Kanye West and Ty Dolla Sign
Vultures 1


2.5
average

Review

by Dakota West Foss STAFF
February 12th, 2024 | 355 replies


Release Date: 02/10/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let's have a toast for the douchebags

Despite being billed as a joint venture with Ty Dolla $ign -a man whose status as a public figure is largely anonymous from a lack of interest despite his obvious and unique vocal talents- VULTURES1 is very much a Kanye West album that lives in and in spite of the long shadow of his various controversies of the last few years, with his hateful and misguided rhetoric taking residence firmly in the eye of the storm. Rather than steering headfirst into the wreckage as he did on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he is only sometimes willing to confront the damage done and almost entirely through the lens of himself being a victim of Cancel Culture a la Dave Chapelle. This is all to say, those wondering if the music at hand could somehow possibly explain or rise above his antisemitic views, the answer is the obvious one: no, of course not.

And that’s kind of a damn shame, because the music in question is mostly quite interesting and good. In another life, one where the stink of his actions don’t taint these songs, Vultures1 would be a pretty good time. “Back to Me” has what will surely be one of the most hypnotic hooks of the year, paired with a memed out Kanye line that rattles around in the brain like the best of them, and an absolute dynamite verse from a hungry Freddie Gibbs. “Problematic” somehow steers clear of anything too problematic and has wonderfully airy production thanks to its “Bound2” comparisons giving way to percusion-less trumpets. “Burn” is as Old Kanye as one could ever possibly hope to hear in this or any other year, with shockingly self-aware lyrics that end Kanye’s verse on a legitimately funny punchline of R. Kelly being in the next Balenciaga ad.

Oh, how I wish that that was the only mention of R. Kelly on the album.

“Carnival” is a track that is already making waves with its infectious beat of soccer hooligans interpolating “Mo Bamba” and surprisingly great performances from Rich the Kid and Playboi Carti of all people, yet Kanye is on center display deeming himself “Ye Kelly”, declaring that he is “Me Too Rich.” This comparison to other troubling figures is lazy and lame and sucks all the oxygen out of the room and he just can’t stop doing it all throughout the record! It’s such an important point for him, that closer “King” has him proclaiming that despite being “Crazy, Bipolar, Antisemitic” that he “is still the king.” It’s not that I don’t understand his point and that there is maybe some weight to his popularity despite him being a lightning rod for criticism, it’s just that the point is ill-founded and dumb. Coming from the man who made “Runaway”, it’s a disappointing about-face to reduce all of his being hoisted by his own petard as a wayward dub due to him simply still being here.

It shouldn’t be surprising then that the album is considerably better when Kanye harkens back to 808’s on “Good (Don’t Die)” or steps away from the mic entirely. “Beg Forgiveness” is a showstopping epic thanks to Ty’s angelic go-for-broke performance, hamstrung by another tortured, stilted performance of Kanye complaining. “Paid” is again carried by an incredible club-ready beat and Ty’s game hook delivery that will surely end up as Tik Tok fodder, with Kanye doing his best to steal the spotlight with some sort of episode captured on the mic. Hell, even Kanye’s daughter delivers a performance that is entertaining and cute at face value, and metatextually touching on “Talking.” “Do it” straight up slaps in no small part to Kanye having a small part.

Ultimately, any conversation surrounding VULTURES1 is going to be incomplete and imprecise, with as much negative tilt as possible. Kanye’s decision to reduce much of his criticism as mere cancel culture fodder hampers the album from ever approaching the heights of his past work by miring what could have been an opportunity for clarification or reflection in mindless, recursive hedonism that is so obviously acting as a band-aid for wounds that require extensive and vital surgery. Perhaps the supposed sequels will shed more light and paint a more holistic and nuanced view on where the hell Kanye’s head is at, but there actually is a pretty rough outline of a complete arc. For everyone’s sake including his own, I hope against hope that Kanye can get his head on straight because for all the hoopla and missteps, it’s clear that the man is still just as capable of making good music as he is incapable of taking accountability.



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2.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2024


2296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

tbh album is probably closer to a 3 or 3.5 but very obvious tilt pushes it down

FowlKrietzsche
February 12th 2024


1380 Comments


I'm not touching this with a fifty foot pole, but respect for being willing to review it, hard work but you did a good job

Clefairy
February 12th 2024


296 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Fuck nazis forever

bellovddd
February 12th 2024


6563 Comments


hard pass on this dude. Completely irrelevant in every way.

Colton
February 12th 2024


15495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

one of the biggest celebrities in the world lol

bellovddd
February 12th 2024


6563 Comments


you say that like it means something lol.

Colton
February 12th 2024


15495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i’m just saying he’s far from irrelevant. there’s really nothing he can do to lose relevancy at this point

bellovddd
February 12th 2024


6563 Comments


his completely irrelevant to me in every single way. could live or die, wouldn't change a thing.

Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2024


2296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There are so many valid, truthful, better criticisms to make of Kanye but calling him irrelevant is like the one that is based in the same reality that he lives in

Faraudo
February 12th 2024


4707 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Just give up on this man, he's never gonna make anything good again.

bellovddd
February 12th 2024


6563 Comments


If Kayne is relevant in your life, well then that's fantastic for you. But his not in mine. shocking i know.

Sinternet
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2024


26624 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

fair review. a lot of these tracks are good (but mixed poorly again for the fifth album in a row), with carnival being a massive banger and one of his best tracks in years (carti feature is incredible he gonna drop aoty any day now), but kanye's performance as a rapper is very mediocre here.

Kusangii
February 13th 2024


6814 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Absolute trash

Trebor.
Emeritus
February 13th 2024


59911 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Love the Dogma sample

Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2024


2296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Same.



On a separate note, Fantano just tore this apart lmao

MUNGOLOID
February 13th 2024


4551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantano needs to get off of the Internet



Colton
February 13th 2024


15495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

honestly his review was not good

Sinternet
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2024


26624 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

fantano seems genuinely unhinged im worried for him, somethings been off about him for like a year or so at this point

Odal
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2024


2296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Tbh I get why Fantano would fly off the handle a little bit with this since Ye's fanbase is insufferable and they have been harassing him hardcore.



That being said, what the hell was that lol

SomeCallMeTim
February 13th 2024


4325 Comments


Can’t think of an album I’ll never listen to harder



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