News: Def Jam Fights Back After "Yeezus" Leak, Launches Massive Manhunt

Saturday, Jun 15, 2013 1:29PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

After Kanye West's new Yeezus album unexpectedly leaked online Friday (June 14), new reports claim Def Jam is determined to find out who is responsible.

Buzz behind the freshly launched manhunt heated up the Internet heading into the weekend.

Kanye West's record label Def Jam is on MAJOR damage control right now -- after the rapper's new "Yeezus" album leaked online today -- but here's a shocker ... we've learned Kanye's completely unfazed that his album dropped early. Sources close to Def Jam tell TMZ, leaks like this aren't uncommon -- especially in the digital age -- in fact, the record company has a special leaks division that deals with problems just like this. "Yeezus" was scheduled to drop June 18, but the entire album surfaced on the web earlier today. (TMZ)

Def Jam reportedly has the ball rolling with at least one lead.

According to sources, the leaks division employs various methods to track down the source of a leak ... as well as to put a stop to any further illicit file sharing. We're told the record company already has a lead on who's behind the leak and plans to take swift punitive action. As for Kanye -- we're told he's cool as a cucumber. Sources close to the rapper say Yeezy feels it's almost inevitable for a highly anticipated album to leak ... especially with so many cooks in the kitchen. (TMZ)

Some reports claim the leak may have started as early as Thursday (June 13) night.

What's this? A "Yeezus" leak? Indeed: Kanye West's sixth studio album, which was veiled in secrecy for months until West played it in its entirety for critics and associates on Monday, has made its way online. The Huffington Post has heard the album and, by cross-checking it across the version played at West's listening party Monday night, can verify that it seems legitimate. We're not posting links to the leak, though, so happy hunting. Photos emerged late Thursday of the physical album, which features a distinctively pared down design (there is no album art, though fans have taken to creating their own). One photo, posted on Instagram by a student and producer, showed the front of the album. (Huffington Post)

While Yeezus does not officially arrive until next Tuesday, June 18, some media analysts have already predicted a huge opening week for Ye.

Kanye West's Yeezus, due Tuesday on Def Jam, is expected to sell 500,000 copies its first week. "That's what industry forecasters suggest," says Keith Caulfield, Billboard's associate director of charts/retail. "It's difficult to a degree to predict an album's sales until it actually goes on sale, but the closer you to are to the release date, the better you can tell. It's like a weather forecast." (USA Today)

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