As Ye Eyes Retirement, Here’s All His Albums Ranked From Worst to Best

Published 07/10/2024, 5:03 AM EDT

Ye, once known as Kanye West, has been keeping the world void of his musical genius ever since he dropped 'Vultures 1' and briefly stepped into the Drake and Kendrick Lamar controversy with 'Like That (Remix)'. Fans have been patiently waiting for the subsequent volumes of 'Vultures' for months now. However, it seems the albums have been delayed indefinitely. While it was apparent that the anticipation had everyone on pins and needles, no one saw a retirement coming for the rap icon just a year after his comeback to the music scene. 

With Ye supposedly leaving "professional music", as he told Rich The Kid, now is a good time to look back at his discography, from the lows to the highs.

Ye (2018)


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If an album feels longer than it actually is, it is often a sign of an underwhelming creation. This was precisely the case with Ye's eighth studio album, titled 'Ye'. Released during the rapper's Wyoming phase, the album addressed his personal struggles with mental health, family dynamics, and the year's most controversial topics. 

Despite its vulnerable exploration and top-notch production, the album could not maintain the listener's interest due to its repetitive nature.

Jesus Is King (2019)

'Jesus Is King' is Ye’s ninth studio album, which came at a time when the rapper was resurrecting his religious persona and also became somewhat controversial for his political participation. The album had all the makings of a top-tier work, especially considering that it was supposed to mark a new direction in Ye’s career, one towards spirituality. However, the execution fell short, resulting in a half-baked, rushed hodge-podge production.

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Another point of criticism for the album was that it replaced 'Yandhi', a scrapped album that was on everyone’s wish list.

Yeezus (2013)

'Yeezus' was undoubtedly Ye's one of the most controversial and divisive albums. Despite the controversy, the album marked a change in direction for Ye's hip-hop career, bringing a new take on what his music should sound like. It became one of his most experimental albums, with rich musical production, that defined a new genre of a mashup between hip-hop and pop.

The only criticism that 'Yeezus' faced was its lack of lyrical depth and meaningful bars, something that fans always expect from the rapper. 

The Life of Pablo ( 2016)

Much like 'Yeezus' and 'Jesus Is King', 'Life of Pablo' was criticized for juggling with too many things at once, giving it a rushed feel. However, this album is still considered better than 'Yeezus' any day. There are, indeed, some truly brilliant moments in the album too, which does a fair job of overshadowing the flaws. The highlight of the album is its replay value, which makes 'The Life of Pablo' Ye's most interesting work to date. 

Donda (2021)

'Donda' was Ye's longest album to date, with 27 tracks and 32 on the deluxe edition. The album marked a comeback of Ye after his disappointing gospel album, 'Jesus Is King'. It had every element- a star-studded cast, rich production, and Ye's greatest vocal performances. If only the album could be trimmed down in length, it would have easily fallen under the top 3 works of the 'Donda' artist. 

808s & Heartbreak (2008)

'808s and Heartbreak's impact was seen in multiple music genres that ranged from hip-hop and pop and R&B. Fresh off the success of 'Graduation', Ye decided to opt for a jarring departure from his previous work. He showcased emotional vulnerability and depth in the album, a feature that influenced a whole new wave of rappers, singers, and producers. 

'808s and Heartbreak' became Ye's experiment with melody, emotional rap, and other experimental subgenres. Over time, '808s and Heartbreak' emerged as one of the most influential albums in history, despite the initial mixed reception. 

Late Registration (2005)

'Late Registration's uniqueness came from it being so bolder and more sophisticated than Ye's previous creation, yet somehow managing to keep that core soul style alive. For his second studio album, the rapper collaborated with Jon Brion, birthing a layered multi-instrumental production that seeped into a wide variety of genres as well. This was one of the first times that Ye hinted at his knack for experimenting with multiple genres and fusing them up. 

Graduation (2007)

'Graduation' was the album that changed Ye's world. Despite releasing his first few albums, Ye was still in competition with his peers, including 50 Cent, climbing up the ladder to the top. However, as soon as 'Graduation' dropped, the rapper became a pop culture phenomenon, proving to everyone that this guy could really do it all. 

The College Dropout (2004)

'The College Dropout' was a culture-shifting album that is still considered a classing among fans. Ye brought together hardcore, street rhymes with conscientious poetry with the collaboration between Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, Jay-Z, and Freeway. The album became a breath of fresh air at a time when street-centric Hip Hop was the thing. 

The best of 'The College Dropout', however, was its themes that explored subjects of education, societal expectations, and ambition. This soulful creation has aged gracefully over the years, still remaining a constant in Ye loyalists' playlists. 

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)


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If there is one album of Ye that can be considered his magnum opus, it is 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'. Throughout his discography, this is probably the closest album to a perfect hip-hop record. The album explored the aftereffects of fame and tackling one's inner demons, which resonated well with listeners. 

'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' is also considered Ye's best work because it is a long departure from the original style of the 'Vultures' rapper, and yet it is not as polarizing as 'Yeezus'. 


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What do you think about our Ye album ranking? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!



Hriddhi Maitra

1339 articles

Hriddhi Maitra is a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. An enthusiastic movie buff, Hriddhi found her true calling when she worked as a Cinema Content Writer at My Cinema Story while analyzing movies objectively, and offering constructive feedback. Coming from a background where she worked in different niches like finance, food, travel, medicines, automobile, and entertainment, we can safely say she is a jack of all trades.

Edited By: Itti Mahajan