Yeezus is the upcoming sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist Kanye West. It is set to be released on June 18, 2013, by Roc-A-Fella Records, with distribution by Def Jam Recordings. It was primarily recorded in Paris, with West enlisting various artists and close collaborators for work and production on the album. Initial promotion of Yeezus included worldwide video projections of the album’s music and live television performances.
In July 2012, producer No I.D. revealed that he had been working with West on the latter’s sixth solo studio album and went on to state that it would be released after Cruel Summer (2012), a collaborative compilation album between members of West’s record label GOOD Music. At a February 2013 concert in Paris, West himself acknowledged his work on the album and stated that he would “be back in about a couple months.” Reports later emerged that he had moved to a loft in the city to work on the album. Describing the album’s musical style, West explained:
It’s like trap and drill and house. I knew that I wanted to have a deep Chicago influence on this album, and I would listen to like, old Chicago house music. I think that even ‘Black Skinhead’ could border on house, ‘On Sight’ sounds like acid house, and then ‘I Am a God’ obviously sounds, like, super house.”
Projection of “New Slaves” on the W Hotel in Los Angeles.
West enlisted several close collaborators, including singer-songwriter The-Dream and spoken word artist Malik Yusef, to contribute to the album. The album’s recording process was described as “very raw” by Thomas Bangalter of French electronic duo Daft Punk, who produced two songs for the album. Other artists reported to have worked with West include S1, The Heatmakerz, Mike Dean, Hudson Mohawke, Skrillex, Young Chop, Chief Keef, Frank Ocean, Odd Future, Travis Scott, King L, John Legend, James Blake, RZA, Mase and Pusha T. On May 18, 2013, Hot 97 radio host Peter Rosenberg stated that Def Jam Recordings executives had listened to the final product, describing the album as “dark.”
West made several last-minute alterations to Yeezus, enlisting Rick Rubin as an executive producer for additional recording mere days before its release. This included re-recording whole songs or rewriting entire verses within days of the albums release date. Rubin spoke on the recording process with West on Yeezus saying, “the album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics.” On June 12, 2013, a short video was released on West’s website of him recording “I Am a God” in Malibu with Rick Rubin.
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