Rolling Stone: Kanye wrestles with his biggest enemy — himself — on a complex, conflicted masterpiece

Rob Sheffield:

West is a genius who worries the world only likes him for being a clown. (St. Paul felt that way, too.) When he wears his clown hat on Pablo, as in his misogynistic jokes in Famous,” it’s embarrassing — he’s just aiming for cheap laughs, and not even getting those. (When he boasts about his wild and crazy antics at award shows nobody else remembers, he sounds like the dork at a high-school reunion who thinks that spring-break kegger was the peak of his life.) But that’s part of what West is trying to figure out on Pablo — a grown man, not to mention a pioneering artist, wondering why he has to keep playing the 38-year-old 8-year old.” Pablo doesn’t go for any grand musical and emotional statements on the level of Bound 2” or Runaway” or Hey Mama.” West just drops broken pieces of his psyche all over the album and challenges you to fit them together.


More