Kanye West’s much-anticipated new album, Yeezus, slated for release on Tuesday June 18, has leaked early, driving the internet into a frenzy, with “hashtags” #Yeezus and Kanye trending heavily on social-media network Twitter.com right now.
An illegal leak of the entire album hit file-sharing service What.cd shortly after 12:30 p.m. Friday, as reported by SPIN magazine.
When asked about the leak, West replied: “Honestly at this point, I could give a cuss about selling a million records as long as I put out an album for the summer that y’all can rock to for all cussin’ summer,” he explained. “At this point, I don’t really give a cuss about outside opinion.”
The album’s title alludes to a synthesis of West’s nickname “Yeezy” with a familiar divine name, which is clearly no accident. Around this album release, references to the divine abound with West calling both himself and producer Rick Rubin, who helped steer the album from raw material to its finished form “god”.
A short teaser of West laying down a track for the album, featured now on KanyeWest.com, shows West rapping “I know He the most high, but I am a close high…I am a god.”
“It was good for me to go to the god, Rick Rubin, and play him my shit, ask him questions and allow him to take this project to an entirely new level,” West said earlier this week at a listening party in New York.
The rapper recruited Rubin, who has worked with the likes of the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash, just a few weeks before the album was due to help finish several songs and give the album a sense of cohesion, reported Rolling Stone magazine earlier today.
After hearing the partially finished album, Rubin agreed to contribute to the project. “From what he played me, it sounded like several months more work had to be done,” Rubin said. “I joined the project because after discussing what he had played for me, he asked if I would be open to taking all of the raw material on and help him finish it.”
Instead of taking months, they finished it in mere weeks, despite the rapper’s complicated schedule. Rubin recalls West promising to complete lyrics and record vocals on five songs, amid a baby shower for pregnant girlfriend Kim Kardashian and a looming flight to Italy. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, I will score 40 points for you in the fourth quarter.’ In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto,” Rubin said. “A remarkable feat. He had total confidence in his ability to get the job done when push came to shove.” (Rolling Stone magazine)
The tracklist for Yeezus is reported to be as follows:
1. On Sight (Produced by Daft Punk) [Malik Yusef, Rhymefest]
2. Black Skinhead (Produced by Daft Punk) [CyHi The Prynce, Lupe Fiasco, Malik Yusef]
3. I Am A God (Featuring God) (Produced by Daft Punk) [Hudson Mohawke, Justin Vernon, Malik Yusef, Rhymefest]
4. New Slaves (Featuring Frank Ocean) (Malik Yusef, Rhymefest)
5. Hold My Liquor (Feat. Chief Keef & Justin Vernon) [Alejandro Ghersi, Malik Yusef, Rhymefest]
6. I’m In It (Feat. Travis Scott) [Justin Vernon, Malik Yusef]
7. Blood On The Leaves [Hudson Mohawke, Tony Williams]
8. Guilt Trip (Feat. Kid Cudi) (Produced by S1)
9. Send It Up (Feat. King L) [Alejandro Ghersi, Daft Punk, Gesaffelstein]
10. Bound 2 (Feat. Charlie Wilson) [John Legend]
One witty responder to all the Twitter furor about the leak tweeted: “So we just refer to the dude who leaked YEEZUS as YUDAS, right?”
So, What Would Yeezus Do? Although the new Kanye West album has leaked early and is available now for free, music blog FistInTheAir.com (which provides a stream of the album here) states that “it goes without saying, if you like it, buy it”. As a musical artist myself, I have to agree that’s it’s just good karma to support an artist’s work materially if you are willing to enjoy it for free. After all, Yeezus is watching!
Reported by Cybelle Clements