The Breeze: What Happened To Yeezus?
Killing The Breeze dissects Kanye’s Yeezus. We go through all ten tracks offering strong opinions on both the work and the man himself.
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
Yeezus is the sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist and producer, Kanye West. It was released on June 18, 2013 by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. The album began production in the living room of a loft space at a Paris hotel. West gathered various artists and close collaborators for work and production on the album, including Mike Dean and Daft Punk. Yeezus also features guest appearances from Assassin and King L, as well as previous collaborators, Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, Chief Keef, Kid Cudi, and Charlie Wilson. West enlisted the help of producer Rick Rubin only 15 days before its due date to strip down the record’s sound in favor of a more minimalist approach.
West was inspired by minimalism from design, namely architecture. He was particularly interested in the works of Le Corbusier and visited The Louvre several times while in Paris. Musically, Yeezus is dark and sonically experimental, combining elements of Chicago drill, dancehall, acid house, and industrial music. West continues his use of unconventional samples including-most notably-the vocal refrain from Nina Simone’s cover of “Strange Fruit.” Yeezus has no album artwork, and the physical CD edition of the album was released in a clear jewel box with a little more than a strip of red tape and sample credits. Initial promotion of Yeezus included worldwide video projections of the album’s music and live television performances; West opted to not release singles out of the album in the United States until July, with the song “Black Skinhead”. The song would be followed by “Bound 2”, which would be released as the album’s second single the following month.
The album received rave reviews from music critics who considered Yeezus among West’s best work and praised the different sound. However, it was met with mixed reactions from the public with divided opinions emerging after the album had an internet leak four days before release. Yeezus debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 327,000 copies in its first week of release, but sales soon diminished. It topped the charts of 30 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia. After less than two months of release, the album was certified gold by the RIAA and later platinum on January 8, 2014.