The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign Produce VULTURES 1

A monumental album that has already altered the music industry
Joseph Abrahantes
VULTURES 1 is the first installment of a three-volume series between Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign.

Artist: Kanye West

Album Title: VULTURES 1

Genre: Trap/R&B

Release Date: Feb. 9, 2024

Album Rating: 8.5/10

VULTURES 1 is a partner album composed by artists Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign. The independently released album serves as a follow-up to Kanye West’s previous album Donda. The album is mostly Rhythm and Blues while maintaining trap lyricism, a staple production method used by West. Compromised by a spate of controversy and release delays, many doubted the album would ever be fully completed. However, upon its release, Vultures 1 dispelled all skepticism and surpassed all expectations.

“I personally believe that an artist and their art should be judged distinctly. While Kanye has had some controversial political beliefs, that I don’t agree with, I still listen to his music because it I enjoy it, not to mention that VULTURES 1 has little to do with Kanye’s political opinions,” freshman JanDaive Calimlim said.

Obscured by West’s period of isolation during his production of VULTURES 1, the album was feared to be another product of his alienation from society, a source of inspiration in his previous album Donda. However, the inclusion of another artist, Dolla $ign, proved to drastically refine the melodies found within the album and help maintain consistency throughout. VULTURES 1 succeeds not only in diversifying the genres found within West’s catalog, but also revisits successful sampling production methods used throughout his career.

The riveting compositions found in VULTURES 1 introduce a foreign genre of music production to West fans and the music industry alike; the innovation found in the experimental album displayed the unparalleled skill he has developed through 10 studio albums. Using a variety of sampled audios, West was able to ascend his beat production into an unmatched standard. From his previous catalog to Brazilian funk, he compiled a vast soundscape of varying chord progressions and used them within his own music. Despite using music from other artists, West was able to transcend the boundaries of genre and merge them into his own, creating distinct melodic progressions unique to his latest release.

“VULTURES 1 was full of sampled audios and borrowed chord progressions, a production technique used by Kanye since his first album. These sampled audios give his songs harmonic interludes and catchy hooks while not taking away from his rapping and music production,” freshman Jossnell Ochoa said.

The album’s primarily aggressive tone is balanced with harmonic songs in the introductory and conclusive tracks. West aims to slowly integrate the listener into his new music as he starts the album with songs similar to his older music, using melodic hooks and engaging repetition to create memorable tracks. As the listener submerges deeper into the album, they are barraged by a fusillade of featuring artists aiding to convey the assertive nature of West’s music. As the album concludes, West ceases featuring musicians and fixates on his personal feelings of social deprivation and the relationship he shares with his religion.

Track 3: PAID

Rating: 8.5/10

Following an introductory interlude, Dolla $ign and West demonstrate the unanticipated flow the artists share when working together. As Dolla $ign provides the upbeat refrain, West focuses on the rapping, ascending the beat as he varies his tone. Despite the song’s repetitive nature, the producers alter its underlying cadence, allowing it to flow seamlessly between each musician’s verses.

Track 5: BACK TO ME

Rating: 7/10

Back to Me was partially leaked in November of 2023 as West and Dolla $ign concluded the production of VULTURES 1. Even before it was fully released, fans were eagerly awaiting the final product. Dolla $ign produced the majority of the song and lyrically dominated throughout as he ascended the melody in a culminating tension before settling in tranquility. His lyrics were rhythmic and aided to convey his heartfelt message obscured by his detachment. West, however, underperformed and provided weak, repetitive lyricism; his contribution to the song kept it from being a potential standout on the album.

“I’ve been looking forward to Back To Me ever since it was leaked in the early stages of production. The hook and beat provided by Ty Dolla Sign is truly impressive. The underlying beat throughout the song is rhythmic and helps Kanye to flow between his verses. While I feel the song could have been better, I still think it is one of the best tracks on VULTURES 1,” freshman Nicolas Soto said.


Rating: 8/10

West, Dolla $ign and featuring artist Quavo composed the most experimental track of the album using a sample bass-line from Brazilian producers DJ Roca and DJ Vitinho Beat. Paperwork begins with a deep and intense chorus that amplifies the track’s low-frequency foundation. As West ends his first verse, the aggressive bass-line overwhelms the melody and institutes itself throughout Dolla $ign and Quavo’s verses. The track’s lyricism is routine, but it succeeds in flowing fluidly with the intense bass and dynamic pulse.

Track 12: CARNIVAL

Rating: 9.5/10

Carnival serves as the most influential track of the album. The song is introduced by a vocal chorus of deep chanting voices that elevate the melody and build anticipation for a dramatic beat reveal. The choir and featuring artists Playboi Carti and Rich the Kid provide a reoccurring hook using the chanting interlude. Each artist slowly ascends in intensity as they transition between verses; Playboi Carti uses resonant deep musicality to amplify the beat’s tone. Lastly, a sample from West’s song Hell Of A Life shifts the beat’s prominent bass-line into electric bass, further strengthening the chord progressions and initiating West’s anticipated verse, rich in political and social critiques. Overall, Carnival demonstrates the collaborative extent to which producers and song writers can intensify a song using its bass-line alone.

“In my opinion, Carnival is the best track on VULTURES 1 because of its beat and featured verses. Playboi Carti experimented with deeper tones, strengthening his verses and helping the song’s flow. I instantly recognized the Hell Of A Life bassline and was so hyped for Kanye’s verse. The song complements the artists who rap within it in every way,” freshman Vince Lopez said.

West and Dolla $ign have displayed their artistic abilities and in the process created a catalyst for musical evolution. While VULTURES 1 may have been hindered by its initial delays and media speculation, it undoubtedly fulfilled its promises and left an influential mark on the music industry in its wake.

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About the Contributors
Luke Savage
Luke Savage, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Luke Savage is a freshman at Coral Gables Senior High, working as a staff writer for Cavsconnect. He is an avid reader and runner who hopes to improve his writing and the skills involved with the triad throughout his Gables career. Additionally, he takes educational matters with utmost importance and intently plans on having an almost perfect grade point average by the end of the year. Regardless of the sacrifice of time or labor, Luke will present his best work in every class. The genesis for his interest in CavsConnect began during his search for the right publication. Writing professionally in conjunction with designing aesthetic websites interested him. He was more enticed after learning that the publication hosted an extremely competitive environment. Now with the goal of one day becoming Editor-in-Chief, he has incentive to write of a high quality, in a punctual manner and bribe the upperclassmen. Individually, Luke is often described as independent, hard-working and pragmatic. But most see him as impertinent. With four years ahead of him, Gables has no idea who he might become.  
Joseph Abrahantes
Joseph Abrahantes, CavsConnect Business Manager
Joseph Abrahantes, a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program and second year member of CavsConnect, is excited to come back as the publication's Business Manager. Hoping to work in STEM in the future, Joseph plans to get more involved with the Science National Honor Society as well as Gables' Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics and Enrichment club to further his experience. Additionally, his love for biology has driven him to become a tutor with Gables’ Interact club. Joseph fuels his academic spirit with his 10 hour long playlist, ranging from Kendrick and Baby Keem to Doja Cat and SZA, whose songs he knows by heart.
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