hmv.com presents... Albums Of 2015: #12 Kanye West
Every day during January we’re going to be previewing the albums that are going to be hitting the shelves in 2015. Most will definitely come out, some probably will, and some we really hope finally see the light of day (we’re looking at you Adele…). Today we're discussing the return of Kanye West and the highly-anticipated follow up to Yeezus.
A Little Background…
As far back as December 2013, just months after the release of Yeezus, rumours were circulating that Kanye was already heading back into the studio to begin work on its follow-up, starting with Q-Tip stating in an interview for Life + Times that he and Rick Rubin had been drafted in to produce Kanye's seventh album. Then, in January, a tweet surfaced from Yeezus co-producer Malik Yusef that read: “So @kanyewest said lets GO! So we're going back in!!!” (Whether that's as in addition to Q-Tip and Rubin or instead of, we're not sure...)
Following that, a number of people have claimed to be contributing to the album, including Young Thug, James Blake and Tyga to name a few. By July, Kanye was talking up a September release for the new album, telling GQ Magazine that "I was thinking it could somehow come out in June, like Yeezus, and just kill it for the summer. But then I’m like, I have to work on Adidas and be with my child."
Since then however things went a little quiet on the new music front, but there have been a few other snippets of info. In August an early demo of a new track called 'All Day' was leaked online (but has since been removed), and a month later the Trinidad-born rapper Theophilus London had tweeted to the effect that Kanye had played the new album in its entirety (three times, in fact) at a private party in Paris. There have also been rumours that the entire album was scrapped and Kanye started again, reworking the songs to make the new album “less beautiful”.
One thing we can say for sure though is that Yeezy has been working with Paul McCartney, with the duo surprise-releasing a new track called 'The Only One' on New Year's day, but it's unclear if this is a one-off or if Macca will also be appearing on the new album, or if that apperance could be in the form of the other track they are rumoured to have collaborated on, the amusingly titled 'Piss On Your Grave'.
What Will It Sound Like?
Malik Yusef (sort of) offered some insight on this back in October when he said that Kanye had 20 new songs for the new album, describing as being “like a pair of Timberlands; like how Timberlands are not quite leather and not quite suede.” Apart from the fact that this doesn't really mean anything, it's unclear whether it applies to the 'reworked' version or not, but we think what Yusef was getting at is that, like Yeezus, it's somewhere in between straight up hip-hop and something a bit more experimental.
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
Nothing has been confirmed on guests as yet beyond artists claiming to be involved, which includes the three mentioned above as well as DJ Mustard, 808n Mafia and Evian Christ. Yusef seems likely to be handling at least some of the production along with Kanye himself, and given the fact that Rick Rubin was involved at the later stages of Yeezus it's probable that he could figure again in some capacity.
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Although no title or release date has been confirmed yet, given that it was initially due last year we'd be very surprised if a new LP doesn't surface in the near future. Unless of course Kanye has decided he's now a classical composer, in which case we could be right back to square one...