Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West himself cannot avoid the inevitable widespread leak most highly anticipated albums fall victim to as Yeezus is now floating across the Internet ahead of schedule.
According to reports, 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 the LP does not 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)
The project’s ten-track listing also surfaced online early Friday.
According to the reports, the album opens with “On Sight,” then comes “Black Skinhead” and “I Am a God,” with a feature from “God.” One of the songs ‘Ye has previewed live, “New Slaves,” has a feature from Frank Ocean, while, as previously reported, “Hold My Liquor” comes with help from fellow Chicagoan Chief Keef and Bon Iver singer Justin Vernon. Track six of the 10-song album is “I’m In It,” with a sample of Kenny Latimore’s “Lately,” according to what is apparently the leaked liner notes on the back of the art-less clear CD casing. “Blood On the Leaves” has a sample of Nina Simone singing Billie Holiday’s iconic “Strange Fruit” and “Guilt Trip” with Kid Cudi interpolates the Lord of the Underground’s “Chief Rocka.” Chicago drill sergeant King L shows up on “Send It Up,” which appears to have a sample of dancehall king Beenie Man’s hit “Memories.” The whole thing comes to close with “Bound 2,” featuring Gap Band legend Charlie Wilson. (MTV)
Leak or not, Mr. West has publicly detailed his disinterest in securing big record sales with the new release.
“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)