The Cost of Pablo’s Gospel

Benjamin Varughese

Kanye West. Not many can draw as much attention to themselves as this hip-hop revolutionary from the south-side of Chicago.

His most recent trip to the spotlight is centered around his latest album, “The Life of Pablo”, the name of which was only finalized days before its released, after being changed multiple times. Kanye’s self-worship concerning the album made appearances on Twitter, although this would lead to conflict with artist Wiz Khalifa and ex-girlfriend, Amber Rose, Further bolstering his outlandish reputation, he stressed this “revolutionary” project would be considered gospel. Seeing as how he has equated himself with a deity in the past, going as far as titling his last album “Yeezus,” this claim did not come as a surprise to critics.

West at TLOP's live release at Madison Square Garden
West at TLOP’s live release at Madison Square Garden

West had announced the release of TLOP to be February 11th. However, as the day arrived, it was discovered that the album would not initially be electronically released. Kanye’s desire to continually revolutionize the world of hip-hop inspired him to release the project live, putting together a visual presentation in Madison Square Garden, a move that costed millions. The album was eventually released exclusively through TIDAL, a subscription based music streaming service owned by the artists themselves and was recently bought by Jay-Z’s Project Panther. But popularity and widespread use of the service has been growing only gradually, potentially limiting the profit he could make, which resulted in his announcement that he is currently $53 million in debt. Kanye’s taste for exclusivity has undoubtedly been a major contribution to this predicament he finds himself in.

The Life of Pablo's Cover Art
The Life of Pablo’s Cover Art

All this being said, critics cannot argue against the artistry of “The Life of Pablo.” Kanye has reverted back to utilizing the same autotuned sound he used on “808s and Heartbreak.” West has also made use of more simple styles of production, an aberration in his typical over the top sound.

The evolution of Kanye West continues to progress. Hopefully, it doesn’t end up costing Yeezy too much in the future.