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  • Kanye West @ Governors Ball 2013
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Kanye West

Last night, New York’s epically soggy and mud-clogged Governors Ball festival ended with what was reportedly a dark and vengeful headlining set from Kanye West. Kanye’s played casino shows and high-profile one-offs in recent months, but this was his first show in front of a large, paying audience in quite some time, which means it’s the first time anyone had a shot at making half-decent camera-phone videos of West performing new songs from his forthcoming album Yeezus. During the set, he did “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead,” performing the latter twice, and he also trotted out a few other new tracks. “On Site” sounded like Kanye’s version of late-’80s industrial dance music. “I Am A God” was monolithically stark and haunted. And an as-yet-untitled new track was a glitchy slap full of primal whoops. Suffice to say, Yeezus is shaping up to be an absolute motherfucker of an album. Claire will have more about the festival later, but for now, watch videos of Kanye doing those three songs along with a transcript of the monologue the rapper delivered mid-set.

“With this album we ain’t drop no single to radio. We ain’t got no NBA campaign, nothing like that. Shit, we ain’t even got no cover. We just made some real music. Like, back when I used to make albums and shit, a couple years ago, we’d go away and work on the album for months or something. We’d always have to hold the album to like August, or September or till the perfect moment and shit. Because it mean that ’I think would sell more if it get more audience and shit.’ But honestly at this point when I listen to radio, that ain’t where I want to be no more. Honestly at this point, I could give a fuck about selling a million records as long as I put out an album for the summer that y’all can rock to for all fuckin’ summer… At this point I don’t really give a fuck about outside opinion.” (via Billboard)

(via Pitchfork)

Yeezus is out 6/18 on Def Jam.

Comments (20)
  1. Shocking to think this thing is only a week away.

  2. “Hurry up with my damn croissants.”

    Yeah, he’s back.

  3. Not sure if I’d classify songs like “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” as somethin to ‘rock to all summer long’ as if it were a Gaslight Anthem album or somethin, but nonetheless this is sure to be quite an interesting album. Guess as long as it stays clear of top 40, it’ll be what we all secretly want anyway. bring in on ‘Ye, we be ready.

  4. “But honestly at this point when I listen to radio, that ain’t where I want to be no more.”

    It’s certainly hard to picture “Black Skinhead” sandwiched between Taylor Swift and Maroon 5.

  5. This shit is sounding real good.

  6. is it next tuesday yet?

  7. My hope is that instead of a traditional record drop, Kanye does a literal album drop. Millions of cds with tiny parachutes dropped from airplanes all over the world at midnight on the 18th, as “New Slaves” is projected on the moon.


      Your hands should be touching the sky today, Kanye West’s new album “Yeezus” is dropping around the world. Literally. EMSA crews have reported thousands of concussions from around the country caused by the immense weight of Kanye’s new album.

      We called Kanye about the potential danger of his new album. Mr. West sent us the following statement:

      “Now I ain’t ever tell you to put down your hands.”

      Keep those hands high!

      And in case you missed out on Kanye’s live moon projection, we have live team coverage from Earth’s largest satellite. Melissa, what’s the scene like on the moon?


      This is live TV honey.

  8. After this morning’s 8.9 for Deafheaven’s Sunbather (welcome home, 8.9!), we can only hope that Yeezus brings home another missing score back into the Pitchfork family. To 9.4, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, and especially 9.9: we’re not mad at you, we love you, and we just want you to come home. Help us, Ryan Dombal, you’re our only hope.

    • A 9.4 would be fitting. Just shy of Frank & Kendrick but better than Vampire Weekend.

      At this point I think my mind is already made up that I love an album I haven’t heard. How does that work?

      • My prediction is that p4k goes on the backlash like they did with MIA, Animal Collective, and other acts who followed up their “best” album with a difficult, more experimental one. 6.8 is what I’m going with here.

  9. “I am a god / even though I’m a man of god.”

    Uh ok, Kanye.

  10. it sounds like he heard a the knife album and was like “yo, imma try and rap over this.”

  11. Is it just me or do these beats sound like a little bit like Death Grips? More like NO LOVE DEEP WEB more than anything though. It’s hard hitting, dance influenced, and synthy.

  12. File me under the “cranky old man Chuck D category”, but Kanye is innovative for anyone who didn’t experience and/or appreciate enough the “awesome” hip hop of: De La Soul, Run DMC, Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy, etc, etc.

    He’s good, but not as good as he thinks he is. He’s on par with those guys, which is a huge compliment. But he insists he’s something even higher. Except he’s not. Except there’s a shitload of people who eat up his bullshit.

    Noel Gallagher was right, if you tell everyone you are the best, atleast half of them will believe you.

  13. Pitchfork: Kanye, Radiohead, Arcade Fire get a 2.5 point “bonus” just for being. Since they are the benchmark PF has chosen.

    • So if the album is good but not great, maybe deserving of an 8.0 or so, will we finally see pitchfork break out that elusive 10.5 score that they’ve been saving for the 15th anniversary reissue of Arcade Fire’s “Funeral”?

  14. Based on the songs we’ve heard, the people involved, and the “what would Rick Rubin do” thought progress, I’m expecting at least a 9 out of 10.

  15. Here’s what I don’t get: I saw an interview with one of his co-producer guys, who says he’s a “couch producer”, meaning he integrates the ideas of other producers and comes up with the best result. I can respect that, but what I don’t get is that if he THEN takes that material to Rick Rubin, what else is there left for him to do? If he didn’t actually create the track, and the left primary oversight to Rubin, there’s a lot less for kanye to contribute. Calling these albums solo works is a huge stretch no matter how you look at it.

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