UPDATE: These changes aren’t new. Users on the Genius message board noticed the differences nine months ago when Apple Music launched, and according to several Stereogum commenters, iTunes has always sold this slidghtly adjusted version of Yeezus.
Kanye West has been tweaking his new album The Life Of Pablo since it first went online, calling it “a living breathing creative expression.” But it seems Pablo is not the only album Kanye wants to play around with.
As Spin points out, the version of Yeezus on Apple Music now reflects at least two noticeable differences from the original release. On “Black Skinhead,” the opening lyric “For my theme song/ My leather black jeans on” has been heavily pitch-shifted. And on “Send It Up,” just after the 1:30 mark the beat drops out for a few seconds, turning Kanye’s verse into an a cappella.
As of now Spotify and Tidal are still streaming the original Yeezus mixes, so here are some questions: Why these changes in particular? Are more coming? Can we expect, say, the heavily circulated 2003 bootleg version of The College Dropout to replace the official version? Why are the changes going live on Apple first and not Tidal, the service Kanye co-owns and which has been central to the Pablo’s release? We’ve reached out to reps for Apple Music and Kanye and will update with any further information.