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Kanye West continues to tarnish legacy with ‘VULTURES 1’

Kanye+West+and+Ty+Dolla+%24ign+released+their+most+recent+album+Feb.+9%2C+titled+VULTURES+1%2C+which+has+16+new+songs+by+the+artists.+
Courtesy of YZY
Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign released their most recent album Feb. 9, titled “VULTURES 1,” which has 16 new songs by the artists.

In the past few years, the Chicago rapper Kanye West has descended into madness. The once prolific artist — known for his earlier albums, like “Graduation,” “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and “The Life of Pablo, as well as his intricate production work —  released his album “VULTURES 1” on Feb. 9. Amid controversial social media feuds with his divorced wife Kim Kardashian, the death of his mother Donda West, public outbursts and antisemitic remarks, self-proclaimed “Ye” continues to tarnish his legacy with his most recent album.

Following his album “Donda,” Kanye became a consistent name in the media as he made aggressive statements in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement and was pictured during performances wearing “White Lives Matter” apparel and calling the movement “a scam.” Kanye didn’t stop here, as recently he has been quoted blaming the Jewish community for the exploitation of Black culture. The rapper has also consistently taken to social media to publicly argue with Kardashian in relation to the raising of their daughter, North West. 

All of this did not stop Kanye from working on the album “VULTURES 1,” a collaboration album with Los Angeles native rapper Ty Dolla $ign. The two released the album under the name “¥$” while also releasing the album under their own names separately.

Fitting with his previous album “Donda,” “VULTURES 1” had several delays in its production. The album was originally set to release Dec. 15, 2023, but was pushed back several times amid Kanye’s polarizing comments and struggles professionally, like Adidas cutting ties with the rapper and sampling troubles. Kanye used several samples, one of which was a sample from rock artist Ozzy Osbourne that Osbourne said was not cleared for use. Kanye hosted two listening parties prior to the release of “VULTURES 1,” first at the United Center in Chicago and then in the UBS arena in New York City. Both performances were available for streaming with the album releasing on streaming platforms midday Feb. 9.

The album features artists like Freddie Gibs, Playboy Carti, Quavo and Travis Scott, as well as his daughter North. Kanye has been known to address his negative media presence in his albums and “VULTURES 1” is no exception, but does more harm for the rapper than good. 

Throughout the 16 tracks, Kanye seemingly doubles down on antisemitic remarks. In the song “VULTURES,” Kanye has a bar saying he can’t be antisemitic because he has had a sexual encounter with a Jewish woman and includes more overly vulgar language about his promiscuous activities with women. The only notably interesting production work throughout the album comes from the song “CARNIVAL,” where Kanye uses the sports chant version of “Seven Nation Army” mixed with a previous sample in his song “Hell Of A Life.” Playboy Carti takes a lead role in this song, using a deeper voice rather than the baby voice that he is known for.

In the song “BACK TO ME,”  Kanye uses the line “Beautiful, naked, big-titty womеn just don’t fall out the sky, you know?” to further showcase his overtly misogynistic attitude. To even try to put aside the album’s polarizing lyrics and listen to it for its production work will leave listeners disappointed, and does little to impress sonically throughout the album. 

Kanye’s feature of his daughter in the song “TALKING” continues the current culture of rap artists featuring their children in their work and creates a hypocritical view of the Chicago rapper, considering his statements to Kardashian. Rappers like Kanye and Drake have stated their wishes to keep their children out of the media, but then proceed to highlight their children in their highly anticipated albums. 

The album is poorly reminiscent of previous albums like “Donda,” using production work closely associated with Gospel music. In his song “BEG FORGIVENESS,” featuring R&B artist Chris Brown, the second chorus features a choir repeating the refrain “beg forgiveness.” The use of the gospel choir adds depth to the song, but the thematic tone creates the idea that people should be begging the forgiveness of Kanye throughout all of his controversial statements in the media.

The production of “VULTURES 1” is derivative of his previous albums but sees no expansion of his artistry. Kanye’s flows and lyrics are simple and uncreative, filled with multiple derogatory remarks to many groups. “VULTURES 1” not only further diminishes the once-talented artist’s career, but also diminishes rap culture and community, giving into the idea that rap only speaks in negative taste of sex, money and drugs.

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Malik Clement, Managing Editor
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Comments (6)

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  • H

    H BFeb 23, 2024 at 1:45 am

    Sound like a powerful album to me, and full of the sonically intricate, lush, redemptive, soul stirring music production that Kanye is known for. The man has been through hell. Long time fan, hoping nothing but phoenix energy, redemption, and healing for him.

    Reply
  • B

    Beau RohrichFeb 19, 2024 at 5:18 pm

    So a comeback album that branches out from his usual style and also revisits his classic side, debuts at number 1 on every chart, has multiple singles reach number 1 on numerous charts, allows him to make 20 million in one night, and had songs on it that had already been leaked and reached immense popularity (Everybody, River, Slide, New body), has ruled the streaming charts even with every attempt thrown at it to take it down, and bright him back into the spotlight on a positive now after what no one thought he could recover from “tarnished his legacy”?

    Reply
  • M

    Mike BlackFeb 14, 2024 at 12:18 am

    You have absolutely no idea what the hell you are talking about. I’m a black man born and raised on the south side of Chicago been listening to and creating hip hop music for 45 years and Vulture 1 is great album. It also happens to currently be the number 1 album in the world . That means millions of people all over the entire world disagree with your hating bias hit piece. Your review has absolutely nothing to with the album. You’re just doing the dirty work of your paymasters that told you in no way can you compliment Ye West . They told you to write an article full of lies, disinformation, propaganda and misinformation to try destroy this brother because he dared to criticize your paymasters. This article is a total piece of trash hit piece and you have absolutely no credibility whatsoever. Ye West is one the biggest artist in the world and his legacy will never be tarnished. You can continue to write all the hit pieces you want to satisfy your paymasters but it’s not going work. Ye West has millions of fans worldwide that love and support him and there is nothing you and your paymasters can do about it

    Reply
    • R

      ReneeFeb 17, 2024 at 2:30 pm

      I’m glad you said this. Even I felt this article was bias

      Reply
    • T

      Thot_machineFeb 21, 2024 at 7:05 am

      Based

      Reply
    • M

      MichaelMar 16, 2024 at 10:21 am

      I agree with you as well. I see all these writers who lose credibility for writing content like this. I’m not even a big Kanye fan and I thought the body of work was complete. If the album falls short, it isn’t falling short of the Apple Music, Spotify, and billboards charts!

      Reply