SWISH, WAVES, whatever it is, SO HELP ME GOD for THE LIFE OF PABLO enough with the changes! Let’s hear this thing already! Thankfully, without further ado — our top 5:

I been wore designers I ain’t wear again // makin’ n*ggas famous they get arrogant

One of the earliest tracks to drop (first as a freestyle), “FACTS”, was a track I originally wasn’t feelin’. In fact, (puns always intended), I didn’t like it much at all even after a bunch of listens and it’s not because I’m anti-Nike or pro-adidas. I like ’em both. Aside from the beef making it comical, it just felt like a slightly corny move on KANYE’s part. That is — at least how I felt until I heard the ‘final’ version of it off the album. With the new original beat this joint is nice.

Yea I can see y’all rolling your eyes. I quasi-hate to admit it too but the grander instrumentations that run through this new version give it a new life. It’s like the creme de la creme of ‘YE’s Twitter rants.

Cover Nori in lambswool // Cover Saint in lambswool

Having heard what I had already heard prior to the album’s release, “WOLVES,” in my mind was already going to be my top pick. But somehow it landed here instead, at #4. I will say that the original version featuring Vic Mensa and Sia was/is amazing, Sia in particular alone made the track for me. The rawness of her voice compliments the mood and instrumentals perfectly.

That’s not to say that the newer version of it is awful. It’s still great, the beat still fucking rocks and Frank Ocean kills it with his soft vocals. I even wish there was more to his part. ‘YE said he’s gunna work on fixing this however, as it stands, without Vic and Sia, plus the super questionable line about a sandwich, there’s just other tracks on the record that outshine “WOLVES”.

Bom Bom // Bom // Bom Be Be la Bom

Now we’re getting to the good stuff! And funny enough, like with “WOLVES”, the highlight of this one for me also isn’t ‘YE’s rapping rather his skills as a producer. On “WOLVES”, it was the beat and his ear for compatible features, on “FAMOUS”, it’s his use of the Bam Bam sample by Sister Nancy. This comes outta nowhere about halfway through and it’s goddam infectious!

Along with it, you got the hook by Rihanna, a few ad-libs from Swizz, and more controversial bars from ‘YE (all of which are just sprinkles at this point.) I find myself going back to this joint over and over and over again just to hear that beat drop.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t bother // w/ all these gossipin’ no pussy-gettin’ bloggers

Nah I ain’t heard about the good news! Talk yo shit ‘YE!!

[Not saying anymore about this to swerve looking (any more) like a KANYE fanboy.] Skrrrt.

This is my part nobody else speak // This is my part nobody else speak

Coincidentally track #1 off the record is also my personal #1. Let’s start with ‘YE. I’ll probably catch some flack for saying this but I actually think ‘YE’s singing, both with our without autotune is OK. You can argue that it’s cause we’ve heard so much of it since 808’s that its become acceptable to our ears but nonetheless, I think it’s alright. Standalone, his vocals are smooth and are enhanced when joined by the choir.

Now on to Chance’s part. Folks who know me know, I’ve never been too keen on Chance. I like a few cuts off ACID RAP and thought his EP with the Based God was good but that’s about it. That said though, he fucking blew me away with this. This track had Chance’s sound written all over it. From his bars, flow switch ups, to his classic almost-out-of-breathe rapping vocal inflection, he slaughters it. Even now after countless listens, his change up when he says “This is my part nobody else speak” still gives me chills.

Which emoji are we using for “ULTRALIGHT BEAM” so I can spam it 5 times?!

Despite the sloppy release and the still present call for edits, I think this was a solid project by KANYE. Needless to say the production was on point as expected. And although the majority of my top 5 doesn’t feature ‘YE’s more rap-heavy tracks I did enjoy those as well.

Honorable mentions go out to: “FML”, “REAL FRIENDS”, “30 HOURS”, and of course “I LOVE KANYE”. I mean shit! Even ’08 T-Swizzle be bumpin’ that!

THE LIFE OF PABLO has good balance. It’s got stunt-on-all-ya-mf’s bangers as well as the more moody, melodic cuts for when you’re not feeling like Pablo but are instead at home hopelessly staring at pics of ‘YE wishing to be “KANYE fresh.” Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there.


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