em they did not appeal to me at all

  • HipHopHead999

    Wack!

  • Mic Goose

    This was the worst Rap album ever, it sucked, Kanye West went from College Drop out to, Hip Hop/Rap drop out! I loved the old Kanye West, Kids dont even like this new crap! Turn that B.S. off bump that Jay-Z, Kanye West should have stuck to the formula!

  • Ramon Rojo

    This album was terrible El-P and Death Grips are unique Kanye West tried to do a different type of music and failed