Kanye West debuted the lead single of his next album, entitled “Wolves,” at his fashion show, subsequently preforming the song on SNL last Saturday night, stealing headlines for the performance.
The song will be the lead track on his new album, one in which he said will be a surprise album, recently saying in an interview with The Breakfast Club that release dates are “played out.”
Kanye’s biggest album misfire is 808’s and Heartbreak, an album that had him experimenting with auto-tuned singing rather than rapping. It wasn’t a bad album by any measure; however, this is Kanye West we’re talking about here. The same man that has helped shaped hip-hop to what it is today, both with a mic and behind an audio mixer.
While 4 5 Seconds has taken over the radio airwaves, and Wolves being presented as the lead track on his new album, we now have a taste for the tone of his upcoming project. Will Kanye’s new album be his attempt to recreate 808’s and Heartbreak, but do it better?
“Wolves” features Chicago up-and-comer Vic Mensa and the notoriously camera-shy Sia. Sia, of course, is exclusively a singer. Mensa is a rapper, and on this track, he’s singing, as is West. Two rappers on a track with a singer, and yet there’s no rapping. It has me scratching my head.
With lyrics like “Woke up an optimist/sun was shining I’m positive/Then I heard you was talkin’ trash/Hold me back I’m ‘bout to spaz,” on 4 5 Seconds, I can’t help but feel underwhelmed. This is one of the predominant voices of our generation – something he’s well aware of.
West is known for pushing his music in different directions. However, this is like Michelangelo sculpting the David, and then spending the next few years doing stand-up comedy. Kanye West is a rapper, one of the best of all time. Calling his singing talents marginal would be generous. His upcoming album will feature the weakest part of his musical abilities.
The College Dropout and My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy are two of my favorite albums. No matter how outrageous his public stunts get, it’s hard to deny his artistry. It may not be fair to judge an album off of two singles, but if this is the teaser for the main course, we’ll be left hungering for something that could’ve been.