When my last class ended, I took an Uber and ventured to the Solon Cinema to experience one of the greatest fashion shows I’ve ever seen in my life and to finally hear what is so far one of the best albums of 2016.
Anyone who is into fashion and music knows it was not only New York fashion week, but it was also the week Kanye West released his highly anticipated, critically acclaimed album, The Life of Pablo. To celebrate the release of the album, Yeezus himself held an album listening session along with his fashion show for the unveiling of his Yeezy season 3 Adidas clothing line.
When I found out that the show was being screened in movie theaters across the nation via satellite from Madison Square Garden in New York City, I took the opportunity to go and view the show. I was interested to see what Ye had lined up for season 3 of his clothing line, and I had been anticipating this album since he announced it.
Yes, I’m well aware he changed the album title about four or five times before finally settling with the title TLOP (The Life of Pablo), making fans guess the title and promising free tickets to the show and a free pair of Yeezy’s for anyone who guessed the title correctly. The album could’ve been called untitled or some other crazy name, and I still would’ve had the same amount of enthusiasm that I’ve had leading up to the release.
When I arrived at the theater, the main lobby looked completely empty with the exception of an employee, myself and another guy who was also there to view the fashion show. I asked the employee if they were screening the Kanye fashion show/listening session and he told me yes and directed me to theater 7, where a woman was sitting in front of it to check people in. After I checked in, I went to sit on a bench in the main lobby where the other guy who was there to view the show was sitting.
The guy introduced himself as Tyler, asked me if I was there to see the fashion show and listen to the album. I told him yeah, and immediately we got into a conversation about what we expected of the album, G.O.O.D. Friday’s, if it would sound similar to any of his past albums and what our favorite Kanye songs and albums are. (He said his is Graduation, an, well, mine’s is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.)
I asked Tyler what made him a Kanye West fan, and his reply was that “he’s proven over time that he is just so big in pop culture; he always surprises us with something big, new and of high quality. And today is all about high quality and what Ye thinks is high quality.”
As 7 or 8 more people poured into the theater for the show, we were told we could head into the room where the show was being screened. The show was scheduled to start approximately at 4:15 but the Kardashian/Jenner clan, along with Ye, decided that they were going to be fashionably late.
Ye prepped his MacBook, which had the album on it. (I wonder if that’s the same laptop he talks about in Real Friends?) Before the first song began, he told everyone in attendance to feel free to dance, cheer and share their opinions on which songs they liked.
The album opens up with a song titled Ultra Light Beam, which is one of my favorite songs from the album. The gospel song features producer and songwriter The Dream, singer Kelly Price, Chicago artist Chance The Rapper (who murdered the track) and gospel artist Kirk Franklin.
The song got everyone in the theater a bit emotion also, at that point, we knew this album was nothing short of being phenomenally amazing. As the song was ending, a huge tarp that had been in the center of the Madison Square Garden was pulled to unveil all the models in their pieces from season 3, which actually made the song even more chilling.
During the duration of the first song, so many artist and celebrity friends of Kanye’s arrived. Among the first to arrive was rapper Pusha T, who is also the president of Ye’s record label G.O.O.D. Music; rapper Big Sean; rapper Travis Scott; Los Angeles Laker’s player Nick Young; and Cleveland Rapper Kid Cudi.
One noticeable difference about the clothes in Yeezy season 3, is that the colors are a lot more monochromatic, and it looks as if there will be a lot more pieces for women.
Once the second song Father Stretch My Hands started, I think my soul probably left my body because not only was I hearing a Metro Boomin produced track, but I also heard Kid Cudi’s vocals on that track. And anyone who knows me knows that aside from Ye, I’m a huge Cudi fan. Not only that, but the song is broken up into two parts. And when the beat drops on part 2, I’m not sure if I wanna dab on ’em or jump around like crazy. (Part 1 makes me feel that way, too.) Oh, and by the way, that’s not Future that we hear on part 2, it’s Ye’s new artist Disiigner, who sounds a lot like Future.
Aside from the new color scheme, new silhouettes of the Adidas Yeezy 350 and 950 boost were unveiled featuring new colorways. Although I’ve yet to cop a pair of 350s, it still got me pretty excited to see new silhouettes and colors because both Kanye and Adidas have issued statements saying that a lot more Yeezy boost will be produced, meaning eventually, everyone will be able to get their hands on a pair.
The fourth song, Famous, opens with none other than Rihanna. The song immediately sparked controversy because Kanye takes a jab at Taylor Swift,reigniting their feud by making a sexual reference and saying he made her famous. I could care less about that feud, though. I was in awe at how amazing Rihanna sounded and how great Ye’s flow was on that song.
To be honest, I don’t remember the fifth song, which is titled Feedback because I was still in a trance over the fact that the album so far was the epitome of greatness.
I know a lot of you are thinking, “Why can’t I just listen to it now? But the album download that came with my ticket purchase has not been sent out via email yet because in all actuality, Kanye is still tweaking the album, and I refuse to purchase it off Tidal when I basically have it already for free.
The sixth track, Low Lights, features an uncredited female voice in a monologue praising God and making religious references. At first thought, you think Yeezy is taking us back to church, but he’s actually setting us up for one of the most feel good, club songs I’ve heard from him in awhile.
High Lights, which features rapper Young Thug, R&B singer El Debarge, Kelly Price and killer ad-libs from The Dream, makes you want to drive around with the song blaring as loud as possible. Ye of course snaps on the song, and he even takes a jab at his wife’s ex, making it one of the standout tracks on the album.
The dopest part about this fashion show was that not only did the show feature unknown models, some of whom were just regular everyday people, but the show also featured some prominent people in the industry modeling the collection. Familiar faces in the show included OG supermodel model Naomi Campbell; Young Thug; and Ian Connor, who according to Vogue magazine, has become a fashion muse since Kanye’s fashion show.
I know a lot of you on campus have not heard the album yet, so I’m not going to go through every song and give away the whole album and all the features. But some other great songs off the album to check out are: FML, Waves and Fade. Seriously, Fade has this funky 80’s vibe that’s perfect for the club and for walking a runway, which is why when I heard it, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fuck it up on someone’s dance floor or someone’s runway.
To sum up the fashion show, the album and my experience as a whole, it was beyond amazing. Although I would’ve loved to be at Madison Square Garden covering the show like Complex, GQ and every other prominent fashion outlet, I enjoyed the theater screening and being able to get away for a while to do things that I’m passionate about and enjoy doing, which were meeting cool, down-to-earth people who gave off vibes, hear good music and look at some cool fashion.
What do you guys think of the album and will you be picking up items from the Yeezy season 3 collection? Kanye has said that the collection will be more affordable than his first two collections. Let me know what your thoughts are about the album and the clothing line in the comments section.