Kanye West's The Life of Pablo is finally available to stream for any and everyone who wants to hear it on his website. Along with the full stream, the rapper only posted the complete album credits last night for all 18 songs.
Reading through the credits of any Kanye album can be an eye-opener, seeing how the Chicago native has become more of a Dre-like composer, orchestrating voices and musicians into a giant collage ever since 2004's The College Dropout. Mike Dean has been one of his right-hand men ever since 'Ye took a liking to how he mixed Scarface's "Guess Who's Back" and Noah Goldstein has been Kanye's main engineer since 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The Life of Pablo is no different. Dean and Goldstein are all over the production credits for the album, but there are also a couple surprises, like Chance contributing some production work, Drake writing on "30 Hours," and his kids, North and Saint, getting creative consultant credits.
Paul McCartney, who Kanye worked with a lot in 2015, is nowhere to be found, as is Vic Mensa, who was originally on "Wolves" but was later replaced by Frank Ocean.
It's also something of a surprise to see Rick Rubin credited as a producer/co-producer on the album's first three songs and a co-executive producer on the album. Rubin had a heavy role in the making of Yeezus, though he was brought in three weeks before the album was due to be handed in. That project was certainly more concise and to the point than The Life of Pablo, yet the credits seem to signal that Rubin had just as much of a part in making this album as he did in Yeezus.
Read below for more jewels we picked up while combing over The Life of Pablo album credits.
Rick Rubin is a co-executive producer on the album.
In the last weeks of recording Yeezus, Kanye brought Rubin in to cut the fat and help him refine the production. On "Bound," Rubin says he "removed all of the R&B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition." On first listen, Rubin's influence seems less pronounced on The Life of Pablo, but you can notice how there isn't a lot going on at any given moment on the album production-wise. Perhaps that's where Rubin had a hand.
Drake has writing credits on "30 Hours."
Yes, the man with the alleged ghostwriter is a ghostwriter himself, as Drizzy has writing credits on "30 Hours." He also has credits on "Facts," but that's because it samples "Jumpman."
Chance The Rapper is a producer on "Ultra Light Beam."
Not only does Chance The Rapper spit one of the best verses from the album on "Ultralight Beam," but he's also a producer on the opening song, along with Swizz Beatz. Watch 'em perform the song on SNL below.
French Montana has an engineering credit.
Max B drops in via prison phone for "Silver Surfer Intermission," and if you listen closely you can hear French Montana's voice. Apparently French set up and recorded the call, because he's credited as an engineer on the track.
Chance The Rapper has writing credits on five songs.
Chance gets writing credits on "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1," "Famous," "Feedback," and "Waves," as well as "Ultralight Beam," the song he kills with the last verse.
Mike Dean is credited on 15 of the album's 18 songs.
Mike Dean has been Kanye's go-to co-producer for years, and aside from the Max B intermission, the acapella track, and "No More Parties in L.A.," Dean has production or engineering credits on every song.
North West and Saint West are creative consultants for the album.
This seems silly at first, but consider how some of Kanye's best singing can sound like a baby babbling. He might take some inspiration from his kids for that stuff, so it's only right they get a little cut of those royalties. Fuck an allowance.
Fonzworth Bentley is a co-producer on "Ultralight Beam."
Rick Rubin is the other co-producer. We can only imagine what those two were like in the studio together.
Metro Boomin is credited on four songs.
Metro Boomin' helped produce both the original and new version of "Facts," but he's also a co-producer on "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1," "Waves," and "FML." His ATL buddy Southside also helped produce "Facts" and is a co-producer on "Highlights."
Kanye recorded part of the album at "Abel's Crib."
One of the coolest tidbits hidden in the album credits is that Kanye recorded part of the album at "Abel's Crib (Trump)." Does that mean Abel has a spot in one of Trump's towers?