Lucky Number 7
It’s nothing short of a “Kanye thing” than to come up with a concept of creating an album (or in this case all albums produced by him) no longer than 7 tracks and explaining it. In the words of Pusha T, “It’s something about that number 7, its God’s number!”. Always a hopeful method to his madness, except for the slavery was a choice rant), the rollouts flood in beginning with Pusha T, “Daytona”. Trickling down to the long awaited Nas album “Nasir”. The only question is, sonically, does it all makes sense?
Always going against the grain, “twitter-logic” steps in, giving its two cents on the 7 song concept. Users going as far to say Ye’s 7 song strategy inflates streaming numbers due to the constant replay factor. But that’s really only if you like it. Other users feeding in praise Ye for beating the streaming system with his billboard/apple music chart toppers, even with a “lack of songs”; taking more streams on all 7 to equate to an album sale. Mathematician skills aside, I had to examine the music to truly understand.
Let’s revisit. Similar to fine art, Push seemingly flourishes in drug dealer chic as “Daytona” ignites the God number theory. One off lines and regurgitated subject matter make 7 songs a digestible effort from the MC, as he thrives over boom bap luxury West production. Minor assistance needed, Ross and Ye’ being the only features. Pusha (Tea) executes a should be classic as the album beautifully flows from “If You Know You Know”, to the overdue Drake shots on “Infrared”. Not only did King Push reign with an obvious possession of time taken to craft the album; the (G.O.O.D) music survived the tea spilt on short lived diss records to follow. Absolutely proving how concise 7 track albums could be.
Controversy on the minds of many, “ye” statistically capitalizes a week later, charting on billboard at the number 1 spot. Most longing to hear what the questionable MC could possibly say, Kanye opens the album similar to his idol. Killing off an ego he easily slips back into by track 2. Fully embracing his “super power,” Kanye seems to provide excuses for past behaviours with padded provocative witty lyrics as his scapegoat. Pulling pieces of “The Old Kanye” all over the album. Glimpses of “Yeezus,” “Graduation,” “MBDTF” (and pretty much every other Ye album), almost make you forget about the recent antics as the music becomes enjoyable by “Wouldn’t Leave.” Yet somehow, “ye” still appears rushed. Hosting an assortment of records that are clearly brand new — “I say slavery a choice, they say How Ye?”– makes me focus less on the dope soulful production Yeezy fans love, to the hurried track placement. Fortunately the music takes over once again by the “kids see ghosts” leftover “Ghost Town.” Painfully not as cohesive in sound as his G.O.O.D Music counterpart, “ye” becomes a could be microwavable 7. Lacking a much needed staying power that makes you question his direction.
Following the trend of beneficial high quality production, “kids see ghosts” is a targeted effort by Yeezy, feeding off a mellowed yet energetic Cudi. Great chemistry aside, the album comes a bit late on the scale of want and need. But it does serve a much greater purpose following “ye.” Ironically, as influential as Cudi is to the album. “Kids see ghosts” is a recognizably well thought out Kanye West project, taking him further than he would ever do alone. Favorably, the album showcases flashes of greatness on tracks like “Reborn” & “Cudi Montage,” contributing to a decent replay value “ye” may struggle to get. Well constructed, anything more than 7 songs may have been an unnecessary overdose in 2018.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated albums in Hip Hop since 2016’s “Nas Album Done” record (oh the lies). “Nasir” is the latest Jackson Hole Wyoming project that we could have done without. Massive production being a seeming achilles heel, the MC stutter steps where his words should be the highlight of the moment. Starting off epic, Nas quickly flaunts socially important issues, and meaningless lyrics, jumbled together. Losing focus on what to actually do and say on good beats. Records like “Cops Shot The Kid” and “Bonjour” may have been useful for one off records on a Khaled album; but clearly go to waste on the lackluster follow up to 2012’s “Life Is Good.” Apparently, 6 years wasn’t long enough to construct an album. Leaving this idea lyrically premature as most of the 7 track album rollouts did.
Theory debuncted, 7 songs being “God’s Number” appears iffy when rushed. Thinking back to the G.O.O.D Music rollout announcement West made in April via twitter. The only album benefiting (“Daytona”), had to be the only album actually done. I don’t know why we haven’t come to expect particular Yeezy behaviours by now. The once dubbed musical genius (I wish we would’ve been talking marketing and production wise the whole time), runs with full blown ideas from others; only adding his not so thought out two cents to capitalize off of self imposed deadlines by way of controversy. At such a crossroads with dubbing the 7 song theory due to uninspired lyrical content abuse. The underlying evidential factors don’t provide reasonable doubt. In all actually, the climate of music almost makes it perfect to give no more than provided, if (and only if), the music carries the weight. My only hope is that the next and final G.O.O.D Music 7, which includes Teyana Taylor, is done correctly. Otherwise, that lucky number 7 will be synonymous with being lucky we didn’t have to sit through anymore lusterless music.