It’s the moment we were beginning to think might never happen. Kanye has finally – well, hopefully finally – settled on a title for his new album. After switching from ‘So Help Me God’ to ‘Swish’, before scrapping both altogether in favour of ‘Waves’, it appears now that the album that at one time had no name at all will from this day forth (or until Kanye decides otherwise) be known as ‘The Life Of Pablo’.
We know what you’re thinking: ‘Who? What? Why?’ Ever an oracle, Kanye himself seemed to foresee such confusion that might arise over the admittedly quite baffling name. He even went so far as jotting down the words ‘Which one?’ next to the album’s title in his own notebook, as if even he might forget what the hell he’s talking about.
Eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that West refers to ‘Pablo’ in his recent track ‘No More Parties In LA’, with the lines: “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”.
So who could Kanye be referring to with ‘The Life Of Pablo’? Let’s take a look at all the famous Pablos that might have served as West’s muse.
The obvious guess, this one would warrant a buzzer to ring if this were an episode of QI. Kanye has long compared himself to the Cubist painter. Speaking at Oxford University just last year, West said: “My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater… That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone who has done so much, and that’s a mentality that suppresses humanity”.
You may think that the life of a successful rapper would be about $1,000 bottles of Cristal, but you’re failing to remember that at the age of 38 now, Kanye’s life is more centred around bottle feeding than bottle service. You can just imagine Ye chilling with a bit of Netflix after a long day avoiding the paparazzi. Maybe he caught a few episodes of Narcos and decided to dedicate the whole album to notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar? Well, he did once reference Adam Sandler character Bobby Boucher in a track, so stranger things have happened.
It’s hard to imagine, but Kanye’s life trajectory is actually very similar to that of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Both gaining fame through their skilled wordplay, West seems to be following Neruda’s path into politics (recently announcing his bid to be President in 2020) and shares the artist’s interest in design: Neruda designed three houses later in his life that serve as a museum to the man today.
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San Pablo is the Spanish name for Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples. Kanye compared himself to his lord and saviour by naming his last album Yeezus, maybe this time he’s likening himself to Jesus’ right-hand man?
The Manchester City right-back has long been an ever-present in the team’s defence but has lost in place in the starting eleven this season, with rumours surfacing that he could be shown the door in the next transfer window. Perhaps Kanye sees Zabaleta as something of a kindred spirit, having himself experienced Drake knocking him off his perch as raps’ one-to-beat over the past 12 months. Maybe? Maybe not.