Frankie Takes On: The Life of Pablo

Or: Kanye West is the Deranged Musical Maestro Nobody Asked For


I don’t know about you guys, but I think Kanye West might be a little crazy.


See, that’s the problem with falling in love with a guy like Kanye. He makes all the wrong decisions in life by loving a Kardashian, making a baby with a Kardashian, marrying a Kardashian, and finally making another baby with a Kardashian. But then, he drops something like this, leaving everyone who still gives a shit about him scratching their heads and wondering WHY.

Trying to understand a guy like Kanye is useless at this point, because it’s become impossible to pinpoint exactly what makes him act this way. Is it the women in his life? Let’s see:

His dead mother? Okay. But then again, all men are influenced by their mothers. Kim? Possibly. But let’s not think about that now. Taylor Swift? Might be onto something there – after all, he hasn’t stopped name-dropping her since The Incident.

Maybe it’s his kids. The fame. The money. Or something else entirely – the same thing that makes him believe he’s both God and the abomination of Obama’s nation at the same time. Remember, this is the guy who released Runaway in 2010, then raps I Love Kanye six years later. That’s an actual song that shouldn’t even be a song, but he still somehow makes it work.

That’s classic Kanye for you.

Life of Pablo’s kind of hard to place. It’s not the instant classic that blew me away like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, nor is it the shit that blew my eardrums off and made me want to run away from it as far as possible like Yeezus. Whether it’s Pablo the Painter, Pablo the Drug Lord, or some random Pablo Kanye kicked on the street, it doesn’t change the fact that Kanye’s Life of Pablo is jammin’. 

With the introspective and self-deprecating lyrics of MBDTF, some of the mellowness from 808’s and Heartbreak, and all the bombastic noise from Yeezus, Kanye’s Life of Pablo has something for everyone.

In need of some spiritual saving? Ride on the Ultralight Beam. Feeling like shit and want to wallow in the feeling some more? Check out your Real Friends. Ever wondered what a conversation between Kanye and Kendrick Lamar at the bar sounds like? No More Parties in LA is your jam. Want to hit someone in the face? Listen to some Facts. In the mood for a late night drive? Groove to 30 Hours. Want your ear to have sex? Make some Waves. 

Or maybe you just hate Taylor Swift like me, and you want to hear Kanye shit on her because shitting on Taylor Swift never gets old. Famous is there for you.

Kanye calls this a gospel album, but after a spiritually-uplifting first track, he immediately starts rapping about bleached assholes in the next song. He sings about his family, but he also discusses the finer points of screwing other women. He’s in love with himself, but he hates himself just as much. And from there, it’s just a roller coaster of emotions, that’s it hard to tell anymore whether Kanye’s fucking with you or not.

It’s this kind of schizoid duality that makes listening to his albums a trip. You may hate him or you may love him, but you’re going to listen to him anyway – which is just the way Kanye wants it.

Whatever his public image is like now, this album should at least prove that there’s still no touching him in the recording studio. He ups his game every time he drops something new and makes me wish I had the same level of creative genius he has, with the ego to match. Is it still too soon to call Kanye ahead of his time? Of course it is. But his musical genius should be obvious to even the average hip-hop listener by now. He keeps redefining the rap game with every release, that you’re going to have to ignore whatever the media tells you as soon as you listen to the albums. No rap song will ever sound the same again once you’ve heard anything from Kanye post-Taylor Swift.

Conclusion: Kanye’s fucking crazy. But whatever makes him take all of rap and hip-hop, put them in a blender at the recording studio, and mix everything into some incomprehensible work of art – whatever that is, it’s clear he hasn’t lost it. He’s crazy, but he’s a genius. But that’s okay. “Name one genius that ain’t crazy,” he says. So he should still be okay.


But then, he announces his bankruptcy and you’re forced to wake up back in the real world, where Kanye’s still an asshole and he’s breeding with Kim Kardashian.

He isn’t denying any of that, of course. But at least nobody loves Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye, so in the end, I guess it works out well for all Kanyes involved.


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