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The impact of The Life of Pablo

Matthew Bradford, Business Manager

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On February 11th, 2016, Kanye West unveiled his 7th solo album, The Life of Pablo, to the world from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Once again as he has done many times before, Kanye changed the landscape of music with the Gospel centric theme of his record.

On tracks like Ultralight Beam, Low Lights, and Saint Pablo, the motif of Christianity and turning to Jesus was present. For example, on Ultralight Beam, guest feature Chance The Rapper says, “When they come for you, I will shield your name, I will field their questions, I will feel your pain” and later “You can feel the lyrics, the spirit coming in braille, Tubman of the underground, come and follow the trail” which signify how much Chance will defend Jesus’ name.

A couple months after Pablo dropped, Chance The Rapper released his own LP, Coloring Book. This album not only continued the Gospel themes displayed in TLOP, but expanded on them and were present in almost every song. On the track “Blessings,” Chance and guest Jamila Woods sing, “I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him ’til I’m gone, I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him ’til I’m gone, When the praises go up, the blessings come down, When the praises go up, the blessings come down, It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap, It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap.” Chance not only acknowledges his faith in this song but proudly displays it for all who will hear.

DJ Khaled, known for his outlandish Snapchat stories and lavish lifestyle, also hopped on the Gospel bandwagon with his single, “Holy Key” featuring rappers Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean as well as Gospel singer Betty Wright. On the hook Wright sings, “Surrounded by my angels and we all shine, Holy, holy, holy, holy key, and I’ma celebrate it for a long time, They tried but couldn’t break me, now it’s all mine.” Lamar also raps, “I don’t wear crosses no more, Yeshua’s coming back, I ain’t scared of losses no more, I see life in that, I don’t resonate with the concept of love and hate, Cause your perspective is less effective and rather fake, the universe and the heavens work in my DNA.”

As the influence of The Life of Pablo is evident in today’s popular music, much like his groundbreaking LP, 808s & Heartbreaks, it will continue to leave its mark on the rest of pop music for the next 10 years and likely even more.

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The student news site of Newsome High School
The impact of The Life of Pablo