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Ye (album)

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Ye
A view of the Teton mountain range with green text in the centre reading "I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome"
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1, 2018
RecordedMay 2018
StudioWest Lake Ranch, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
GenreHip hop
Length23:41
Label
Producer
Kanye West chronology
The Life of Pablo
(2016)
Ye
(2018)
Kids See Ghosts
(2018)
Singles from Ye
  1. "Yikes"
    Released: June 8, 2018
  2. "All Mine"
    Released: July 24, 2018

Ye (/j/; stylized in all lowercase) is the eighth studio album by American rapper Kanye West. It was released on June 1, 2018, through GOOD Music and distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Following controversy surrounding an interview with TMZ, West re-recorded all the work on the album, with him completing it over the course of just two weeks at West Lake Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Guest vocals from PartyNextDoor, Ty Dolla Sign, Kid Cudi, Jeremih, and 070 Shake, among others, are included on Ye. West produced it with Mike Dean, alongside numerous others. Succeeding the release of Pusha T's Daytona, the album was the second of five seven-track albums produced by West in what were referred to as the "Wyoming Sessions", which were set to be released weekly. It preceded the release of West's collaborative album with Kid Cudi, as Kids See Ghosts, titled Kids See Ghosts. The latter's release was succeeded by that of Nas' Nasir, and Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E..

"Yikes" and "All Mine" were released as singles in the summer of 2018 in support of Ye, with a lyric video being released for the latter simultaneously with one for non-single "Violent Crimes". Both of the singles attained top 20 positions on the US Billboard Hot 100, while the album received generally favorable reviews from music critics. The majority of them drew comparisons between the latter and West's previous works, while other critics had somewhat mixed feelings towards the lyrical content. It was named as one of the best albums of 2018 by multiple publications, including NME and Pitchfork.

Ye became West's eighth consecutive album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, tying him with Eminem's record. It was also a chart topper in Australia, Canada, Estonia, Ireland and New Zealand, while top five positions were attained in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The album has since been certified gold and silver in the United States and the UK by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI), respectively.

Background and recording[edit]

On February 24, 2016, West tweeted that his eighth studio album would be released during the summer of that year under the title of Turbo Grafx 16, naming it after the video game console of the same name.[1] West associate Ibn Jasper posted a photo on Instagram showing West with longtime collaborators Mike Dean, Plain Pat, and Kid Cudi in a recording studio working on the album.[2] In March 2016, Quavo posted an image on his Instagram of him in a studio with West, with "TURBO GRAFX 16" written on the wall behind them. A number of other artists were present in the image, including Lil Yachty, Big Sean, and Tyler, the Creator.[3] The expected release of the album in the summer of 2016 was not met, while West began his Saint Pablo Tour in August that year, in support of his seventh studio album The Life of Pablo that had been released in February.[4][5] The tour ended abruptly, with 22 out of 41 dates being cancelled, after West, on his Sacramento stop, embarked on a rant lasting roughly 20 minutes, ending the show.[5]

In May 2017, news began to surface that West was working on his new album "on top of a mountain in Wyoming" in seclusion.[6][7] In March 2018, similar reports had emerged through various artists, including West himself, who was being spotted in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a release date being expected for either 2018 or 2019 at the time.[8][9] A number of other artists were pictured or rumored, including Kid Cudi, Nas, King Louie, Pi'erre Bourne, ASAP Bari, Wheezy, The-Dream, Travis Scott and The World Famous Tony Williams.[10][11] In April 2018, West met with Rick Rubin, who is the executive producer on West's previous two studio albums, Yeezus (2013) and The Life of Pablo.[12] The meeting occurred at West's office in Calabasas, following on from him recording in Wyoming, having bought a property in the latter named Monster Lake Ranch for recording and renamed it West Lake Ranch.[12][13] That same month, West previewed the album for radio host Charlamagne tha God.[14] West announced the album's planned release date of June 1, 2018 on April 19, simultaneously revealing it to include seven tracks.[15] On April 28, 2018, West tweeted out a text conversation between him and Wes Lang.[16] The text conversation included West showing the initial cover for the album, and an explanation of its concept, followed by him asking for help naming the album.[17] Lang replied, "LOVE EVERYONE," to which West replied "I love that."[17] The presented cover art showed plastic surgeon Jan Adams who performed a liposuction and mammoplasty operation on West's mother, Donda West, which led to complications and eventually her death a day after.[17] Within the texts, Kanye West explained that he wanted to "forgive and stop hating," implying that West was ready to forgive the plastic surgeon for the situation regarding his mother's death.[18] On April 30, Adams responded to the news of the cover in the form of an open letter, asking West to "cease and desist using my photo or any image of me to promote your album or any of your work," while noting his willingness to sit down with West for a face to face conversation.[19] West responded to the letter on his Twitter saying, "This is amazing. Thank you so much for this connection brother. I can't wait to sit with you and start healing."[20]

West returned to Wyoming in May 2018 for the recording of then-upcoming albums, which were later referred to as the "Wyoming Sessions".[21][22] Outside of his own albums, West also executive produced, produced, and provided guest vocals for all of the albums by other artists that came out of the "Wyoming Sessions", with him having announced taking on the role of producer beforehand.[23][24][25][26] American rapper Pusha T released his third studio album, Daytona on May 25, 2018, with the album standing as the first release of West's 2018 "Wyoming Sessions" recordings.[21][27] West released Ye on June 1 as the second album of the "Wyoming Sessions".[21][28] Prior to referencing mental health on the album, West had mentioned it within his music in the past, especially on The Life of Pablo.[29] On June 8, 2018, a week after Ye had been released, Kids See Ghosts, the hip hop duo consisting of West and Kid Cudi, released their eponymous debut studio album Kids See Ghosts.[21][30] A sequel to Ye track "Ghost Town", entitled "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)", is included on the album, with the sequel featuring vocals from American singer Ty Dolla Sign.[31][32] West revealed via Twitter that the former was originally slated for release on Kids See Ghosts.[33] On June 15, 2018, American rapper Nas released his eleventh studio album, Nasir, which stood as the fourth album of the "Wyoming Sessions".[34][35] American recording artist Teyana Taylor released her second studio album, K.T.S.E. on June 23 as the fifth and final album of the "Wyoming Sessions".[36][37]

In an interview conducted during the listening party for Ye, West stated that he "redid the whole album after TMZ," referring to a controversial interview with the tabloid news website in May 2018, during which he made controversial comments about slavery, and suggested that the entire album was re-recorded in a month.[38] Referencing the recording process, West claimed that initially: "Everything was going perfect. As soon as stuff stopped going so perfectly, I was like, 'I know what to do with this energy. I know exactly what to do with this.'"[38] On June 4, 2018, West's wife Kim Kardashian reconfirmed this and revealed that two weeks were spent re-recording Ye.[39] Of her presence in the studio, Kardashian said: "I left to go home for, like, two days and then I come back and it was a whole new album. It's fascinating to see the process."[39] The following day, featured artist 070 Shake said in an interview that the album was still being worked on up until the day before it came out.[40] She elaborated, revealing that West was "very calm" while completing recording sessions in a few hours.[40] As well as 070 Shake, the album includes guest contributions from Ty Dolla Sign, Ant Clemons, Jeremih, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson, Caroline Shaw and Nicki Minaj.[41] Though all of the other contributions are guest vocals, Nicki Minaj contributed a voicemail.[41] Ye was updated on streaming services on November 8, 2018, with the uncredited sample of Kareem Lotfy's recording "Fr3sh" being removed from the track "I Thought About Killing You".[42]

Music and composition[edit]

Writing for Rolling Stone, Brendan Klinkenberg characterized Ye as a hip hop album, though viewed it as the opposite "of a laser-focused statement album."[44] Lindsay Zoladz of The Ringer noted the album's rushed sound, describing it as what "has a slapdash, unfinished quality about it, like a 10-page paper written in a shaky hand on the bumpy morning bus ride to school."[45] For The Line of Best Fit, Ross Horton similarly stated that Ye "just sounds like it hasn't been finished," specifically noting the track "Wouldn't Leave" as sounding unfinished.[46] Douglas Greenwood from NME wrote that the album "lacks the profundity of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the audacity of 808s or Yeezus," calling the sound "succinct and easy to swallow."[47]

Steven Hyden compared the composition of the tracks on Ye to West's previous works in Uproxx, expressing the viewpoint that none of them stand out "as a decisive break with what he's done before."[48] Paul Bowler from uDiscoverMusic viewed the work on the album as taking influence from West's previous tracks, describing it as what "marked a return to the dusty soul samples with which he had first made his name in the mid-00s."[49] Similarly, Clayton Purdom of The A.V. Club claimed that the old West is present on Ye "bringing plump, stirring soul samples."[50] He elaborated, writing that "if you missed the new Kanye, there's plenty of abrasive, Yeezus-style abstraction, too," and noted the inclusion of multitudes on the album.[50] Writing for The Observer, Kitty Empire viewed the work as "veering between sparse, hyper-modern styles and compositions which hark back to the soulful bent" of West's early career.[51] Lucy Jones of The Daily Telegraph noted certain works as being reminiscent of West's third studio album Graduation (2007), viewing the piano chords and Slick Rick sample on the track "No Mistakes" as "old-school West," which she also pointed to certain vocals on "Ghost Town" as being.[52]

Themes and lyrics[edit]

Ye gives a look into the psyche of West, with the character of him being focused on.[28][43] The album includes references to West's mental health, with a large amount of it seeing him unravel his mind, and "Ghost Town" is specifically linked to the theme.[53] The theme contrasts The Life of Pablo's delving into the darker corners of fame and family, with Ye being more uncomfortable in comparison.[28] West's bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts are mentioned on the album, which are in relation to the theme of mental health.[29] Ye also includes West expressing his thoughts towards women.[53]

The album's opener, "I Thought About Killing You", sees West confess to thoughts of both suicide and homicide.[47] West delivers spoken word over a backing vocal within the opener for a couple of minutes until the beat changes and he switches to rapping.[52] "Yikes" includes West referencing his experiences with psychedelic drugs, as well as his struggle with mental health.[54] Within "All Mine", West moves "into more explicit territory" and raps about having interest in multiple dating options.[47][52] West uses "Wouldn't Leave" to reference his controversial comments about slavery, and his relationship with Kardashian.[52] "No Mistakes" includes a series of self-righteous outbursts, coming from the perspective of a multi millionaire in West.[51] The mind of West is presented as being in the process of unravelling within "Ghost Town", which is in reference to his mental health state.[53] West raps about fears towards fathering his daughter within "Violent Crimes".[43]

Release and promotion[edit]

On April 27, 2018, after West traveled to Wyoming and made subsequent album announcements, he announced the release of the track "Lift Yourself".[55] That same day, the track was released on West's website, with it seeing West rap nonsensical words.[56][57] West premiered a track two hours after "Lift Yourself" titled "Ye vs. the People", which features fellow rapper T.I.[58] During an interview with The Breakfast Club in May 2018, Pusha T claimed that a version of "Lift Yourself" with actual lyrics exists and indicated that it could be released on the album.[59] However, Ye was later released without the song included.[28] It was also rumored for "Ye vs. the People" to be released on the album, though the song ultimately wasn't part of it.[28][60] A song titled "Extacy" was part of the original track list for Ye as the second track, though the position was taken up by "Yikes" instead of the song on the final release of the album, while "Extacy" was later released under the title of "XTCY" on August 11, 2018.[61][62]

Ye was released for digital download and streaming worldwide on June 1, 2018, through West's labels GOOD Music and Def Jam.[54] The album was later released as a CD in various countries by the aforementioned labels on July 20, 2018.[63] On June 8, it was revealed that Ye was slated to be released on vinyl in the summer of 2018 and pre-orders were made available simultaneously, while the vinyl release ultimately occurred in various countries on July 27, 2018 through West's labels.[64][65] This marked the first official vinyl release for an album by West since his collaborative studio album Watch the Throne with Jay-Z in 2011.[64] However, West's previous two albums Yeezus and The Life of Pablo were heavily bootlegged on vinyl.[64]

Chris Rock at the 2012 premiere of What to Expect When You're Expecting in New York
Chris Rock announced the album as being titled Ye, and narrated the video of the listening party on West's website.

A two-hour listening party took place for Ye on the night of May 31, 2018 in Jackson Hole, with West broadcasting a livestream of the party through the WAV app.[66] West invited a variety of guests to the listening party, including Ty Dolla Sign, Kid Cudi, Nas, Pusha T, Desiigner, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Cyhi the Prynce, among others. Members of Def Jam's staff mobilized and organized people from various locations around the world for the party, though the number of people originally planned to fly out for it was 300 until it was ultimately halved. At the location of the listening party, the album's title was announced as being Ye by American comedian Chris Rock, shortly before the party began.[67]

Promotional videos[edit]

By June 6, 2018, West's official website had been updated to include footage from the listening party for Ye.[68] A promotional video of the listening party was played on the website, set to the album tracks "I Thought About Killing You" and "Ghost Town". Rock provided narration for the video.[69] West's website was later updated on October 22, 2019 in promotion of his ninth studio album Jesus Is King.[70]

There weren't any music videos released for Ye, but lyric videos for the tracks "All Mine" and "Violent Crimes" were officially released simultaneously on June 19, 2018.[71] Both of the tracks were treated as singles from the album with the promotion, despite not having been released as such at the time, though "All Mine" later experienced a single release.[72][73] The videos include the lyrics being written out on the same Wyoming mountain range displayed on the artwork for Ye, while the lyrics are in the same font used for the text on the artwork.[71]

Singles[edit]

West initially debuted Ye on June 1, 2018 without any singles, as is popular among musicians using the sudden release option that don't want a big marketing roll out.[74] On June 8, "Yikes" was released to UK mainstream radio stations by West's labels as the lead single from the album.[75] Three days later, it was revealed that West had to choose a lead single in the United States for promotion.[74] Simultaneously, the song was revealed to have been selected by West for release as a single in the US.[74] It was serviced to US radio stations through West's labels as the lead single on June 11, 2018.[76] Prior to release as a single, the song charted at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100, standing as West's first solo track to enter the top 10 of the Hot 100 since the single "Heartless" in 2008 and becoming his 16th top 10 single on the chart.[77] After having been released as a single, the song made its debut at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart, standing as West's 19th top 10 single on the chart.[78] On August 14, 2019, "Yikes" was certified platinum in the US by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of 1,000,000 certified units.[79]

West went on to select "All Mine" for release as the second single from Ye on July 20, 2018, which features vocals by Ty Dolla Sign and Clemons.[41][80] This decision was made by West due to his labels preparing a track for such a release to block a momentum loss for the album after "Yikes" experienced a lack of success on record charts.[80] However, the track's lyric video had been released in promotion over a month before it was selected for release as a single.[72] On July 24, 2018, the track was sent to US rhythmic contemporary radio stations through West's labels as the second single.[73] The track entered at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, prior to being released as a single.[81] That same week, the track debuted at the same position on the UK Singles Chart.[78] "All Mine" was certified platinum in the US by the RIAA for selling 1,000,000 certified units on September 21, 2018.[82] On March 6, 2020, the track was certified silver in the United Kingdom by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales of 200,000 units.[83]

Both of the singles stood as West's first entries in the top 10 of the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart since "All Day" reached number six in 2015.[84] "Yikes" and "All Mine" gave West his 25th and 26th tracks to attain top 10 positions on the chart, entering at number seven and nine, respectively.[84] Though "Yikes" charted higher than "All Mine", the latter remained on the Billboard Hot 100 longer; it spend nine weeks on the chart, while the former only remained on the Hot 100 for five weeks.[85][86]

Artwork and title[edit]

The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming.
A view of the Teton Range from the Jackson Hole valley, similar to the view depicted in the cover art for Ye.

The artwork for Ye was revealed by Kardashian to have been taken by West on his iPhone on their way to the listening party on May 31, 2018, hours before the release of the album. It features a view of the Teton Range from Jackson Hole, the mountain range where the album was recorded and produced.[87] The mountainous terrain photographed is natural, though it is questionable whether the artwork includes a skyline or not within the area that the terrain is present on it.[88] The text on the artwork reads: "I hate being / Bi-Polar / its awesome," [sic] which is scribbled in neon green over the mountain range.[87] With the inclusion of the phrase on the artwork, West confirmed his bipolar disorder.[29]

In an interview conducted with Big Boy during the listening party for the album, West explained the title, which is a diminutive of his own name commonly used in his songs, by stating: "I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means 'you.' So I'm you, I'm us, it's us. It went from Kanye, which means 'the only one,' to just Ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything."[89] However, West was incorrect in his belief of "ye" being the most commonly used word in the Bible.[90] West went on to tweet out in June 2018 that without his ego, he is "Just Ye," potentially giving context into why the album is titled as such.[91]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Album of the Year64/100[92]
AnyDecentMusic?6.1/10[93]
Metacritic64/100[94]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[28]
The A.V. ClubB[50]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[52]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[90]
The Guardian4/5 stars[53]
The Independent2/5 stars[95]
NME3/5 stars[47]
The Observer3/5 stars[51]
Pitchfork7.1/10[43]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[96]

Ye was met with generally favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 64, based on 34 reviews.[94] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 6.1 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[93] Album of the Year assessed the critical consensus as 64 out of 100, based on 36 reviews.[92]

Alexis Petridis for The Guardian stated the album doesn't feel slight, but opined that it is exhausting. Petridis wrote: "Substantially more focused than its predecessor, it packs a lot into 23 minutes. It is bold, risky, infuriating, compelling and a little exhausting: a vivid reflection of its author."[53] Jones looked at Ye as "an album about Kanye's state of mind, his family, and a narration of what's been going on in his 'shaky-ass year.' The beats are great. Lyrically, it's fine. Whatever you think of his politics, his songwriting, sample-hunting and beat-making remain dynamic, surprising and ballsy."[52] Purdom claimed that West "can still create thunderous blasts of sound on par with anyone on the planet, and Ye's best moments are reminders of that. It's a prismatic album, reflecting its creator's entire body of work—and also whatever you think about him going in."[50] Writing for Time, Maura Johnston compared West's previous projects to the album, saying that "the one thing they've consistently focused on is contrast: light and dark, ugly and beautiful, self-aggrandizing and self-loathing."[97] She added that it "resembles his last album, The Life of Pablo in which Ye doesn't deviate too much from the lyrical concepts of Pablo; it blends the trivial and the life-or-death, like on the darkened-club 'Yikes,' on which he declares his bipolar syndrome to be his 'superpower' and compares the U.S.-North Korea tensions to his long-simmering beef with Wiz Khalifa."[97] Kyle Mullin from Exclaim! wrote that "if West had better delved into his emotional and psychological turmoil in Ye's lyrics, instead of getting bogged down with click-baity asides, then this LP would've been a classic."[98]

Eric Brown was less enthusiastic in Billboard, stating: "It's tough to ignore Ye's musical stasis; known for his forward motion, on this set, West remains mired in the past," also commenting that "It's a missed opportunity in the sense that it fails to measure up to his previous work and change the conversation around him."[99] For AllMusic, Neil Z. Yeung expressed mixed feelings, writing that the album "can feel uneven, sometimes boring, and more indulgent than usual, but it's a fascinating peek into West's psyche."[28] Similarly, Wren Graves of Consequence of Sound believed that "on Ye, he's consolidating old skills, not testing out new ones," adding that "the lack of wow-factor, combined with the short length, makes the album feel somewhat slight."[100] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone described the album as "wildly uneven" with "enough sporadic flashes of brilliance to make you hungry for much, much more."[96] Slant Magazine's Zachary Hoskins viewed the album as what "just feels unfinished, as if he wanted to avoid another debacle like the rollout of the also-unfinished The Life of Pablo" and called it "a mix of the weakest moments from The Life of Pablo."[101] Horton wrote negatively of the album, claiming that "there's no through-line. No concept. No consistency. There's certainly no quality control."[46] Robert Christgau gave the album a one-star honorable mention in a capsule-review column for Vice, calling it a "half-assed attempt to make asshattery germane again."[102]

Accolades[edit]

Ye appeared on year-end best album lists for 2018 by multiple publications. On the Pitchfork Readers' Poll: Top 50 Albums of 2018, the album was voted in at number 37.[103] Ye was listed at number four on the website's polls for most underrated and most overrated album of the year, respectively.[103] It was ranked at the same position on GQ Russia's list of 2018's best albums.[104] The Edge and Jon Caramanica of The New York Times both listed the album as the seventh best of the year.[105][106] Ye was ranked by NME as the 34th best album of 2018, with the staff writing that "there's plenty in this experimental, weird little album that suggests Kanye has very much still got it."[107] 411Mania named Ye the 42nd best album of the year, with David Hayter of the website claiming that despite the "serious faults" of the album, it is an "endlessly listenable collection," calling the music "too coherent and sonically satisfying to quibble over."[108] Ye was ranked as the 30th best hip hop album of 2018 by Rolling Stone even though the staff viewed it as West's worst album, writing that "West, at his worst, is still making more fascinating music than almost anyone else," and the staff elaborated, calling the album "a dense and, at times, brilliant piece of music."[109]

On April 25, 2018, West tweeted out: "I'm turn the Grammys into the Yammys," predicting success for himself at the 2019 Grammy Awards.[110] West's work on Ye and other projects earned him a nomination for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical at the ceremony.[111] However, the album marked West's first to not be nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammys, with the lack of a nomination being viewed as a snub by multiple publications.[112][113][114][115][116] In an article for Consequence of Sound, Lake Schatz was surprised by West being snubbed even though he called Ye "hardly the best in his catalog" and questioned "whether the lack of even a nomination has to do partially with the MC's especially divisive nature in 2018."[113] At the 2019 Fonogram Hungarian Music Awards, the album earned a nomination for Best Foreign Rap or Hip-Hop Album of the Year.[117]

Commercial performance[edit]

Ye debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 208,000 album-equivalent units, of which 85,000 were pure album sales, giving it the fifth-largest weekly sales of an album for 2018 at the time in terms of units, and simultaneously entered atop the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[118][119] The album was West's eighth consecutive chart topper on the Billboard 200, helping him tie Eminem's still active-streak from 2000 to 2018 and English band the Beatles streak from 1965–1968 as one of only three acts to accumulate eight consecutive number one albums.[118] West also became the only other act apart from Eminem to achieve eight consecutive number one debuts, since none of the albums from the Beatles' streak debuted atop the Billboard 200, while tying Eminem for the second position of most number one albums among rappers.[118] The sales surpassed the first week projections of 175,000 to 190,000 album-equivalent units and up to 80,000 pure sales.[120] Ye recorded the second largest per-track streaming average ever, receiving 25.7 million on-demand audio streams.[118] The seventh-largest streaming debut week ever was experienced with 120,000 streaming equivalent albums, with the streams being counted at over 180 million.[118][119]

The album descended four places to number five in its second week on the Billboard 200 and dropped 65% in sales, moving 74,000 album-equivalent units.[121] This became the second highest decrease in sales for an album's second week of 2018, standing behind the 73% decline of American musician J. Cole's fifth studio album KOD; however, the second week sales for KOD were higher than those of Ye, with the album pushing 105,000 units.[121] The following week, Ye dropped six places to number 11, selling 36,000 album-equivalent units mostly due to streaming, while around 6,000 came from paid downloads.[122][123] On September 21, 2018, the album was certified gold in the US by the RIAA for selling 500,000 album-equivalent units.[124] In 2018, Ye was ranked as the 50th and 30th most popular album of the year on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts respectively.[125][126]

Ye debuted atop the ARIA Albums chart, giving West his second chart-topping album in Australia and replacing fellow rapper Post Malone's second studio album Beerbongs & Bentleys at the top position.[127][128] This made West the third major hip hop act to have an album reach the top 10 of the chart in 2018, joining J. Cole with KOD and ASAP Rocky with his third studio album Testing.[127] A Streaming Equivalent Album Value being taken into account for the Album Chart calculations in Australia helped Ye top the ARIA Albums chart, since the value counts the streams for all tracks of albums 10 tracks or less, rather than the two most streamed tracks as done for longer albums.[127] The album was also a chart topper on the Irish Albums Chart, giving West his first number one album in Ireland.[129] By reaching the same position on the New Zealand Albums chart, Ye became West's second number one album in the country.[128] The following week, it remained at the top position.[130] The album also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, with 16,000 total consumption units, though it reached the second highest album sales and on-demand streams of the week.[131] This became West's sixth chart-topping album in Canada, while also standing as his first since Yeezus.[131] In Estonia, Ye entered at number one on the Albumid tipp-40 and remained atop the chart the following week.[132]

Ye entered at number two on the UK Albums Chart, being held off the top spot by The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.[133] The soundtrack album denied West a number one album on the chart issue that coincided with 41st birthday and prevented him from topping the chart for the third time in his career.[133] However, the album was the most played album of the week on streaming services, and it was reported that 80% of sales came from streams.[133] On January 4, 2019, Ye was certified silver in the UK by the BPI for sales of 60,000 units.[134] The album also attained the chart position of number two on both the Danish Albums Chart and Norwegian Albums Chart.[130] Similarly, Ye reached number three on the Czech Albums, Icelandic Albums, and Netherlands' Dutch Album Top 100 charts.[129][130][135] On the Swedish Albums chart, the album reached number five.[129]

All seven tracks from Ye debuted in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, with lead single "Yikes" charting the highest at number eight.[81] The tracks entering the Hot 100 lead to West's total number of top 40 entries amounting to 48, placing him joint-10th with fellow rapper Jay-Z on the list for most top 40 entries on the chart, and also making West the 11th act with as many as seven simultaneous top 40 Hot 100 entries.[81] West topped the US Billboard Artist 100 for the first time in his career, partially as a result of the entries from the album, surpassing his previous peak position of number three that was attained as a result of The Life of Pablo.[136] The two tracks "Ghost Town" and "All Mine" charted in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, along with "Yikes"; the latter of the three was the highest charting from Ye at number 10.[133]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal[41] and Qobuz.[137]

Ye track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."I Thought About Killing You"4:34
2."Yikes"
3:08
3."All Mine"
  • West
  • Dean[a]
  • Francis and the Lights[b]
  • Scott Carter[b]
2:25
4."Wouldn't Leave" (featuring PartyNextDoor)
3:25
5."No Mistakes"
2:03
6."Ghost Town" (featuring PartyNextDoor)
  • West
  • Dean[a]
  • Francis and the Lights[b]
  • Benny Blanco[b]
  • Goldstein[b]
4:31
7."Violent Crimes"
3:35
Total length:23:41

Notes

Sample credits[139]

  • The original version of "I Thought About Killing You" contains an uncredited sample from "Fr3sh", as performed by Kareem Lotfy.[42]
  • "Yikes" contains a sample from "Kothbiro", as performed by Black Savage.
  • "Wouldn't Leave" contains a sample from "Baptizing Scene", as performed by Reverend W.A. Donaldson.
  • "No Mistakes" contains a sample from "Children (Get Together)", as performed by Edwin Hawkins Singers; and "Hey Young World", as performed by Slick Rick.
  • "Ghost Town" contain a sample from "Take Me for a Little While", as performed by The Royal Jesters; and "Someday", as performed by Shirley Ann Lee.[140][141]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[41]

  • Mike Dean – engineering, mixing
  • Mike Malchicoff – engineering
  • Zack Djurich – engineering
  • Andrew Dawson – engineering (tracks 2, 7), programming (tracks 2, 7)
  • William J. Sullivan – engineering (track 5)
  • Noah Goldstein – recording engineering (tracks 2, 4), engineering (track 6)
  • Mauricio Iragorri – recording engineering (track 6)
  • Sean Solymar – assistant recording engineering (tracks 1–5)
  • Jess Jackson – mixing
  • Mike Snell – assistant remix engineering (track 7)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications and sales for Ye
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[178] Gold 10,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[134] Silver 60,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[179] Gold 500,000double-dagger

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for Ye
Region Date Label(s) Format(s) Ref.
Various June 1, 2018 [54]
July 20, 2018 CD [63]
July 27, 2018 Vinyl [65]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Though Pond drummer James Ireland didn't receive credit on the song, he was confirmed to have contributed to it by a rep for Kevin Parker.[138]

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External links[edit]