Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time.
This week: Kanye West’s Yeezus (2013)
Kanye West’s Yeezus was a success, both critically and financially.
It was one of the most acclaimed works of 2013. It was ranked as the top album of the year by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, The A.V. Club, Spin, The Daily Beast, and Consequence of Sound and was ranked number two by Pitchfork, NME, and Rolling Stone. In short, “Yeezus happens to be musically amazing, too, and in a completely different way from every other Kanye West record.”
It also sold 327,000 copies its first week, debuting atop the Billboard chart, and racking up the best first week sales of any hip-hop album in over two years, all without a traditional major single.
If it was such a critical and commercial success, why is it included here?