On the heels of a heavily publicized Governor’s Ball performance in New York, Kanye West unveiled his ferocious new album Yeezus at a late night listening party at Milk Studios. With an audience including Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Q-Tip, West shared his heavily anticipated and superbly mysterious new album alongside projections both inside and outside of the building.
The unconventional listening party didn’t give out a tracklist to the audience members, but West did reveal a list of collaborators for the album. Daft Punk contributed to three or four songs, Justin Vernon and Chief Keef joined forces for “Can’t Handle My Liquor,” TNGHT’s “Higher Ground” is sampled alongside Billie Holiday’s grim tale of lynchings, “Strange Fruit,” and Rick Rubin executive produced the whole thing.
According to NME, West opened the party with a introductory speech, proclaiming that “If you want to sell more music you have to make better music.” West’s speech touched on his upbringing and self-realization, he’s the son of a Black Panther, his mother was arrested at sit-ins and he’s finally realized that “as a 36 year-old I’ve got to the point where I can really influence culture.” After the listening, West shed light on the album’s title, claiming that “West was my slave name, Yeezus is my god name.”
Yeezus is released on June 18 on Def Jam.
Watch Kanye’s post-listening speech below: