Is this what he means by “album of the life?”
This is not album of the year. This is album of the life.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 26, 2016
Close to two months after the initial release of The Life of Pablo, Kanye West reminds us that it is more than just an album – it’s creative expression.
In last, February Kanye premiered what was then the first track on his album, Wolves at his Yeezy Season One fashion show. The song featured Sia and fellow Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. Over a year afterwards, the Wolves we hear on The Life of Pablo is drastically different than the one some fans heard previously at the fashion show.
The album version of the song featured an added Kanye verse with some cringe-inducing lyrics (“You left your fridge open somebody just took a sandwich”), an added outro with the elusive Frank Ocean, and had no traces of Vic Mensa or Sia at all. Some fans were disappointed, and Kanye took notice of this, releasing a tweet on the same day the album dropped, claiming that he would fix the song.
Ima fix wolves
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
Now here we are at the end of March, and Kanye has stuck to his guns and updated the song.
The new version sees the return of Sia and Vic Mensa, and the Frank Ocean outro has now been cut into it’s own track, fittingly titled Frank’s Track.
On top of the changes to Wolves, Kanye has altered the controversial Famous, and has since released it to all streaming services (not just Tidal), being pushed as the album’s first official single.
There aren’t any stand-out differences on the album version of Famous as opposed to the newly released single version. Apart from some added echoes on certain lines, the drums sound punchier, the Swizz Beatz ad-libs seem more in-your-face, the Sister Nancy sample comes in sooner, and the overall song sounds more sonically defined. It could just be the placebo effect kicking in—anything will sound new or different when you’re on the look out for it—but it definitely sounds updated.
The one noticeable difference in the song comes at the start of Kanye’s second verse.
The original lyrics of “She be Puerto Rican day parade wavin’,” has since been changed to “She in school to be a real estate agent.”
In this instance, the changes aren’t as serious as in the song Wolves, where multiple verses were moved around and altered, but it’s still odd to see an artist update their songs like they’re video games or iPhone apps.
Kanye has always been a driving force in the music industry who continues to boundaries. Will future artists provide updates to their already released songs or albums, making improvements where they see fit? Or, are Kanye’s album updates just his own little strives for perfection in a seemingly rushed album roll-out?