As promised, Kanye West has debuted his new album YE
Kanye West Unveils New Album YE
It actually arrived. As promised, Kanye West has debuted his new album YE. Kanye revealed the album to the public for the first time at a listening session in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kanye live streamed the event on the WAV app. (The stream is over.) The album has yet to surface on digital streaming platforms and the official tracklist hasn’t been shared. The album is also being sold as part of merch bundles with the note that the “digital album will be delivered via e-mail upon global release on June 1.”
In the opening track, Kanye raps, “Today I thought about killing you.” In the next song, he referenced the allegations facing Russell Simmons. “Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too/Wanna pray for him ’cause he got MeToo’d.” That song also referenced Wiz Khalifa and North Korea. That track ends with him saying, “That’s my bipolar shit what/that’s not a disability that’s my superpower/I’m a superhero.”
In the third track, which features Ty Dolla $ign, he references Stormy Daniels and Tristan Thompson. On the fourth, he alludes to his controversial TMZ comments about slavery being a “choice.” (“I say slavery a choice/they say how Ye.”) He also namedrops Sway. The fifth track features a Slick Rick sample, and the sixth features Kid Cudi. The seventh song includes this bar: “I hope she like Nicki/I make her a monster.” That track ends with a voicemail from Nicki Minaj.
As is typically the case with Kanye West, the buildup to the new album was wild, to say the least. The rollout began in mid-April when West returned to Twitter after an 11-month absence from the platform. Shortly after his return, he declared that his tweets—initially musings like, “distraction is the enemy of vision”—were actually components of a philosophy book he claimed to be writing in real time. It did not take long, however, for the tweets to become more controversial.
On April 25, Kanye West called President Donald Trump his “brother,” recalling remarks West made in November 2016 when he said he “would’ve voted on Trump” in the U.S. Presidential Election had he chosen to vote. On the same day West called Trump his “brother,” he also shared a photo of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. West’s tweets made national headlines and caught the eye of President Trump, who called the moment “very cool.” (Trump previously said he and West “have been friends for a long time” when the pair met at New York’s Trump Tower in December 2016.)
Then there was the music. In late April, West released the gibberish-filled track “Lift Yourself.” After that, he shared “Kanye West vs. the People,” a track with T.I. that functioned as a political debate. The song includes lyrics like, “Make America Great Again had a negative reception/I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction.” In addition, West has featured on songs by Pusha-T (“What Would Meek Do?” from the West-produced Daytona) and Travis Scott (“Watch”). On the Push song, West alluded to his “Lift Yourself” nonsense lines, as well as “MAGA.”