CullmanSense reporter Will Hogue, based in NYC, has some thoughts on Kanye West, and he wants you to hear them.
NEW YORK CITY – There was something picturesque about Kanye West standing at Madison Square Garden with his laptop in front of him, his successful hip-hop friends behind him – many of whom are featured on the album that he would play from his laptop on the MSG speakers via AUX cord – and his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show in front of him. The picture was an American megastar standing with a spotlight on him in The World's Most Famous Arena in front of the latest collection from his fashion line; the picture was the image that the sound on his latest album conjures in the listener's mind. The 18-song, 56-minute-long album that would be released at the end of the week was exemplified in the image that all those in attendance to Yeezy Season 3 saw: this is “The Life of Pablo.”
“TLOP,” West's seventh solo album, is not his best album. But, it is the best representation of what West is the best in the world at: making an album. I was able to buy a ticket to the fashion show/album release and listening party at MSG. It was bizarre and ridiculous, but there was an undeniable sense that something big was happening; West was showing something else about himself that no one had seen before, and everything about him we all already knew existed.
West is the best conductor alive on earth right now. He is able to imagine a sound, take talented artists, craft an apparatus that best suits them and then have them do what they're best at: Rihanna on “Famous,” Chance the Rapper on “Ultralight Beam” and inexplicably Post Malone on “Fade.” Not to mention the prayer given by Kirk Franklin on ULB and the Kendrick Lamar verse on “No More Parties in L.A.” and even West himself on “I Love Kanye.”
West is the best at envisioning what he wants for a completed album. West's visions are also the best possible versions of whatever he wants to make.
On “TLOP,” 'Ye is confident, excited, conceited, solemn, pugnacious, vulgar, serene, thoughtful, ignorant, spiritual and complete. And, looking back though any life, you can find all those elements listed above. “The Life of Pablo” is not wrapped in a bow and it isn't resting in a coffin. It isn't and cannot be contained in a single box.
Sure, West stood in MSG, The World's Most Famous Box, as he debuted what would grow to be “TLOP,” but in that moment he wasn't just in MSG. He was all over Twitter, he was in people's headphones around the world and he was even on people's feet.
There are some who say West has gone off the rails recently. Some like to say that his most recent album is sloppy and not well put together enough. West’s latest album is actually just a snapshot of his life right now, and that is what art is. West turned MSG into a giant art gallery, and the piece of art was a life.
A life can't be kept in a box, so sorry if “The Life of Pablo” isn’t as well packaged as you'd like it to be.