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Ye’s ‘VULTURES 1’ should be fed to the vultures

Graphic by Ethan Nelson

After months of delays, rapper Ye and singer-songwriter Ty Dolla $ign released “VULTURES 1” on Feb. 10, the first of their collaboration trilogy. 

This is Ye’s first album since his antisemitic rants on X which cost him billions of dollars in brand deals. 

The project is a complete mess in every way. Most of the songs are jokes in terms of mixing. The lyrical content is either highly offensive or complete nonsense and it lacks consistent sound, which makes it feel incohesive. 

The album opens on a flavorless and tasteless note with the insulting “STARS” and boring “KEYS TO MY LIFE.” The third track is “PAID,” a generic but somewhat catchy house song that will inevitably be played at every frat party for the remainder of the semester.

“TALKING” gives us the only moment of heart on the entire LP. North West, Ye’s daughter, makes her musical debut with a fun verse. Ty Dolla $ign gets vulnerable on the back half to make for a fulfilling listen despite the awkward transition.

Just as the record starts moving in the right direction, we get one of Ye’s worst songs ever with “BACK TO ME.” The song features an abysmal sample from the film “Dogma” which is slightly humorous on the first listen, but turns obnoxious after. The track’s only saving grace is Freddie Gibbs on the back half, who gives this album its only solid lyrics and once again proves he has iron lungs with his insane breath control.

After this point in the album, the highlights are few and far between. “DO IT” is as good as the project gets with its 80s synths and fast-paced momentum. “BURN” is a brief breath of fresh air, with Ye referencing his early career sounds. “CARNIVAL” is a decent anthem with great scope.

One lowlight is “HOODRAT,” an incomplete song with terrible mixing. Another garbage patch is the final four tracks which is a horrible attempt at soliciting sympathy for this deeply insecure man.

“PROBLEMATIC” is especially rancid and has the worst line on the album: “I’m not racist, it’s a preference/ And my new b—- looking like a reference.”

Ye has a career because he has been a musical genius for 20 years. The Ye touch is what keeps fans coming back and why he continues to reach new peaks in popularity. However, separating the art from the artist becomes nearly impossible when he repeatedly mentions his antisemitism and disrespect toward women with pride.

“VULTURES 1” is Ye’s worst album to date by a wide margin. Besides a few outliers, most tracks lack the polish and originality that’s expected from one of the most influential artists in the genre. Ye can get back to innovation, but he has to put in a lot more effort than this.

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