Author: Gary Taylor, MSW URMND Contributor and Founder of Uphold 31:8
I miss the old Kanye.
…I know Ryan did an album review on the Kids See Ghosts Project with Kid Cudi. Which in my opinion was better than Ye’s solo album. I was underwhelmed with Ye’s album. I mean I understand the creative genius behind one of my favorite artists, but the album sounded just “ehh”. The first song threw me for a loop had me thinking was he having homicidal thoughts to Kim, family member or himself. Not a great way to start the album off. The album is scattered to me, one or two of the songs were solid. You can hear some old tones of Kanye in songs here and there, then the other songs it is like who is this. “No Mistakes” and “Ghost Town” sound old Kanye-ish, but then the rest of the album, again I am lost.
I have not played the album much since it came out, possibly two or three spins if that. I did not want to get to this point, but I do believe Kanye’s mental health is still an issue. I know, I know I said on the URMND podcast it was Kanye being Kanye and his rant was not surprising. I still feel that way sort of, but now it is mixed. In my opinion, I honestly believe Kanye is misdiagnosed. Although mania seems present at times, I feel the core is PTSD and trauma related. Just think about the car accident where his jaw was wired shut. Then three albums later, he loses his mom to a procedure, which he paid and then his wife is robbed at gunpoint. It seems to be a mixture of trauma, grief, mania all in one. I think we neglect these underlying issues.
I scrolled through all of his album covers from College Dropout to this recent album, and you can literally see the creativity diminish. That made me sad because outside of being an artist, just from a human perspective; you never want to see someone who used to be so detailed and intricate to losing interest in it all together. It is as if a piece of him has diminished or at least been shelved.
I think Ye continues to struggle with a lot mental health issues, which in turn has clouded his creative side. For real though, look at his album covers, look at the creative direction of them after 808s and Heartbreak, it will show you everything you need to know. I really hope he is receiving the appropriate treatment that hopefully addressed his core issues, not the surface ones.
Although I will miss the old Kanye, I want him to find peace more than anything.