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Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘ye’ by ‘Kanye West’

Released: 2018

Label: Getting Out Our Dreams, Inc./Def Jam Recordings


In the sprawling tapestry of hip-hop, Kanye West has carved himself a singular slice, propelling the genre into uncharted territory. His creativity is an uncaged beast, and ‘ye’, his eighth studio album, is a testament to that. This seven-track project is not just an album; it’s a raw, intimate exploration of a complex psyche grappling with fame, fatherhood, and mental health. The canvas of ‘ye’ is splashed with sonic hues unique to Kanye- unvarnished and unfiltered, reflecting both his genius and controversies.

From the chillingly introspective “I Thought About Killing You” to the candid self-reflection in “Violent Crimes”, ‘ye’ delivers a heavyweight lyrical punch. Kanye, known for his knack for pushing boundaries, strays far from the traditional hip-hop blueprint again, threading vulnerability, introspection, and modern-day pressures into resonant bars and hooks. The lyrics are replete with oft-overlooked dichotomies, a peek inside the volatile vortex of Kanye’s mind, laced with dualities of fame and solitude, love and resentment, pride and regret.

With a sparse tracklist, each song on ‘ye’ is a crucial piece of the puzzle, revealing Kanye’s multi-dimensional persona and his ability to weave compelling narratives with his penmanship. His introspective lyricism, coupled with his uncanny ability to mirror societal issues, keeps ‘ye’ radiating with relevance, even years after its release.

So let’s get into it. From “I Thought About Killing You” to “Violent Crimes”, here are the Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘ye’ by ‘Kanye West’

1 I Thought About Killing You

He’s not just pushing boundaries—he’s obliterating them. The track, oozing with raw emotion and brutal honesty, is a brazen exploration of his mental struggles. Kanye’s no stranger to controversy, but this track sees him lay himself bare with jarring sincerity.

2 Yikes

The lyrics “Thought I was gon’ run, DMC, huh? I done died and lived again on DMT, huh” refers to his mental health crisis, suggesting a brush with death and rebirth through the hallucinogenic drug, DMT. A standout line, “That’s my bipolar shit, nigga what? That’s my superpower, nigga. Ain’t no disability. I’m a superhero!”, points to Kanye’s public revelation about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His declaration of his disorder as a ‘superpower’ rather than a disability showcases how he flips societal standards on their heads. From daring shout outs to Wiz Khalifa and Russell Simmons to the edgy TMZ reference, Kanye continues blurring the lines between personal revelations and controversial moments, making ‘Yikes’ a standout track in his oeuvre.

3 All Mine

He wastes no time showcasing his flair for provocative metaphor, likening sexual desire to rubbing a genie’s lamp, a recurring motif. Ye’s ego is on full display with the line, “I could have Naomi Campbell and still might want me a Stormy Daniels.” West ain’t ashamed to admit his infidelity thoughts, even when he’s got a supermodel at home. This track drips with bravado, extending even to his assessment of other men’s relationships, dropping the infamous line, “All these thots on Christian Mingle almost what got Tristan single.” Here, Ye takes the gossip-mill narrative and flips it into a clever bar, smoothly navigating the turbulent waters of his own personal life and the wider cultural milieu. This track is Ye at his most candid and unfiltered, making for a brutally honest tableau of his human flaws.

4 Wouldn’t Leave


Featuring an ethereal assist from PARTYNEXTDOOR, Kanye West dives deep into his recent controversies – yes, including the “slavery a choice” madness. But at its core, this track is about Kim Kardashian’s unwavering loyalty amidst the storm.

5 No Mistakes

The repetition of “Make no mistake, girl, I still love you” underscores a sense of enduring tenderness amid chaos, an emotive duality only ‘Ye could strike. Then comes the cutthroat line, “I don’t take advice from people less successful than me,” a prime example of Kanye’s unapologetic approach to his public persona. The rambling structure, punctuated with cultural references – a nod to the Cubs, the snarky “Calm down, you light skin” jab – gives the track a freestyle-esque quality, a raw, unfiltered insight into Kanye’s mindset. Notably, ‘Ye echoes the spirit of Ice Cube, nodding to his own high school years and injecting the old-school hip-hop ethos into his verse. Yet despite the assertive swagger, the endearing love message resonates, showing the two sides of Mr. West – imperfections and all.

6 Ghost Town


It showcases Kanye’s ability to transform personal trials into an epic score. The lyrics are filled with raw emotion and a poignant introspection into Ye’s journey. He speaks on addiction, (“…on a pack of Fentanyl”), mental health (“sometimes I take all the shine, talk like I drank all the wine”), and his constant struggle to maintain relationships (“I’ve been tryin’ to make you love me, but everything I try just takes you further from me”). The key line hits hard as Kanye says, “I put my hand on a stove, to see if I still bleed.” It’s a powerful metaphor for his attempts to feel something, anything, in the face of numbness; checking if he’s still human. This track encapsulates the heart of ‘ye’- it’s dark but hopeful, desperate yet resilient.

7 Violent Crimes

It’s a painful illustration of Kanye’s evolving understanding of women upon becoming a father to a girl. The standout line, “Niggas is savage, niggas is monsters, ’til niggas have daughters,” resonates with profound irony as Ye acknowledges the toxic hypermasculinity prevalent in hip-hop culture and his own complicity in it. This track snuffs out the bravado of Yeezus-era Kanye, replacing it with a vulnerable introspection that digs into the complexities inherent in fatherhood and the fear of one’s offspring falling prey to the very societal ills one has contributed to. Kanye’s ardent plea, “Don’t you grow up in a hurry, your mom’ll be worried,” further underscores his growing apprehensions, marking a significant shift in his lyrical prowess, alluding to the broader narrative of personal transformation.

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