It takes a mighty talent not to fall under the weight of a collaborator list as long and celebrated as the one for Yeezus. On the production end, everyone from Rick Rubin to Daft Punk are in the mix; guest stars range from young hip-hop talents Ché Pope and Chief Keef to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon — and that’s not even mentioning the samples. But if there’s a voice — and an ego — that can balance the load, it’s Kanye West. As many have mentioned, Yeezus is easily the most menacing West output to date, pulling from the intenseness and audacity of 2011’s Watch the Throne collaboration with Jay-Z more than Kanye’s opulent My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In place of Fantasy’s smooth R&B moments, Yeezus exists in a world of nerve-rattling electronica and techno beats, further fueling West’s lyrical fire, which vacillates from X-rated railings about women (“I’m in It”) to lofty proclamations that sound more dooming than self-congratulating (“I Am a God”). West may be the fiercest in the game, but if Yeezus proves one thing, it’s that power comes at a price.


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