There’s a new Kanye West album in the world, everyone. Well, kinda. ‘Ye’, his eighth studio album premiered at a exclusive listening party in Wyoming last night, with guests like Jonah Hill, Lil Yachty and even Tim Westwood making the trek to the mountains to hear the new project. It’s yet to make it’s way onto streaming services yet, but fans who stayed up to the wee hours and downloaded a bespoke app were able to stream the album along with the rapper and his pals.
Here, we break down some of the boldest, most controversial Kanye lines from the new seven-track album.
“Today I seriously thought about killing you/I contemplated, premeditated murder/And I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so… – ‘I Thought About Killing You’
The album’s opening track features perhaps the starkest statement on the whole record. Kanye has discussed mental health and suicide before. In 2010, he said on stage that he “there were times that I contemplated suicide” and his recent interview with Charlamgne Tha God, he discussed having a mental breakdown, instead calling it a “breakthrough”.
“I can feel the spirits all around me/I think Prince and Mike was tryna warn me/They know I got demons all on me – ‘Yikes’
Last month, Ye said that he was addicted to prescription medication following his hospitalisation in 2016. Both Prince and Michael Jackson died following the misuse of prescription medication – something which he is acutely aware of here.
“Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too/I’mma pray for him ’cause he got #MeToo’d” – ‘Yikes’
Following Kanye West’s declaration of support for Donald Trump last month, Def Jam executive Russell Simmons. “Kanye is suffering, he is unraveling in public,” he said in a statement – “Time for intervention”. Yeezy hits back at Simmons by referring to the sexual assault allegations against Simmons in recent months, while referencing the #MeToo movement.
“Just a different type of leader/We could be in North Korea, I could smoke with Wiz Khalifa” – ‘Yikes’
In 2016, Wiz and Ye went back and forth with a string of insults about his new album title, Wiz’s ex-wife and Ye’s former partner Amber Rose and current wife Kim Kardashian. At one point, Ye mistook a tweet from Wiz to be about his wife, Kim Kardashian – but Wiz claims he was talking about his strain of weed, ‘Khalifa Kush’. The pair never publicly reconciled.
Hit this kk and become yourself.
— Wiz Khalifa (@wizkhalifa) January 27, 2016
That’s my bipolar shit, n*gga what/That’s my superpower, n*gga ain’t no disability/I’m a superhero! I’m a superhero! – ‘Yikes’
At the close of ‘Extacy’, Ye makes reference to comments he made in an interview with Charlamagne Tha God regarding his mental health “breakthrough”. It was in this interview where Kanye discussed being in the “sunken place” and tackling the stigma of words like “crazy”.
“I said, “Slavery a choice.” They say, “How, Ye?”/Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day – ‘Wouldn’t Leave’
Last month, Ye said in an interview with TMZ that “slavery was a choice”, and rightly so, caught a whole lot of flack for it. Here, he responds by saying that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that these statements could have been even more controversial.
“Oh, I got dirt on my name, I got white on my beard/I had dead on my books, it’s been a shaky ass year” – ‘No Mistakes’
That’s an understatement. Following his hospitalisation in 2016, Ye took time away from the spotlight and cancelled his lauded Saint Pablo tour. This line tackles the money issue he said he faced and how it impacted the past year spent making ‘Ye’ in Wyoming.
“Matter of fact Marlin, this ain’t Meet the Fockers/I’ll beat his ass, pray I beat the charges” – ‘Violent Crimes’
Kanye really likes the wholesome family japes. So much so, he even said that comedy flick Meet The Parents was one of his favourite ever films in a throwback interview, and here he gives a spotlight to its sequel Meet The Fockers. Expect a Little Fockers shout out on album nine.