Upon releasing his aural tour-de-force ‘The Life Of Pablo’ (an album its creator labelled a masterpiece before even releasing it), Kanye West indicated that it would be a work-in-progress, that he would routinely update the album as and when he feels, in doing so making its process a centrepiece to the art. Multiple versions have followed, some changes marginal (a slight change of lyrics), other more impactful (Sia and Vic Mensa seeing their verses returned to ‘Wolves’) but most have been hardly recognisable at all (an added drumbeat that you hadn’t realised wasn’t previously there).
While the ideas were there, the results may not have lived up to the theory. Perhaps Kanye got bored with the project, or finally settled on what he deemed the most perfect record possible. But for all the fans who had been hoping for more substantial amendments, a Reddit user called Dorian_Ye has rounded up all the different versions of the album, plus early demo leaks, tracks that never made it onto the record and songs that West samples on the LP, picking things apart and piecing the album back together to create something almost as exhilarating as the rapper’s original.
“One of the fascinating things about ‘The Life of Pablo’ was how it evolved from the earliest versions of its tracks to its unfinished Tidal version that Ye released in February to the final product we received in March,” the Redditor-turned-remixer writes. “Additionally, I believe that ‘Pablo’ has the best sample selection of any Kanye record: the samples are gorgeous and take the tracks in unexpected (but often brilliant) directions. Keeping these two things in mind, I’ve created an extended/remixed version of the album using earlier and final versions of tracks along with high quality rips of the original samples to create something that expands on Kanye’s songs without, in my opinion, completely overtaking them.”
“I didn’t incorporate anything that a) wasn’t touched by Kanye in some way, shape or form, or b) a part of, or related to, an original sample used on the album. I wanted these tracks to feel like ways that Kanye could have actually revamped some of the ‘Pablo’ tracks if he’d extended the samples and left elements from the earlier versions of tracks in the final versions.”
There’s a full-length version of Desiigner’s ‘Panda’ added to ‘Father Stretch My Hands Pt 2’, a Kendrick verse on ‘All Day’, the a capella ‘I Love Kanye’ becomes huge and orchestral, while ‘Fade’ takes on a life of its own. Several non-album tracks like ‘Only One’ are slotted in like when you create your own fantasy tracklisting. All in all, it’s a mammoth effort that ranks right up there with the best ‘Pablo’-inspired remixes, including the one from that Japanese producer who hadn’t even heard the album yet.
Listen in all its glory below: