Rapper says he brought in super-producer Rick Rubin to bring 'minimalist vibes' to the album

Kanye West has described his eagerly-anticipated new album ‘Yeezus’ as “visceral” and “tribal”.

In a new interview with The New York Times, West revealed that the album was heavily influenced by the work of pioneering modern architect and designer Le Corbusier. “Architecture – you know, this one Corbusier lamp was like, my greatest inspiration,” he said.

Describing himself as a “minimalist in a rapper’s body”, West went on to explain that he brought in super-producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Run DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers) to “bring all those vibes” to the album. “I’m still just a kid learning about minimalism, and he’s a master of it,” West explained.

“It’s just really such a blessing, to be able to work with him. I want to say that after working with Rick, it humbled me to realise why I hadn’t – even though I produced ‘Watch The Throne’; even though I produced ‘Dark Fantasy’ – why I hadn’t won Album of the Year [at the Grammys] yet.”

Discussing how the influence of minimalism translated into a “super low-bit” sound for the album, West continued: “Yeah, 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. 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.” Agreeing with his New York Times interviewer, West concluded by describing ‘Yeezus’ as “yeah, visceral, tribal”.

West premiered ‘Yeezus’ in full at an exclusive listening session in New York on Monday night (June 10) attended by Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Timbaland and Busta Rhymes. NME was also present at the event and click here for our track-by-track first listen review of the album, which is due for release on June 18.

Meanwhile, pick up a copy of this week’s NME for an in-depth discussion on whether ‘Yeezus’ will be the album that defines Kanye West as an artist.

Subscribe to NME here, or get this week’s digital issue