Kanye West, the man who has spent the better part of this month setting the internet on fire with his controversial opinions on Donald Trump and slavery, has delivered on some of the promises he made fans on Twitter. Two of the albums that he tweeted release dates for have come out as scheduled, including Pusha-T's DAYTONA and his own 7-track project, Ye, which dropped Friday. Despite the album’s brevity, there is no shortage of content to be picked apart and thinkpiece’d. On his eighth studio album, West is very honest about his struggles with suicidal thoughts and bipolar disorder. He is dreading North West growing up to become a sexual being in the age of the internet. He also name drops a bunch of celebrities and their own scandals, like the accusations of sexual assault and misconduct hurled at Trump and Russell Simmons. His own in-laws are not immune to Yeezy’s commentary, and on the subject of the KarJenners, his thoughts aren’t that different from ours.
On “All Mine” he raps, “Sometimes you gotta bag the boss up/I call that taking Corey Gambles.” This play on words references the relationship between Kris Jenner, who is essentially the boss of the Kardashian empire and manages the careers of all of her kids, and Corey Gamble. Gamble is much younger than Jenner, and many people view his romantic relationship as an opportunity for Gamble to move up the social and economic ladder. West calling the coupling a kind of “gamble” feeds into the idea that he hit the lottery. Tristan Thompson, who was infamously outed for appearing to have cheated on pregnant Khloé Kardashian earlier this year, was also not immune to the shots West took on Ye. "All these thots on Christian Mingle/That’s what almost got Tristan single." Apparently, the NBA player met his mistress on the dating site, and the irony hasn’t escaped onlookers, including West.
West, an insider in the Kardashianverse, didn’t add any nuance or deeper context to the headlines we read. There were no pleas for the privacy of his family or even a line to suggest that followers of the famous krew perhaps misunderstood what was going on behind the scenes. Instead, he responded to the tea just as it was served to us. He pandered to those among us who express ourselves in Instagram comments and how we felt about their drama. I don’t know what conversations he’s having with his family offline and off the mic, but on Ye at least, West keeps up with the Kardashians just like the rest of us.
This approach is interesting for a rapper who will only commit to the occasional cameo on E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians television show. And with the exception of his manic antics over the past year, West keeps a relatively low profile. Rappers don’t typically bother with gossip fodder unless they’re clapping back at the rumours that pertain directly to them. Even Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Jay-Z’s 4:44, while revelatory, were deeply personal and unique to their relationship. They use vague references to explore the themes that haunted their private lives. And West did some of the same, but couldn’t resist the urge to call it exactly how he saw it.
Censorship clearly hasn’t been high on West’s list of priorities these days. But unlike his controversial tweets that will eventually fade in impact as salacious headlines tend to do, music is meant to live on. With Ye, West has created a very lasting memory of him feeding the trolls.