Kanye’s best, east to west

Kanye%27s+best%2C+east+to+west

Jacob Wendt, Socialist Ku Leader

Love him or hate him, Kanye West is easily one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time. He is considered to be one of the most timeless creators, as he changes genres with each one of his albums. Of course, with such an amazing discography, comes debate. Kanye fans always love to argue about which album is better, and having listened to every piece of work he has ever put out over and over again, I believe that I am educated enough to give my opinion on the topic.

Just a warning, this is MY opinion and MY opinion only. Everyone is going to have a different opinion than me, and I am not trying to be too objective. If you find yourself disagreeing with me, put your thoughts in the comments. Also, I will only be talking about solo albums. 

 

NUMBER 9: JESUS IS KING

This one is probably the least surprising on this list. Kanye’s most recent album is probably his worst; of course, this is Kanye West, so a “bad album” is still a 5/10. Now, while religious rap isn’t for everyone, that isn’t my issue with this album. My issue is that Kanye sounds held back. He sounds restrained in such a way that feels like we aren’t getting the funny one liners, and great production that we would normally get on a Kanye project. 

While this album is really held back, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some bangers either. “Follow God” is easily the best track on this project and really keeps this album afloat. Also, this is Kanye’s most recent tape, so it will probably take a bit to age well.

 

NUMBER 8: 808S AND HEARTBREAK

808s is Kanye’s most emotional album. It highlights a really depressing point in Kanye’s career, being made in the time when he broke up with his girlfriend and lost his mother. The album also predicted/influenced a large shift in the use of autotune for music. 

Now, where this album goes astray is in the final portion of the project. Out of the twelve tracks in this thing, the first six are made and placed perfectly, but when “Robocop” comes on, the album takes a turn for the worst. Out of the last six tracks, four of them are easily some of the worst Kanye has put out. “Bad News” and “Street Lights” really try to save the last half, but it’s all for nothing. The autotune gets pushed past its limit, and if it weren’t for the beginning half of this album, I would probably consider this to be the worst Kanye album.

Of course, this album is always great whenever you’re down bad. So I still give it a 6 ½ out of 10.

7: GRADUATION

This will be one of my more controversial picks on this list. While this album isn’t too critically acclaimed, a majority of Kanye fans would probably have this album in their top five. This is mainly due to the fact it carries a big nostalgic tone. It’s also the most light-hearted Kanye album, with one of the best opening tracks in “Good Morning.”

But this album does have its fair share of flaws that most people aren’t willing to accept. The biggest of which being like it never left 2007. A lot of the beats were inspired by Daft Punk, while you could argue that this group was ahead of its time and paved the way for electronic music. This is still probably one of their most behind the times and dumbed down projects. Honestly, this is probably the one project of theirs that didn’t make it into the 2010’s sound wise.

This sloppy sound is highlighted in songs light “Barry Bonds” “Big Brother” and “Stronger.” These are the worst songs on the album. Although, despite this major flaw, that doesn’t mean this album is bad by any means. Songs like “I wonder” and “Flashing Lights” are some of Kanye’s best. Not to mention the extremely underrated track “Homecoming” where Kanye tells one of his most beautiful stories yet.

Overall, this is a good album, but it still has major flaws that leave it to be thrown further down on this list. I give Graduation a 6 ½ out of 10.

6: COLLEGE DROPOUT 

Kanye’s first ever album is probably one of his most well-known. Songs like “Jesus Walks” and “Through the Wire” are far and away top ten Kanye material. This album is what catapulted him from producer to full-scale rapper. He also got a lot of help from rappers he already knew, such as Jay Z.

Although, this album has a very big problem: the skits. Half is just jam packed with needless skits and interludes. It really just throws most of it off. That’s not me saying the album is bad, I just don’t enjoy it as much as other people do. 7/10

 

  1. YE

Ye is Kanye’s 2018 mini album that is a tribute to his wife at the time, Kim Kardashian. It does an amazing job at highlighting his bipolar depression and struggles as a husband. The production is great and has some of his greatest one liners.

None of the tracks on this thing miss, so what is the problem with it? It’s too short. The project is only 7 songs long and goes on for only 23 minutes. It is the ultimate statement of quality over quantity; sadly, there isn’t enough quantity for me to place it higher on this list. 8/10

 

  1. MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY (MBDTF)

MBDTF is commonly considered to be Kanye’s magnum opus. It was put out in one of the most troubling times in his lifetime, and probably saved his career at the end of the day. Around this time, like a drunken idiot, Kanye was getting heat for interrupting Taylor Swift’s Emmy speech and saying that the award should’ve gone to Britney Spears.

This album has some of his most memorable songs such as “Power” and ”Dark Fantasy,” but it also holds some of his most overrated too like “Gorgeous” and “All of the lights.” For every two amazing songs on here there is one that is very overrated. Yes, “Runaway” is overrated, sorry that I don’t like it when the final verse of a song is inaudible autotune.

While this album is still amazing, I don’t believe it to be Kanye’s magnum opus, and no matter how many fanboys come after me for this; it’s not top three material. 8/10

 

  1. YEEZUS 

Yeezus is easily Kanye’s most inventive album. It is one of the few that I have seen that consistently gets better as the years go on. It pretty much completely predicted how the sound of hip hop would move forward. Kanye was truly ahead of his time while making this project. 

This album’s biggest flaw is that sometimes it can go a little overboard with its electronic sounds. Such as on the opening track “On sight.” Stuff like this can easily turn off your audience when they approach your album. You can also hear this on tracks like “I’m in It” and “Blood on the Leaves.”

While these issues do hold the album back, it is still easily one of his best. 8 ½ /10

 

  1. LATE REGISTRATION

Kanye’s second album is a more refined version of his first. This time he took inspiration from a lot of old jazz and fused it with modern day hip hop. He also cleaned up the production and balanced out the skits.

The songs are better this time too, with some of his most heartfelt moments on “Hey Mama” and “Roses”, both songs about his love for his family members. You also have songs like “Drive Slow” which bring the album back down to a nice mellow feeling. This album is also responsible for the song “Gold Digger,” and now we will never speak of that song’s name again.

Now while this might be an amazing album, it is not a masterpiece and certainly isn’t his best; that title goes to one album only. But still I give Late Registration a 9/10.

 

  1. THE LIFE OF PABLO

The Life Of Pablo is one of the greatest hip hop albums ever. There is not a single track on here that misses. From the very start, we are led in with “Ultralight Beam.” One of the greatest Kanye openers, and maybe one of the greatest Kanye songs ever. Halfway through we get amazing songs like “Wolves” and “Real Friends.” The beats that defined 2016 as a year.

Then we have probably the greatest final portion of songs, maybe in music history. Starting with “30 Hours” then building up with “No More Parties in LA” that just so happens to have one of Kendrick Lamar’s greatest verses. After that, we are gifted with the loud and bombastic “Facts” just to be finished off with “Fade” and “Saint Pablo.” Which are the greatest closing tracks Kanye has ever made.

The track listing didn’t always look like this though. The song order was changed many times in 2016 until Kanye finally got it the way he wanted, but since the album was changed so much, he wasn’t given any awards for the masterpiece.

Although probably everyone disagreed with me on this, I can firmly say that I find The Life Of Pablo to be Kanye West’s greatest album, and as an album that defined the 2010s. 10/10

But that’s just my opinion. Obviously, you don’t have to agree with me on this; I mean I’m a high schooler, my opinion will probably change in a year or so.