Kanye West's eighth solo studio album is almost here, with a listening session in Wyoming planned for tonight (May 31).
Yeezy, known as someone who will never hold his tongue, is just as talented as he is polarizing. Things pretty much took a turn once Kanye made his return to Twitter in April, where he shared a ton of thoughts, from innocent things like his advice for cherishing your mornings, to huge news, like the release dates of upcoming G.O.O.D. Music projects. None of these things were particularly out of the ordinary for 'Ye, until he publicly co-signed right-wing personality Candace Owens and President Trump.
Nonetheless, the music always prevails, so announcements that he would produce both Nas and Pusha-T's albums set the internet ablaze. He soon followed up with songs of his own "Lift Yourself" and "Ye Vs. The People," the latter a collaboration with the King of the South, T.I. Kanye then attempted to use a photo of the surgeon who was operating on his mother during her death as his album cover, and that became another story. A lengthy interview with Charlamagne Tha God soon followed, then, in May, Kanye made what may have been the most controversial statement of his career; he said slavery "sounds like" a choice.
’Ye dropped a verse on Travis Scott's latest single "Watch" (which also features Lil Uzi Vert) while deep in the process of working on his own solo album in Wyoming, scheduled to drop on June 1. The last two months of Kanye chaos all lead up to this moment: a communal listening session of his new album today (May 31)—straight from Wyoming. XXL is logged in and locked in, letting you know just what goes on during this special night once it begins. Check out everything you need to know from Kanye West's new album below.
Celebrities and Hip-Hop Stars Were at the Listening Session
A mix of celebs and music artists were present for the festivities. Of course, Kanye's wife Kim Kardashian-West was around, but so was Chris Rock. In addition to that, Nas, Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz showed up; all three have collaborated with 'Ye in the past. Lil Yachty was also on hand for the night as well as Kid Cudi, Fabolous, DJ Clue, Theophilus London, CyHi Tha Prynce, Desiigner, Dame Dash, Big Sean and Pusha-T. Actor Jonah Hill also showed up.
Kanye kept the title for his eighth solo studio album under wraps until the listening session kicked off in front of a bonfire in Wyoming. While many fans and critics thought the rapper might keep the Turbo Grafx 16 title he shared in 2016, it's not in true Yeezy fashion to do the expected. Right before playing music off the album, Kanye revealed the title as simply Ye.
The Album Opens With Kanye Admitting He Considered Suicide
The first song on the album has a haunting sample, and just about the first half includes him talking about considering killing someone close to him. He compares this to thinking about killing himself, but opted not to.
He's Been in Contact With Russell Simmons
’Ye raps on one of the songs that music mogul Russell Simmons wanted to pray for him, but instead, he'll pray for Russ because "he got #MeToo'd." A line that is sure to catch the attention of a lot of people. Kanye also imagines what would happen if he was in Russ' position, facing the same allegations.
He Refers to Being Bipolar as a "Superpower"
He closes one of the songs with a rant about bipolar disorder not being a disability, but an advantage of sorts.
Ty Dolla $ign and (Possibly) Jeremih Are on the Album
The two friends and popular R&B singers join ’Ye on a track. Jeremih has the hook, and Ty Dolla $ign has spot duty.
There Are multiple R&B Collabs on Ye
There are additional singers outside of Ty Dolla $ign and Jeremih. It also seems that Kanye has another song with Charlie Wilson, a previous collaborator. G.O.O.D music teammate 070 Shake also gets her shining moment on the album.
The Album Is Sample Heavy
At least one of the samples flipped on the album comes from Slick Rick.
He Dedicates a Song to His Daughter, North
The track basically follows Kanye's through the process of how he'll have to protect his daughter as she grows up, and adjusting to her dating men and going out on her own. The song (and album) closes with Nicki Minaj rapping the first few bars of the song, where ’Ye hopes he has a daughter like the Queens lyricist.