By this point, Kanye West's new album has been called many things. It was "the album of the life." It was a gospel album. It was "ONE of the greatest albums."
But in all of its iterations, from So Help Me God to Swish to Waves to The Life of Pablo, one thing has remained steady: Kanye West has thought a lot of the new Kanye West album. In fact, out of all the great rappers and writers and singers who have either helped to make or give input on the record, nobody has thought more highly of it than Yeezy himself.
But is anybody really surprised?
That's because, bless his heart, West is perhaps the most self-congratulatory artist of all time. Which got us wondering: Just how much does Kanye like himself? And we mean by the cold, hard numbers. (Or should we say facts?).
For this daunting task, we turned to the team at Genius. The annotation site knows more about music than we thought humanly possible, and they put top scholars Michael Heal and Stephen Niday on the job, to actually mathematically prove how much Kanye West likes this new album.
We should warn you: The numbers are shocking exactly what we expected.
In total, Yeezy bragged about himself exactly 12 times on The Life of Pablo. While that may seem like a somewhat low number, keep in mind that most of the lyrics on the album are either repeated over and over ("This is a God dream/ This is a God dream/ This is a God dream") or basically nonsense ("Lost out/ Beat up/ Dancin', down there"). But it seems that when 'Ye isn't rapping about his new clothes (we get it, you're a designer!), he's reminding us all how awesome he is. Not that it should be that surprising, considering these songs are named for his own personal comparisons to one of the greatest artists of all times. That's Pablo Picasso, for those of you who have been sleeping on the job.
(This begs an aside to give mention to his recently released track "No More Parties in LA," with Kendrick Lamar, which boasts the following: "I feel like Pablo when I'm workin' on my shoes/ I feel like Pablo when I see me on the news/ I feel like Pablo when I'm workin' on my house." Now back to the regularly scheduled programming.)
Clearly nobody has time to dig through every self-reference in Pablo, which is where we come in. Below are a few of our favorite boasty lines for your reading pleasure; we've left out the more, er, non-family-friendly mentions.
From "Freestyle 4": "Name one genius that ain't crazy"
From "High Lights": "Sometimes I'm wishing that my d--k had GoPro/ So I could play that s--t back in slo-mo."
From "Feed Back": "I love you like Kanye loves Kanye"
From "Father Stretch My Hands": "'Member I'm coming back and I'll be taking all the stacks"
From "Famous": "He just can't seem to get Kanye fresh"
From "High Lights": "21 Grammys, superstar family"
But of course, it's important that everyone takes a moment to remember Kanye's journey to this moment of boasting. After all, according to Genius, in his pre-T.L.O.P. career he complimented himself no less than 241 times.
We repeat: 241.
That's no small feat. His ego even dates back to his pre-fame (and pre-Kardashian) days, with self-congratulatory statements showing up on 2004's The College Dropout: "Some say he arrogant/ Can y'all blame him?" (We guess we can't, 'Ye.) Or there was the time he called himself a "hip-hop legend" in 2005's "Touch the Sky." Or our personal favorite line (and new catchphrase), "Bow in the presence of greatness" from "Stronger."
This delightful pattern of self-props really revved up (as in, like, doubled) after 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, so we all have that album to thank for our present-day Kanye ego. His most popular self-comparisons? Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. That's before the current Pablo pattern, of course.
But, as much fun as it is to harp on Yeezy for all these boasts, we really wouldn't have it any other way. The man does things no one else can, or is willing, to do, and if those feats come with a few outlandish remarks then so be it. We love you for you, 'Ye.