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Spotify podcast ‘Dissect’ examines Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ song by song

The Chicago native’s sixth album is a double-platinum RIAA certified record.

Kanye West performs an impromptu gig near Swan Lake in Yerevan, Armenia, Sunday, April 12, 2015. The Kardashian sisters, along with Kim’s husband Kanye West and their daughter North are on a visit to their ancestral Armenia. The concert was halted by police after the singer jumped into a lake, prompting hundreds of fans to jump in after him. (AP Photo/PAN Photo / Vahan Stepanyan) ORG XMIT: MOSB104
Kanye West’s “Yeezus” album was released in June 2013.
Vahan Stepanyan/AP

A Spotify podcast known for discussing the nuances of contemporary music via archival research is looking at one of Kanye West’s most controversial albums.

Dissect, which is in its eighth season, takes a deep dive into the former South Side resident’s sixth studio album “Yeezus,” song by song.

“Yeezus,” a double-platinum RIAA certified record — released in June 2013 — shot to the top of the Billboard Top 200 charts, with singles “Black Skinhead” and “Bound 2.”

Spotify podcast “Dissect” examines memorable albums from music’s most successful artists.
Spotify

Early highlights from season eight — which debuted last month — include controversial moments from West’s personal and professional life including his interruption of Taylor Swift’s 2009 MTV VMA’s acceptance speech; the death of West’s mother, Dr. Donda West; his “Watch the Throne” album with Jay-Z, and his budding romance with reality TV star Kim Kardashian, among many others.

Podcast creator and host Cole Cuchna, who says “Yeezus” is his favorite West album to date, says the Chicago native altered his image, forcing longtime fans to decide what to make of him, and the album.

“I have a very personal admiration and enjoyment of [‘Yeezus’] which, of course, fuels the show,” said Cuchua. “Having a huge audience, and challenging the audience with something new that pushes boundaries and challenges the status quo — love it or hate it, [‘Yeezus’] demands your attention.

“What makes ‘Yeezus’ so interesting to me is, in wrestler terms, [West] turned ‘heel.’ He makes a confrontational, aggressive, and polarizing album. He understood at that point public perception was a marionette he could control — and he purposely went the other way.”

Previous seasons detailed the nuances of the albums of standout artists including Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and West’s fifth album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” among others. Episodes go live on Tuesdays.

“Dissect” podcast creator and host Cole Cuchna.
Spotify

Cuchua says he noticed so much more about “Yeezus” when juxtaposing him listening to it as a fan and for work purposes. The show includes research from “Dissect” collaborators Chris Lambert and Travis Bean, who co-host “Watching the Throne,” a podcast chronicling West’s discography.

He describes the feeling as “art appreciation.”

“Generally speaking, I’m looking for albums that we’re going to look back 100 years from now and these are the ones that we’re going to remember,” said Cuchua. “I try to approach current records with a historical lens; how are we going to talk about these records years from now? What can we learn about them? I think the goal of the show is, outside of everything else, we’re gonna spend a lot of time with this one thing, and hopefully learn some valuable life lessons through this art.”

And more content on West is heading toward the masses as several outlets reported this week that streaming giant Netflix purchased the rights to a documentary series about West.

It’s by filmmakers Coodie & Chike, who directed West’s first video, “Through the Wire” and the 2009 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Benji,” chronicling the life and death of Simeon hoops legend Ben Wilson.