Firsthand Reaction from Kanye’s Debut of The Life of Pablo at MSG

Editor’s note: I am writing this hours before this show at MSG occurs tonight. I’m quite unsure of what I am set to experience tonight (will there be fashion models walking the runway while Yeezy’s The Life of Pablo plays from the speakers? Will Kanye himself be performing his songs? Will there be some sort of melding of the two in a Runaway video-like fashion?).

One thing I know is that I will be able to hear this album in its entirety for the first time, perhaps before anyone else gets to, which admittedly will be a pretty amazing experience. That alone may be worth the price of admission, or roughly eight times what it would cost to simply buy his album on iTunes later today.

The anticipation is palpable. One of the greatest artists of his era and the biggest star in Hip-Hop and perhaps the entire music industry today drops his 7th solo LP today, and I for one am thrilled. Will this be another classic album? Only time will tell, and those clamoring for more tracks that sound like the Kanye of old (read: pre-Yeezus) just might get it if his two most recently-released tracks “Real Friends” and “No More Parties in LA” are any indication of the direction he’s going. I look forward to writing about this upon the event’s culmination – the experience, the vibe, the crowd reaction, etc. Until then.


So that was quite the experience, if not something I pretty much expected.  Live-tweeting the show (from our account @itickpick) was an impossibility due to a maxed-out crowd that came to the listening party which rendered my phone’s service useless.  So I sat in my upper level seat in section 225 at MSG diligently taking notes on my phone throughout the party.

What went on was basically a sold out MSG vibing to Yeezy’s new album that was being played on speakers that sounded a lot better than our Apple or Beats By Dre headphones do.  Initially, there were two massive bubble-like apparatus that covered all of the models sporting Kanye’s new fashion line.

One observation that I and probably 20,000 or so others noticed was that all of these models were African American, which didn’t exactly come as a surprise given Kanye’s outspokenness in the past regarding African American culture and equality issues.  Another observation that was pretty obvious was the the models pretty much stayed still for the entire show up on those stages; an impressive feat that really must have toned up their calves.

Other fashion notes included the attire Kanye sported himself, a red shirt and black hat that reminded me of Tiger Woods during his prime on a Sunday – setting the tone that he’s on the most dominant run in his profession as Tiger was himself during his heyday (though tiger’s signature Nike swoosh was conspicuously absent on Kanye – this was an Adidas fashion line, after all).

Onto the music, which I enjoyed immensely, and I believe those of you that haven’t yet heard it will, too.  It had much more of a pre-Yeezus vibe than the hard beats we heard during his last album, which I imagine will please many of his fans that long for his older stuff.

The only person in the audience that may have enjoyed their time vibing to the music more than myself was probably Kanye himself (or Kid Cudi, who could be seen dancing and bopping around with Yeezy throughout the show).  Even those out there that aren’t fans of the man would have had a tough time not cracking a smile while witnessing a genuinely ecstatic Kanye having such a great time with his fans that he got to share the experience with.

The music was fun, bringing me back to the Graduation era that was a bit lighter and more upbeat.  While I wasn’t able to really pinpoint which songs I was even listening to at the time because they all seemed to mesh together as one cohesive unit, some beats moved me more than others, some did more for me than others.

While I wasn’t necessarily expecting him to perform his new album in its entirety during his fashion show, I expected that maybe he would perform at least a few of the songs.  Unfortunately, ‘Ye seemed to want the focus to be on his models and Adidas line while his album blared and set the tone.

In any case, I can certainly say that I enjoyed myself, and that initial taste is going to make the wait to buy his album and listen to it many times over that much harder.  All I know is if and when he tours to promote this new great album of his, I will be the first in line for my tickets.

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