The release of Kanye West’s Yeezus is just days away, so the hip-hop superstar offered a first listen to media and industry folk at Milk Studios in New York on Monday night (June 10).
Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, and DJ Khaled were among the star power on-hand for the event, where Ye introduced and played each track, and explained why his sixth album was so secretive.
“Collectively, collaboratively, we didn’t give a f*** about what nobody said from the outside looking in,” Kanye said of the album’s creation. “We just wanted to make the best product possible and this is just the beginning of an entirely new mentality of how to make music directly for the people.”
Legendary producer Rick Rubin was enlisted by Kanye to executive produce Yeezus. Due to his long history in music, Ye trusted his opinion.
“It was good for me to go to the god, Rick Rubin, and play him my sh**, ask him questions, and allow him to take this project to an entirely new level, and he made a lot of great decisions at the end and pulled it to a whole new level.”
In addition to Rubin, the project also contributions from Travi$ Scott, Hudson Mohawke, Mike Dean, and Daft Punk, who worked on three or four songs, while Chief Keef and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon guest on the same track (“Can’t Handle My Liquor”).
“It’s about delivering some sh** for ya’ll to go to work to, ride to, listen to when you’re working out and sh**, whatever ya’ll doing to provide a soundtrack to this sh**,” said Yeezy. “We’re gonna keep on doing this sh** over and over and over, making sh** from my core, from my gut.”
As far as the title, Ye says: “I wanna explain something about the title Yeezus. Simply put, West was my slave name and Yeezus is my god name.”
Yeezus is due out June 18th.