Life of Pablo artfully blends Gospel and Rap

Life of Pablo artfully blends Gospel and Rap

Eduardo Sanchez

The new album “The Life of Pablo” was released February 14, 2016 exclusively on Tidal, the to several platforms on April 1, 2016. It was recorded from 2013-2016 in several studios in California, Italy, New York City, and Toronto. Produced by Kanye West and accompanying producers, “The Life of Pablo” has received many mixed reviews on the internet. The majority of West’s fans gave positive reviews on the album and many platforms such as The Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media commented on the album’s messiness and raw composition. It is believed to have been made sound like a work in progress. Some critics believe it is an album of struggle, doing what he can to stay in the music business.

Prior to the album’s release, West tweeted out that the album was a hip-hop album as well as a gospel album. Although it is full with vulgar language it does include many gospel elements which can be seen a lot in the track “Ultralight Beam”. A good example is the line that says “this is a God dream” where the listener can hear the sound of a 4-year-old preaching gospel, some organ, and a church choir singing the refrain of the line.

The lyrics in some particular tracks have appealed to the audience in terms of deep meaning. One of them is in the song “Famous”, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b**** famous.” The lyrics refer to country/pop singer Taylor Swing, whose acceptance speech was interrupted by West at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, and was heavily publicized and criticized by media outlets and listeners. The gospel/hip-hop element continue in the song “Wolves”, Kanye says “Cover Nori in lamb’s wool, we surrounded, by the f***** wolves” and many other biblical allusions which compare him and his wife Kim Kardashian to Mary and Joseph from the bible.

If you are a hip-hop/gospel fan, this album is strongly recommended for you. You will first question its messiness and form but when you understand the lyrics you will be able to enjoy the album without pondering upon the messages he is trying to imply. This album deserves 4 ½ out of 5 stars.