Kanye West has debuted his new album, Ye, after months of volatile online behaviour and commentary.
The rapper showcased his new material at an invite-only party in Wyoming on Thursday night, where he’d been recording. This is his first full-length album since his 2016 release, The Life of Pablo.
LISTEN BELOW (via Tidal):
The album art reads “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome.”
Guests on the LP include musical artists Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi and more. Over the album’s brief seven tracks, West references North Korea, Russell Simmons, Wiz Khalifa, #MeToo, Stormy Daniels, and many other worldwide celebrities and issues of the moment.
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West debuted the album at the intimate party in Jackson Hole, inviting stars like Chris Rock, Big Sean and Jonah Hill, along with media, to listen to Ye while gathered around bonfires.
Rock introduced the album at the party, flanked by a smiling West.
“Rap music, hip-hop music is the first art form created by free black men,” said Rock to the crowd. “And no black man has taken more advantage of his freedom than Kanye West. Listen without prejudice.”
In one song, West raps about the slavery comments he made in early May, saying his wife, Kim Kardashian, was less than pleased about his remarks.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said at the time. “Like, you were there for 400 years and there’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”
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“I like the word ‘imprisoned’ because slavery goes too directly to the idea of blacks … so prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race. That we’re the human race,” he concluded.
In the Ye song Wouldn’t Leave, West says Kardashian called him “screaming.”
“Wife calling screaming saying we’re about to lose it all / I had to calm her down cuz she couldn’t breathe / I told her she could leave me now but she wouldn’t leave,” he raps in the song. “This is what they mean for better or for worse, huh?”
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Further to his album art, West also raps about his struggles with drugs and mental health. He confirms he’s bipolar and calls it his “superpower.”
“It ain’t no disability, I’m a superhero,” he raps in Yikes.
In that same song, West refers to Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, who’s been accused of sexual assault by multiple women.
“Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too / Imma pray for him cuz he got #MeToo’d / Thinkin’ what if that happened to me too.”
Fans were divided on Ye, since many claimed they were abandoning the musician after his multiple Twitter rants. Some gave Ye rave reviews, while others didn’t even bother listening.
Ye is the second of five promised works from West.