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“Vultures 1” Album Review

An alternative cover of Kanye Wests and Ty Dolla $ign’s “Vultures 1.” The album was released by YZY on Feb. 10. Alternative album cover from YZY
An alternative cover of Kanye West’s and Ty Dolla $ign’s “Vultures 1.” The album was released by YZY on Feb. 10. Alternative album cover from YZY

After a three-year hiatus, an extended self-isolation after controversial statements, and months of album delays, music legend Kanye West returns to the music industry. With this album, “Vultures 1,” West teams up with a previous collaborator Ty Dolla $ign. Together, they released a 16-track album.

“Vultures 1” by Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign was the return to music that West needed. After several controversial statements in 2022, West lost many brand deals and partnerships, leaving him with no label or distributor for his music. West left the internet, left the United States, went to Dubai, and returned to Miami on Dec. 11, 2023 with a magnificent new record. However, the version of the album that was previewed in December is a very different album than what was released on Feb. 9, 2024. 

“Vultures 1” is the first record that West has released since 2018s “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” to contain explicit lyrics. West had a two-album run of gospel music which contained no explicit lyrics. One album is titled “Jesus is King” (2019) and the other is titled after West’s late mother, “Donda” (2021).

 After hearing the lead single of this album, a track self-titled “Vultures,” I was skeptical. The song featured two verses from artists Bump J and Lil Durk, which were not all that great, an okay verse from West where he addresses his controversy in a very unserious way, and a solid closing verse from Ty Dolla $ign. It gave me low hopes for the full album. Luckily, that song grew on me heavily as time passed. However, on Dec. 12, West held a live listening party in Miami to preview seven out of the 16 tracks on the album. After that, I knew that “Vultures 1” would be a great comeback for West.

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“Vultures 1” features artists who have previously collaborated with West like Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and Chris Brown. “Vultures 1” also features new voices to West like Freddie Gibbs, who have never worked together before. To add even more, West features his daughter for the first time, North West, on one track. Having Kanye and Travis Scott on another track together is enough to satisfy my needs, as the two of them are my favorite artists of all time. 

Some tracks that really stood out to me were “Fuk Sumn,” “Carnival,” and “Back to Me.” “Back to Me” starts off with a beautiful hook by Ty Dolla $ign, transitions into two verses from West, a section that samples a line from the 1999 “Dogma” movie and then a verse from Gibbs. The way the hook blends into the song is very nice and ear-pleasing.

“Fuk Sumn” felt like the biggest anthem of “Vultures 1.” It starts with a hook by Ty Dolla $ign, then there is a verse from Playboi Carti, and then the song gets very weird. There is a section on “Fuk Sumn” that is one of the artist’s voices, but it is autotuned to the point where it sounds like Alvin from “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” This section of the song was funny to me, and I laughed when I heard it the first time. Then, Kanye and Travis Scott give their verses and the song ends with the verse from Scott. It has a very high-energy performance and features some of the biggest artists from this generation of hip-hop, which gives it the anthem feeling.

Kanye West is one of my favorite producers of all time, probably hitting a spot in my top five. So, I never worry about what the production is going to sound like on a Kanye album. Once again, I was heavily satisfied with the production of “Vultures 1.” I think the song that had the best production was either “Burn” or “Do It.” Kanye does something that impressed me heavily with the production of this album. Kanye could not get one of his samples cleared to use, so he instead changed the sample to a sample of his own song from 2010s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is my favorite album of all time, so this sample was impressive to me. Some other producers that made notable beats on this album were Timbaland and JPEGMAFIA.

The subject matter of this album is very hard to describe. There was not a very prominent theme. Some songs held very personal meanings to Kanye and Ty. Others were very fun and club-like songs. The best way to describe it is as though “Vultures 1” is more of a playlist than an album because the thematic elements are all over the place as songs added to a personal-made playlist would be.

Ty Dolla $ign’s performance in “Vultures 1” really stood out to me. Most people thought going into this album that Ty would be a side character that would be pushed off to the side to let Kanye have his spotlight. This was not the case, as in this collab album both Kanye and Ty had a 50/50 shared contribution. I was not ever a big fan of Ty, not to say that I didn’t like him, but I was not familiar with most of his catalog. After listening to “Vultures 1,” I realized I needed to check out more of his music because I loved his contribution to this album.

“Vultures 1” by Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign is now available for purchase on YEEZY.COM and available to stream on services such as Apple Music and Spotify.

“Vultures 1” by Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign scores 5/5 stars from me.

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Nolan McNulty
Nolan McNulty, Staff Reporter
Nolan McNulty is a junior at Ankeny High School. In his free time, Nolan likes to hang out with his friends and family, watch movies, and lift weights. He plans on going to the University of Iowa after high school. A fun fact about Nolan is that he enjoys listening to rap music.
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