The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Reviewing “VULTURES 1” by Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign

Laura De Lora

After countless delays, the first volume of Kanye West’s and Ty Dolla $ign’s collaboration album “VULTURES 1” has finally made it to streaming platforms and into listeners’ ears. 

The album is coming after Kanye released the abysmal “Donda” sequel named after the 2021 record. This album in particular was easily Kanye’s worst to come, so he certainly needed to up his game with “VULTURES 1.”

Starting off this album not so strong is the performance of Kanye. Various times throughout the album, we see the “newer” Kanye shine dully and bring about subpar lyrics and odd bars. The most outrageous, but honestly really catchy, part of the album is Kanye’s verse on the fifth track, “BACK TO ME.” In means of sampling the 1999 comedy “Dogma,” Kanye falls short lyrically as he’s seen talking about how “beautiful big-titty, butt-naked women just don’t fall out the sky.” And yes, this goes on for a while throughout his verse. Seven times to be exact. Now while it is awful lyrically, it’s still somehow catchy to me. I truly don’t know how he does it. 

On the other end of the spectrum are his performances on songs like “BURN” and “CARNIVAL.”

“BURN” brings back the old Kanye that everyone knows and loves, even sonically. In this song, we see Kanye touch on his divorce with his now ex-wife Kim Kardashian, mention his 2020 presidential run and take shots at designer brand, Balenciaga. 

Going onto “CARNIVAL,” we have Kanye talking about the whole industry as he’s name-dropping several celebrities, such as Bill Cosby, R. Kelly and Taylor Swift, within his verse. On top of this, we see him doubling down on him being a terrible person. This is easily the grittiest we’ve seen Kanye since this new era he’s in.

Moving onto Ty Dolla $ign’s performance, I believe he did so much better than Kanye. A lot of people have the belief that Ty is playing second fiddle to Kanye here. However, when really looking at it, Ty easily has the better and more consistent performances throughout the tracklist. 

I personally view the album more as a Ty Dolla $ign album than a Kanye West album because of this. While he was used as a “chorus boy” for most of the tracks, the choruses were easily the best part of some of the songs, bringing everything together. 

If I was to say which tracks he excelled on, I’d be forced to list every one of the 16 on the album. With this being said, his absolute best performance is on “BEG FORGIVENESS” with Chris Brown. He delivers a tear-jerker of a verse on this track. 

Then we have the features of the album. The best feature for me is either Freddie Gibbs or Rich the Kid, as both bring their best performances in a while to each track they’re on. Freddie on “BACK TO ME” goes so well with the instrumental provided and goes above and beyond what Ty and especially Kanye bring to the table.

As for Rich’s performance, he starts off “CARNIVAL” with nearly the best verse on the track. He shows so much emotion and hype through his runtime. 

Now to the bad. First up, we have Kanye’s daughter, North. She’s on “TALKING” and truly makes the song worse. Every time I listen, I have to fight the urge to not skip her verse. It’s simply just very annoying.

Production-wise, the album was phenomenal. Some great standouts were “CARNIVAL,” “BEG FORGIVENESS” and “DO IT.” 

“CARNIVAL” started off booming with chanting that could’ve been ripped out from the Super Bowl. On top of this, there’s an electrifying bass in the background also looming around. This sets the scene as the song is primarily there to hype the listener up. While nothing sticks out like a sore thumb, the song as a whole conveys such emotion from the instrumental alone. 

Next, we have “BEG FORGIVENESS.” To begin, we do have two halves of production. The first half of the song shows off 808s that seem like they’ve been taken from Kanye’s 2008 album, “808s & Heartbreak.” The song overall is very reminiscent of the album. Moving on to the true show-stopper, the second half of the track. There’s a dreadful voice saying “Beg forgiveness” being looped countless times as Ty and Chris Brown pour their souls out over it. As weird as it sounds, it’s one of the most powerful songs in terms of emotions being conveyed. 

Ending off this segment with “DO IT,” we have this weird Brazilian funk soundscape here, and I adore it so much. It’s so energetic that it makes me groove to the beat instantly. The instrumentals go so well with Ye, Ty and YG.

Wrapping this up, nearly everything on “VULTURES 1” is amazing. The only apparent downsides of the record are some of Ye’s performances and a handful of features. I’m glad the runtime of the album (55 minutes) is much shorter than Donda’s (1 hour and 48 minutes), making the album much more cohesive and actually listenable. 

Overall, “VULTURES 1” is a solid 9 out of 10. 

Lastly, as a disclaimer, It’s important to separate the art from the artist. Kanye himself is a beyond-awful person, but most agree that his music is more than decent.