Follow the link for more information. Jump to navigation Jump to search Not to be confused with Adidas Yeezy. Yeezus is the sixth studio album by American rapper hookup hiphop producer Kanye West.
It was released on June 18, 2013, by Def Jam Recordings. Yeezus has been characterized as West’s most experimental and sonically abrasive work. Yeezus received widespread acclaim from critics, many of whom named it among West’s best work and commended its brash direction, though public response was divided. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 327,000 copies in its first week of release. West was influenced primarily by minimalist design and architecture during the production of Yeezus, and visited a furniture exhibit in the Louvre five times. A single Le Corbusier lamp was his “greatest inspiration”. Kanye West enlisted Def Jam Recordings co-founder Rick Rubin to executive produce the album.
In 2012, West began recording his seventh studio album with collaborators, including No I. The first recordings were held in January 2013, in the living room of his personal loft at a Paris hotel, referred to in the album’s credits as the “No Name Hotel”. The atmosphere in the studio was described by contributor Evian Christ as “very focused,” and West once again brought in several close collaborators. Producer Hudson Mohawke noted the inclusive “group” atmosphere of the sessions, in which multiple contributors would work on similar pieces, with different elements ultimately selected from each. It was a lot of coming up with design, like solving riddles. If the song called for something aggressive, it was up to three or four people to design what in their head was the best solution for that aggression in that moment. Everyone would approach it in completely different ways, and ultimately, it would all be edited by Kanye himself.
In a weird way, he kind of produced it. Not only did he select it, but he stylized it. The record production is characterized as raw and dark. West maintains a stripped-down approach while continuing to use eclectic samples. Determined to “undermine the commercial,” several tracks were left off the finished product that were deemed too melodic or more in line with West’s previous material. West set parameters regarding sound and style, insisting that there be no “bass wobbles” reminiscent of dubstep. W writer Christopher Bagley reports that West’s creative process often bordered on perfectionist.
In March 2013, West described the album to Bagley as near completion, only to revise this statement one month later to ” only 30 percent complete. For several days in late May and early June 2013, West and a “rotating group of intimates, collaborators and hangers-on” holed up at Rubin’s Shangri-La Studio in Malibu in service of completing the record. Described as West’s most sonically experimental work, the album is driven by abrasive electronics while drawing from an array of industrial, punk and hip-hop subgenres. Yeezus is primarily electronic in nature, and boasts distorted drum machines and “synthesizers that sound like they’re malfunctioning, low-resolution samplers that add a pixelated digital aura to the most analog sounds. A sample of the opening track, “On Sight” exemplifies the album’s abrasive electronic music. Yeezus continues West’s practice of eclectic samples: he employs an obscure Hindi sample on “I Am a God”, and a sample of 1970s Hungarian rock group Omega on “New Slaves”.
The album’s second track “Black Skinhead” has alternately been called an industrial hip hop song and “a galloping punk-rap manifesto”. A video projection of “New Slaves” in Los Angeles in May 2013. On May 1, 2013, West used the social networking site Twitter to post a single message reading “June Eighteen”, leading several media outlets to speculate that the post referred to the release date of West’s upcoming album. The physical CD edition of Yeezus was released in a clear jewel box with no album artwork, reflecting the minimalist tone. Def Jam confirmed in late June 2013 that “Black Skinhead” would be serviced to American radio as the album’s first single on July 2, 2013 and that a music video for the track was being produced. It was officially released to radio in the United Kingdom on June 19.
On September 6, 2013, Kanye West announced The Yeezus Tour, a North American tour to take place between October 19 through December 7, 2013. Yeezus was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 84, based on 46 reviews. Yeezus was the most critically acclaimed album of 2013.