Rap mogul Jay-Z, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Timbaland, New York Knicks star Tyson Chandler and many more were on-hand to check out Kanye West‘s exclusive Yeezus listening session last night (June 10) in New York.
According to reports, the invite-only event showcased Mr. West playing ten Yeezus joints on a rainy night in the Big Apple.
The Yeezus album rollout has been highly unconventional, even by Kanye West’s standards. So it’s not surprising that on Monday night, ‘Ye invited a wide range of media types, fashion mainstays and his closest friends to the Milk Studios loading dock on Manhattan’s west side to get an open-air listen to 10 tracks off of his new LP. ‘Ye offered no titles or production credits, instead just letting the album play with pretty much no interruption. When it was all over, he played it back again. The entire LP screams creative freedom (sometimes literally, as Kanye wails over tracks like the punk-laced “Black Skinhead” and EDM-driven “I Am a God”). On the latter, Yeezy looks towards the King of Pop and declares himself “the only rapper compared to Michael.” (MTV)
The highly anticipated album reportedly features some meshing of hits ranging from music icon Billie Holiday to incarcerated rapper C-Murder.
While Yeezus has a clear and distinct electro influence, Kanye also drew inspiration from reggae and dancehall for his latest. One unnamed track in particular features either a sampling, an interpolation or a total re-recording of Beenie Man‘s hit “Memories.” There are more moments of familiarity, as Kanye blends Billie Holiday‘s classic “Strange Fruit” with C-Murder‘s 2000 favorite “Down for My N’s.” That record went over so well last night that West granted one special request for a playback. “Hov want me to bring that one back,” he informed the crowd before hitting the rewind button. (MTV)
This all comes a day after reports claimed Mr. West recruited music pioneer Rick Rubin to help make last-minute album changes.
Kanye West is driving Island Def Jam executives “crazy” with last-minute changes, a new producer and legal issues over his new album, “Yeezus.” Sources exclusively tell us that last week — just two weeks before the album drops — West brought in legendary producer Rick Rubin to help lay down additional tracks for the record, and Def Jam execs spent the week haggling over rights for a vocal he used on his song “Onsite.” “Even by Kanye West standards, this is pushing it,” said a music industry source. Page Six reported last week that after months spent in Paris recording, West was still working in the studio after early releases got mixed reviews. (NY Post)
Sunday night, Yeezy performed at the city’s Governors Ball and spoke on his intent to rush the album out packed with jams fans can enjoy all summer long.
“This is the part of the show when I start complaining about sh*t, justifying sh*t, but you know how it is,” he says as he let the menacing beat of “Clique” ride. ‘Ye continued to rant about the rollout of his album and his lack of care behind promotion and radio play: “With this album we ain’t drop no single to radio. We ain’t got no NBA campaign, nothing like that. Sh*t, we ain’t even got no cover. We just made some real music. Like, back when I used to make albums and sh*t, a couple years ago, we’d go away and work on the album for months or something. We’d always have to hold the album to like August, or September or till the perfect moment and sh*t. Because it mean that ‘I think would sell more if it get more audience and sh*t.’ But honestly at this point when I listen to radio, that ain’t where I want to be no more. Honestly at this point, I could give a f*ck about selling a million records as long as I put out an album for the summer that y’all can rock to for all f*ckin’ summer… At this point I don’t really give a f*ck about outside opinion.” (Billboard)