Click HERE to purchase this album.
This album came out on November 24th in 2008. It was inspired by a series of traumatic events, most notably the death of Donda West, Kanye’s mother. I’ve really been looking forward to checking this album out, mostly because of how different it is. Until 2013, this was easily Kanye West’s most hated album. This is the closest thing you’re going to get to an R&B review from me. If I’m not mistaken, he sings with autotune throughout this whole album. If y’all know me, you know I hate it when rappers overuse autotune. I know not to expect bars from this tho. I know that he’s gonna be singing a lot. Still, I hope he uses the autotune in moderation. He doesn’t need too much autotune. I’m glad he didn’t try to do a whole R&B album without it tho. That would’ve been disastrous. Y’all know I love sad music, and this shit looks fucking depressing, so I’m pretty excited for this. I’m gonna be cautious tho. As I mentioned before, a lot of people hate this album, including A$AP Rocky. I don’t know why I told y’all that. A$AP Rocky has nothing to do with this shit. He does hate the album tho. I think he said it in an interview. I think. Anyway, this album is much shorter than his previous ones, so that’s nice. If I do end up hating it just like everyone else, at least it won’t last too long. A lot of people say that Kanye lost his mind after his mama passed away, and that this album was the first result of that. It’s definitely a result of his mama dying, but I think I’m gonna try to actually understand Kanye. I know. I definitely won’t be able to, but it should be fun either way.
Track 1: Say You Will (Prod. Kanye West)
This is the only song that I’ve heard from this album that wasn’t released as a single. I already know that I fucking love this song. It’s starting now. This beat is fucking incredible. In terms of production, this song sounds like a more emotional version of something that would’ve appeared on Graduation. I love this hook. This song was inspired by his ex-fiancée, Alexis Phifer. Their engagement was called off before this album’s composition. I’m pretty sure the line that he sings in the chorus is about her not marrying him. “Hey, hey, hey, hey, don’t say you will / Unless you will.”
This is great. Kanye sounds really good singin’ this shit. “I wish this song would really come true / I admit I still fantasize about you.” Goddamn this shit is sad. I don’t usually like breakup records or anything related to relationships, but Kanye did a really good job with this. I fuckin’ love this shit. The beat is fucking incredible, and the lyrics are fantastic to me. I love sad music, so this shit is perfect for me. Last year on October 15th, Kanye released a remastered version of this song, which featured help from a violinist named Caroline Shaw. It’s somehow even better than this version. I fuckin’ love this shit. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 2: Welcome To Heartbreak Feat. Kid Cudi (Prod. Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker & Plain Pat)
This beat is fucking incredible. Kanye’s singin’ the first verse. The effects on his vocals make his voice sound like part of the beat. Goddamn. Kid Cudi sounds fucking incredible on this hook. It’s great to hear some good music from Cudi again. I really wish he was good again. I used to be a huge Kid Cudi fan, but I don’t think any musician has ever fallen off as hard as he did. This hook is incredible. This song is basically about how Kanye’s rich and successful, but unhappy because he pretty much has no family. “My friend showed me pictures of his kids, and all I could show him was pictures of my cribs / He said his daughter got a brand new report card, and all I got was a brand new sports car.” This is fantastic. There isn’t anything I’d change about this. The datamoshing effect in the music video is cool too. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 3: Heartless (Prod. Kanye West & No I.D.)
This is Kanye West’s best selling single of all time. It sold over 5.5 million digital copies. I remember hearing this a lot when I was little. It has one of Kanye’s most recognizable and catchy hooks ever. “In the night I hear them talk / The coldest story ever told / Somewhere far along this road / He lost his soul / To a woman so heartless.” It’s dope af. The beat is too. Lyrically, it’s pretty much just a less sad and more bitter version of Say You Will. I’m definitely not feelin’ this one as much as the others. I don’t think it’s amazing. I definitely fuck with it tho. The infectious hook is undeniable. It’s just not as lyrically engaging to me. Lemme check this music video out now. Eh… I don’t know… It was alright I guess. I like animated videos, but the animation in this one wasn’t that good, and even if it was it still wouldn’t be that good. It’s just animated Kanye rapping to the camera. The video could’ve been better, but the song is dope. I fuck with this. 4/5
Track 4: Amazing Feat. Jeezy (Prod. Kanye West & Jeff Bhasker)
I don’t think I’ve heard this song even tho it was a single. It’s starting now. Damn. This drum pattern sounds dope af so far. Oh shit I remember this song. I remember the melody at least. The production is dope af. The melody from Kanye is dope af. The hook’s great. This song really doesn’t do much for me lyrically, but I fuck with it sonically. It’s got a great melody and the production is great. Jeezy did his thing on his verse too. I fuck with the song. It’s dope. The music video isn’t anything special. It’s cool tho. I guess. 4/5
Track 5: Love Lockdown (Prod. Kanye West & Jeff Bhasker)
This was the first single for this album. I remember the first time I heard this song. I was sitting behind the front passenger seat in my mama’s car. My sister was in the passenger seat and my mama was driving. It came on the radio and my mama & sister were talking. I wasn’t really paying attention. Then my mama was like “What do you think, Nick?” I was like “…What?” She said “What do you think of this song? It’s Kanye West’s new song.” My sister said “I like it,” and my mama said “me too.” That’s how I found out who Kanye West was. My mama doesn’t even like Hip Hop or R&B, so it was kinda weird to me that she liked this song. I pretended not to like Hip Hop & R&B when I was little, so I lied and said I didn’t like the song. I did tho. I don’t think I’ve heard this song since I was like 10 years old, so this should be interesting. It’s starting now. This beat is dope. I don’t think it’s as great as the other beats so far, but I still fuck with it. The first verse was cool. The melody’s dope. Those drums that kick in during the hook are actually pretty jarring. Huh. Maybe I really wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t like this song. I mean, the melody’s cool, but it definitely gets old by the end of the song, and the way those loud drums kick in during the hook is really off-putting to me. I don’t think it’s a bad track. Just not that good. It’s alright. I guess. The music video’s alright I guess. The parts with the tribal warriors during the hook are kind corny to me. It’s an alright song. Not really bad. I just don’t really like it that much. 3/5
Track 6: Paranoid Feat. Mr. Hudson (Prod. Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker & Plain Pat)
This beat is incredible. This is great. Kanye’s singin’ at the beginning and it sounds really good. Damn. Kanye’s actually rapping on this first verse. He has kind of a sing-songy delivery, but he’s still rapping. His flow is dope af. This hook with him and Mr. Hudson is dope af. This really sounds like a hit song from the 80s. It’s great. I don’t really have much to say about this one. It’s just him rapping over a great beat about his girl who worries too much. It’s dope af. I definitely fuck with this shit. The actual melody and production and flow are a lot more interesting than the lyrics to me, but the lyrics aren’t bad. It’s really sugary honestly, but I still fuck with it. This is dope af to me. The music video’s nothing special tho… 5/5
Track 7: RoboCop (Prod. Kanye West)
The song’s playing right now… I don’t know about this one… The production’s cool, but this melody is just a little too sugary for me. The part before the hook where he sings “Okay, okay, okay, okay / You will never stop it now / You never stop it now” sounds like some shit out of a motherfucking Disney movie. This is really not for me. I feel like if I was really into Pop music I might like this, but this is pretty wack to me. I’m not feelin’ this shit. I don’t even really have much to say. It’s just not a good song to me. It’s wack. 2/5
Track 8: Street Lights (Prod. Kanye West & Mr. Hudson)
This beat’s alright. I’m not in love with it. When I’m listening to R&B, I don’t usually like to hear slow, emotional shit like this. I mean, I like sad music, but this just makes me feel hollow inside instead of sad. This melody that Kanye’s singing isn’t doing much for me. This is just a little too slow for me. I’m not feelin’ this one sonically. The lyrics aren’t bad, but they don’t make the song worth downloading. I don’t think this is a bad song. I’m just not into it personally. It’s alright. I guess. 3/5
Track 9: Bad News (Prod. Kanye West)
Apparently his ex-fiancée was cheating on him. That’s what this song is about. This beat isn’t really that impressive. It’s too simplistic. It sounds like something anyone could’ve made. The way Kanye’s singing on here doesn’t sound very good. It’s not really bad or anything. Just not good. He stops singing about halfway through the song and let’s the beat play out. This beat isn’t bad. It just doesn’t stand out much among these other songs. It’s not a bad song. I’m just not in love with it. I kind of enjoyed it, but I don’t think I would ever come back to this. It’s okay. 3/5
Track 10: See You In My Nightmares Feat. Lil Wayne (Prod. Kanye West & No I.D.)
This beat is kinda cool. I don’t know if I like this hook from Wayne tho. He sounds kinda corny. Kinda. Actually he sounds really corny. Wow. This is… bad. The beat’s not that bad, but it could definitely be better. This is supposed to be an angry song, but it just comes off as corny. The way they’re angrily growling these lyrics is really awkward to listen to. I can’t get behind that shit. Wayne’s verse was wack af. “You think your shit don’t stink, but you are Mrs. Pee-Yew.” IS YOU FUCKIN’ SHITTIN’ ME? That is awful. What the fuck was this motherfucker thinking? Wayne just… can’t rap. I mean, he can, but… He just can’t… This song isn’t good. This is really bad. I can’t really say anything good about this one. This is wack af to me. 1/5
Track 11: Coldest Winter (Prod. Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker & No I.D.)
This beat is fuckin’ incredible. Especially during the hook, which is also great by the way. There’s really not much to say. The structure of this song is really simple. Each “verse,” if you can even call it that, is two bars long. There’s not much to grasp onto lyrically. The hook and production are really the main course here. Thankfully he did a fantastic job with both of those. It’s a really brief song; it’s only about two minutes and forty five seconds long. It’s really dope tho. It’s a great way to close the album. I definitely fuck with this. The music video was pretty interesting too. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 12: Pinocchio Story (Prod. Kanye West)
This is another “hidden track.” In the track listing on Wikipedia, it says “(Freestyle Live From Singapore).” I don’t know if that means that he’s actually rapping or that it was at a concert and I’m gonna hear a crowd cheering or what. I’m just gonna press play, and we’ll see what happens. Okay… I definitely hear the crowd. I’m not gonna count this as a real song then. He’s singing without autotune. The beat is nothing special. This definitely isn’t something I would listen to outside of the context of this review. Oh fuck. Jesus Christ. I just heard some chick in the crowd scream at the top of her lungs. What the fuck was that? Why did she do that? Bitch sounded like a pig bein’ choked out. Lyrically, this is kinda stupid… You can definitely tell that this was improvised. I’m not sure why anyone would casually listen to this. I’m not feelin’ this. I’m not gonna rate it tho. I don’t consider this to be a real track on the album. This is wack to me.
That was dope. It’s definitely his worst album so far, but it’s dope. I’m not really sure why people hate this album so much. I don’t know why I just said that; I DO know why people hate it so much. I think the reason I don’t hate it as much as other people is because I knew what to expect. I knew not to expect bars about hating school or being late to class. This is basically an R&B album. I’m pretty sure that if Kendrick Lamar did an R&B album today, I wouldn’t like it. It may be a good R&B album (I doubt it honestly), but I still wouldn’t wanna hear it. That’s not what I want from Kendrick. This wasn’t what people wanted from Kanye. I’m 95% sure that that’s why people hated this so much, because you really can’t call this a bad album. It may not be as good as his other albums, but as an R&B project, this is pretty good. It’s far less consistent than his other albums, and the subject matter can get a little exhausting after a while, but I personally enjoyed it. I… Well… Okay, maybe you COULD say that this is a bad album, but definitely not horrible. It’s still got some incredible songs on here. I thought for a split second that this might be my favorite Kanye album when it first started. Those first two songs are incredible to me. The third and fourth tracks were really good too. Unfortunately, things got really slow after the halfway point. He didn’t really bring things back until the last track. It’s still a good album, but shit got close for a minute there. It’s not as good as I thought it was gonna be, so, just like with most Kanye fans, I was disappointed by this album. I definitely think it’s a good album that needs to be heard by everyone, especially Kanye West fans. Just be prepared for something different, and keep an open mind. You aren’t gonna like the album if you don’t want to like it. It’s dope. So there ya go. I like the album. I just need to tell y’all something real quick tho. I was planning on reviewing Watch The Throne at first, but I think I’m gonna skip that one. I’ll eventually do it for the Jay Z Marathon. I just don’t think that I want my first Jay Z album to be Watch The Throne. So yeah. I’m gonna do My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, then Cruel Summer & Yeezus. Then I’ll do SWISH as soon as I can after it drops. That’ll be it for the Kanye Marathon. If you don’t want me to skip Watch The Throne and save it for Jay Z’s Marathon, then hit me up on Twitter and tell me, or let me know in the comments. Should I skip Cruel Summer too and just go straight to Yeezus? Lemme know.
Favorite Song: Welcome To Heartbreak
Least Favorite Song: See You In My Nightmares
Tell me if I’m trippin’ in the comments below
If you enjoyed this article share it on Twitter & Facebook
Follow me on Twitter: @OGNickMarsh
Good review. I’d give it an 80% or above, because personally i thought it was a great album. Dont skip Cruel Summer it was actually ok.
Yeah i rly enjoyed it. Im definitely gonna do cruel summer too