Kanye West - Yeezus

It’s here! If you’re a certain kind of internet music dork (guilty), you’ve been practically holding your breath all week waiting for this moment. Up until now, we hadn’t heard a single finished CD-quality studio track of any song from Kanye West’s new album Yeezus. Now, we get to hear all of them, if we’re willing to click around the lawless internet hinterlands. And if you live in a major urban center, there’s a decent chance you can just open your window or walk out your front door and absorb it that way. Either way, Yeezus has come to Earth. Let’s get this bitch jumping like Parkinson’s in the comments section below.

And while we’re talking about it, Kanye is going to be projecting more things on walls around the world tonight. Check the global map at Kanye’s site to find your closest location.

Comments (320)
  1. Still need a second listen. That’s usually a good sign.

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    • The albums is just as bad on the second, third fourth and fifth listen. It has at most 5 good songs. The others are garbage and just because the productions is different from other “Ye” projects does not automatically make it something that people should be overly complimentary about. I have it as his 5 or 6th best album. Literally some songs I cant even listen to. The lyrics are horrible and the musical production can’t make up for it.

  2. i wanna fuck this album hard in the sink and then give it something to drink

  3. it’s pretty amazing so far. some definite goosebump moments. only just starting my second play through, but I think new slaves, i’m in it, blood on the leaves, and bound 2 are my favorites so far. when that beat starts hitting on blood on the leaves…wow!


  5. I think the folgers jingle contest found a winnrr!


  7. Can’t wait to her Kitty Pryde’s verse.

  8. Reminds me a bit of Death Grips. Definitely in my top 10 for the year thus far.

  9. Really dig the outro to New Slaves, had he performed that song with that on there before?

  10. Really enjoying it so far. Very dark and very unique. New Slaves is even better in studio quality. I’m listening to Guilt Trip right now and I’m loving those synth sparkles all around the song. massive

  11. “Blood on the Leaves” is an amazing song.

    Other things I learned about Kanye West:

    - His diet consists of croissants, sweet & sour sauce and butts
    - He uses the civil rights fist uncivil ways
    - He might be Patrick Bateman

  12. I’ve listened to it twice so far…. and its a dark, compelling listen. Loving it.

    I think what I like most about it, is that he’s not even attempting to make another perfect album like MBDTF.

    Yeezus has flaws, but that’s what makes it special because those flaws feel intentional…. I was worried about having Rick Rubin involved, but he feels to fit in very well with Kanye’s stripped down vision for this album.

    • From what I’ve read a lot of that stripped down vision came from Rick Rubin’s suggestions. The guy is responsible for some of the biggest acts in history creating their best albums. Not sure why anybody would be worried about his involvement.

  13. Listened to it twice, really good. Is it just me or does the last song seem a little disjointed at times?

    • I think that was intentional, after such a dark, dank, bloody ride through hell with Ye for the rest of the album, it really needed that ‘cool down’ weirdness at the tailend

      • Yeah I’m definitely for the cool down, I just think the samples maybe sound a little out of place sometimes. But awesome album. You crazy for this one Yeezus.

  14. Oh my, that Sweet and Sour sauce punchline during “I’m In It” made me clutch my pearls a little.

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  16. First impression: This owes a lot to El-P and Death Grips.

  17. Really could have used a whole album of “Bound 2′s”, but perhaps I’m more fond of Graduation-era Kanye.

  18. I’ll wait to read what Raptor Jesus has to say first, thanks.

  19. Fully expecting someone to be like:

    “Meh. I like the audio from the projection recordings better.”

  20. This is dark as hell and I love it. He also out-grossed Danny Brown on “I’m In It”. How does that happen?

  21. I’m very disappointed that God isn’t actually on I Am a God, could have been a hit

  22. Sounds like Death Grips if Death Grips had an exponentially massive production budget.

  23. Blood on the Leaves might be the best track this year. I cant even go into the cultural significance of that sample.

    • Can you though? I’d be genuinely interested particular since I don’t seem to be ‘getting’ that track quite as much as the rest of y’all are. Those first tracks though, wow.

      • The song samples a Billie Holiday song called “Strange Fruit” from the 1930s. The song is about blacks being lynched and hung from trees and includes the line “blood on the leaves”. I think the sample Kanye used was from the Nina Simone version, but the original song is by Billie Holiday.

        • Actually, the original version of the song was by a white, Jewish teacher named Abel Meeropol, who originally wrote it as a poem and then set it to music. Billie Holiday’s version is the most famous, however, and the version on the album is indeed Nina Simone’s. I’m not trying to be some snobby know-it-all, I just heard the song earlier and looked it up out of curiosity.

          I think “Blood on the Leaves” is incredible, and that sample, and that moment when the horns come in, combine to form the most powerful, hair-raising moment on the album. It’s stuck with me all day.

    • I can’t think of a ballsier sample than “Strange Fruit.” That song is sacrosant. Screw with it in the slightest and you’d look like the world’s biggest douchebag. I’m not sure if anyone else would have the audacity to take the challenge, coupled with the ability to pull it off. Kanye does.

    • I seriously had to stop, re-listen to that song 3 times, listen to the original and a few covers, then then to it again. So much going on there. Really powerful.

  24. How on earth do I hear this? Am I just an idiot at the internet? Any help would be most appreciated.

  25. Grimy as fuck, gross as hell, hardest album of the year, craziest album of the year, catchiest album of the year. Brilliant.

  26. I love how slow my internet is. Can you repost this story in 4 days so I can comment along as well?

  27. Blood on the leaves. Game over.

  28. Being stuck at work suuuuuucks.

    But I got invited to the Final Fantasy 14 beta test, so hopefully Yeezus can offset my nerdy evening plans.

  29. This album is dirty and amazing. Admittedly, I was a little elevated when I first listened, and it blew me away.

    Some songs are unnecessarily explicit, but I feel like that works because the theme of this album seems to be: what can happen to a person when his ego becomes so dangerously inflated. I mean, it’s called Yeezus, and West seems to have taken his self-aggrandizement to a morally corrupted, frightening level. Thoughts?

  30. Grimy, raw and addictive. Hardcore rap at its bets. Brilliant as hell.

  31. Sigh…
    I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m not that excited to. Kanye has always rubbed me the wrong way. And not in a good way.

  32. Second listens? How can I hear it first?

  33. just finished my first listen. im not blown away by it like i was with MBDTF, but theres some great moments.
    im sure itll grow on me

  34. How has no one mentioned “Hold My Liquor.” Crazy good track.

  35. They be ballin in the D-Leage, I be speaking Swag-hili.” What?!

  36. This is amazing, not necessarily in the way I was expecting — but amazing.

    MBDTF seemed like an almost impossible album to follow up, but fuck it, Yeezus did it. It’s a dark, frantic, and weird listen. Dammit, Ye, excellent work.

  37. “OK, I smashed your Corolla” is probably my favorite line because it’s hilarious…and I drive a Corolla.

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    • It’s good, but that ain’t gonna happen.
      Plus who gives a shit about p4k anyway bla bla not me nope no sir.

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      • ladies and gentleman, the final say on all opinions. congrats kmorby, you earned it

      • Actually, (and I realize I’m in a minority) 808′s is probably the only Kanye album that I can listen to without pulling this at least once or twice -

        • I’m exactly on the same page as you. 808s, for whatever reason, works for me almost all the way through, but everything else – even Fantasy – have these sporadic moments that are so unconscionably off-putting that I can’t give them a full seal of approval, even when I like so much of everything else.

    • This one’s gotta go to Dombal.

      What’s crazy to think about is how high Ye’s Pitchfork average is if you look at his “revised” scores (i.e. what each album, based on P4K’s end-of-year/decade lists, would most likely score if reissued tomorrow) and ignore VH1 Storytellers, Watch the Throne, and Cruel Summer:

      1. The College Dropout – 28th best album of the 2000s. 9.5
      2. Late Registration – 18th best album of the 2000s. 9.6
      3. Graduation – 87th best album of the 2000s. 9.0
      4. 808s & Heartbreak – 21st best album of 2008. 8.5
      5. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Best album of 2010. 10.0
      6. Yeezus – top 5 album of 2013? 9.4-10.0?

      That puts him up there with Radiohead, AnCo, Spoon, and Vampire Weekend (again, looking at their list placements) as one of the most highly acclaimed artists (of the 2000s) in the history of Pitchfork.

      inb4 “dude its just a website.” At the end of the day, I like what I like and I don’t like what I don’t like. Predicting Pitchfork is like my sports.

      • Haha I totally get you man.

        Even though none of us know ANYTHING about how pitchfork’s scores are actually calculated, I too find it fascinating to try and predict what album scores will be. If you’ve been reading the site for many years, you can almost predict the exact score each band/artist will receive strictly based on the amount the album is talked about and hyped pre-release.

        Yeezus is an interesting case because no “official” tracks have been released yet. But considering its under 40 minutes and is very concise and narrow in idea (totally love it btw) I think we are talking in the 8.4-9.0 range, tops

      • 808s & Heartbreak should have a higher score. Some people didn’t get that album and some people probably never will. That thing is a genius work of art.

  40. Haven’t listened to this yet, but are you guys sure you’re not overstating the case? It sounds like you might be overstating the case.

  41. It’s cool. Not liking his sound that much post MBDTF. I’m sure this album will grow on me a little.

  42. Just finished my first listen and it is not what I was expecting based on the listening party comments from SPIN. I was prepared to be disappointed or at least need a few listens to decide what I thought. This fucking awesome though! Really, really like it. Hold My Liquor, I’m In It and Blood on the Leaves are the standouts for me from my first listen.

  43. This is what the few haters on this thread look like:

    Just keep your shit in the stall, dudes. I know it feels good and takes effort to put your solids where the rest of us are flowing, but you look silly and you’re making a mess.

    • I wish I could have a poop that solid and compact.

    • what you are referring to is commonly called a ‘circlejerk’

    • That’s funny, cuz that’s usually the image I get when I listen to Kanye anyway

      • (I’m partially kidding with the hate… Sure I don’t appreciate Kanye like the rest of you seem to but the dude is talented I’ll give him that.)

    • fuck that.

      perhaps i’m in the minority here, but i prefer a comments section that sparks debate over a circlejerk of “OMG THIS IS GREAT” remarks, where dissenting voices get shot down via downvotes and insults. sadly, i’ve seen a lot of the latter lately… one that comes to mind off the top of my head was a commenter being told that he’s “insanely shallow” and “needs a bitchslap” for saying that this year hasn’t been that great for new music so far.

      oh yeah, and then there was the guy who was told that his parents didn’t like him (something to that effect) for saying that the new daft punk falls flat. then he was informed that he was only getting that treatment because he was being contrary for contrariness’ sake… meanwhile, the comments section is filled with positive comments devoid of any substance at all, basically the internet version of people just hi-fiving each another (i.e., “whooo, time to dance!”). and i’ve been guilty of that kind of infectious, inane positivity before; i’ll admit it.

      but i digress – my point is, if we’re gonna flat-out discourage people from having unpopular opinions, then this website has gone down the shitter.

      • Once again, Ben…

      • I cannot emphasize enough how much I’m completely joking, and just wanted to use that gif. Now I’m backpedaling because I feel bad that I was purposely being a dickhead and it prompted such a thoughtful comment from you. I feel at odds with the popular sentiment on here the majority of the time, and just stay silent because of it, so I completely agree with what you’re saying. Circlejerk threads are the worst, and this is meant to be me jokingly going along with this one. I thought maybe it would be kind of obvious since it’s a gif of a guy projectile pooping over a bathroom stall, but I can see how people might think I was serious. When I’m serious I write a block of text no one reads. When I’m fucking around, I post a gif.

        • no worries, man. i suppose the lesson of the day is that, sometimes, even projectile poop gifs can’t fully alleviate the difficulty in detecting facetiousness on the internet. anyhow, i feel a bit bad too, because clearly i’ve been getting annoyed at other recent circlejerk-ish stereogum comments, and decided just now to vent all of that upon you. and i’m definitely in the same boat on biting my tongue 90% of the time when i don’t like something that the majority does – typically not worth the headache.

          now if only i could find a way to tie this GIF into my response…

      • ” because he was being contrary for contrariness’ sake”

        Same shit I got for saying I don’t get Arcade Fire in their recent “best songs” column. Some people just can’t handle a difference of opinion in intelligent way. If you disagree you’re either being a dick for no reason, or you’re just “wrong”. There is no middle ground for some people. Which is sad, because the loss of a good conversation and/or debate is a lot more important and valuable than people realize. But it’s not like it’s anything new. Comment sections have been going that direction for at least the last decade.

        • I’d say comment sections have been going that way since the beginning of comment sections. A good majority of the general public is unable to have a civilized back-and-forth of opinions. Especially on the internet.

          • To a certain extent, yeah, I agree. But I’ve been online for a LONG ASS time now. Started on Prodigy in 1993, off and on until 1996, constantly since then. Certainly the degree on anonymity the internet provides has always allowed for a certain amount of retaliation free assholeishness to exist. But, in my opinion, three things have happened over time to make it worse.

            First, numbers. The sheer number of people online allows for a much greater chance that a type of person you would never normally associate with in the “real world” is going to take every opportunity they can find to stir the pot. Also, speaking plainly, it also puts you in contact with a much larger number of people who just don’t get it (that’s the nicest way I could say that).

            Second, comfort. The more time people have spent online, the more it’s become part of everyday life, the more comfortable they become. An unfortunate byproduct of this is that, like alcohol, it makes people start saying what they really think. Or, sometimes worse, what they INSIST is “right”, or “correct”, when it’s really just an opinion.

            Lastly, the internet generation. My niece and nephew (19 and 17) never knew a world without the internet. Constantly posting every thought that enters their minds openly on the internet is just part of the way the things work for them. And that may be the biggest change. The internet generation has no filter. They never learned a set of communication skills that didn’t include the option to call someone stinky cunt juice and wish death upon them without consequence.

            So yeah, always been assholes and thickheaded people online. But it’s definitely been progressively getting worse over time.

          • Man, I wrote a well thought out and heartfelt response to this, but I think it went in the mod bucket because I used a couple harsh words as examples. I hope it turns up, because I’m not sure I could re-write as well from memory. lol

        • In many cases, people ARE contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. There will be a long list of comments saying the same thing, and then the one that disagrees doesn’t do so constructively. It’s obvious when someone is getting some kind of rush by dismissing 30 people at once, cynically telling them that the only reason people enjoy a certain band or song is to look cool. These types of comments tend to say nothing more than “maaaan this shit sucks”

          I know this because I’ve been guilty of it before, and I have (had) friends who love to get off on hating things that everyone else loves, because it gives them a lonely sense of superiority that they mistake for integrity or authenticity.

          That said, there are plenty of comments offering constructive criticism that also get panned by the groupthink phenomenon. Those instances are frustrating, especially when downvotes are the only response.

          But in general, I’d say the community here is a little more open to different opinions than other places on the internet, like reddit or whatever. There are a fair amount of folks interested in opening a dialogue. The negative response to my gif here shows there is some active resistance to circle jerking.

      • You do comprehend the fact that someone who claims this ‘hasn’t been a great year for music so far’ does indeed need a bitch slap…right? I mean, let’s just establish this fact before moving on.

        I believe the ability to internet sarcasm should be something you must agree to terms when you set up a Stereogum account.

        This is a tough crowd round these parts…those who tread need to wear their big boy pants


  44. Why you no post link?

    Also I’d like to remind you Tom that individuals with Parkinson’s Disease don’t “jump,” in fact many of them experience posture instability which may lead to poor balance. A more fitting expression would be: ‘Lets get this bitch tremoring as well as experiencing mild to moderate neuropsychiatric disturbances.’ FYI

  45. Did Hudson Mohawke and/or TNGHT do the beat on “Blood On The Leaves”? That song is so brutally, deafening good. Sounds very similar to “Higher Ground”

  46. Part of me wants Kanye to go back the early days of more feel good stuff (eg. Champion, Touch the Sky), but dammit another part of me loves this.

  47. the presence of Strange Fruit – in its samples and the nod to it – on Blood On The Leaves feels overtly important to me. its a historically important and significant song and yet i wonder if its [the song and its importance is] common knowledge. we can ask, “would it matter if you don’t know Strange Fruit?” because how easy is it to recognize every single sample? but this whole record is intentional: the off beats, the features, the drops, the trill. and with something like Strange Fruit being prominent …its there for a reason. and people listen to Kanye. he is a popular artist, bringing it to the front. i think it can speak louder than New Slaves or Black Skinhead, even if they’re better songs and “friendlier” (and shorter). but then, do you know Strange Fruit?

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