In the chaotic world that is Kanye West’s ideation process, anything goes, which is why it’s not surprising that in a new interview with Jon Caramanica for The New York Times, West revealed that eight days before the release of ye, he had not written a single lyric.
We could tell.
Of all the G.O.O.D. Music offerings over the past five weeks, ye, while perhaps the most visceral, was the most incomplete sound recording. While that vitriol and wanton expression makes the album a beacon of light for those struggling with mental health, it’s also a glaring reminder that craft matters.
Consider the luxurious and harrowing sound of Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, which Kanye entirely reproduced in the name of perfection. All over the record, Pusha sounds insulated and phenomenal, and the album has a layer of care that is altogether missing from ye.
Even Kanye’s work with Kid Cudi, KIDS SEE GHOSTS, taps into many of the same themes, but because of their nearly two years spent shaping the album, KIDS SEE GHOSTS carries an all-consuming and withstanding energy. Fans who took solace in ye could just as easily derive a sense of comfort from KIDS SEE GHOSTS as a result of its meticulous nature, not in spite of it.
While we cannot deny that the eleventh hour has the tendency to produce some of music’s brightest moments, there’s an argument to be made that West would have been better off taking his time with his music, and perhaps with himself.
Throughout the interview, West continued his pattern of disorganized thoughts and speech, revealing his troubling approach to suicidal ideations, and a general misunderstanding of medication. From the music to the press, if there's one takeaway from ye, it’s that Kanye West still needs help.