by Kanye WestKanye West


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Everyone professionally involved with the creation of Kanye West's sixth solo effort was sworn to secrecy, and with no preorders allowed, plus the news that producer Rick Rubin was still tinkering with tracks seven days prior to the drop, this instant, no-singles, anti-hype album got pre-release hyped on an Olympic scale. Think of the roll-up as a revolutionary blow against the empire or the supernova ego of West in full effect, and while it's probably a little of both, Yeezus the album is a lot of both, with good taste and bad taste both turned up to 11. This aggro-industrial earthquake with booming bass and minimal synths balances groundbreaking hip-hop lyrics ("New Slaves" is a bizarre, layered concept clash where high fashion, slavery, and "I'd rather be a dick than a swallower" all collide) with punkish, irresponsible blast-femy (during the draggy, trap track "I'm in It," West's melodious and melancholy voice shouts its dreams to the multitude, pleading "Your titties, let 'em out, free at last/Thank God almighty, they free at last" as if civil rights and booty calls were equally noble quests), and it all works in an astonishing, compelling manner. It's as if West spent the last year listening exclusively to Death Grips and Chief Keef and all the political, social, and musical contradictions became his muse, inspiring moments like the Keef and Bon Iver meet-up that fuels the mile-high hangover number "Hold My Liquor." "Blood on the Leaves" is recklessly bold as it uses Nina Simone's performance of "Strange Fruit" under its snide tale of ex-girlfriends, groupies, and date rape drugs; then there's the obviously volatile "I Am a God" ("Hurry up with my damn massage!/Hurry up with my damn ménage!"), which still outdoes its provocative title with a swelled-head manifesto plus an unexpected, Magic-Mike-meets-Aphex-Twin boom production courtesy of Daft Punk. The closing beauty called "Bound 2" finds veteran singer Charlie Wilson reuniting with that Gap Band bassline but in chilly, new wave surroundings, but the most spellbinding juxtaposition on the album comes on first as claustrophobic electro-clasher "On Sight" offers "Black dick all up in your spouse again/And I know she like chocolate men/Got mo' n*ggas off than Cochran" -- stunning because Kanye is family now with the OJ Simpson trial's "Dream Team," seeing as how he's dating Kim of the Kardashian family and the couple welcomed a child three days before the album's release. Coming from the man who jumped on-stage and grabbed Taylor Swift's VMA award, or called the American President a racist during a nationally televised charity event, this angry, cathartic, and concise album (punkishly running 40 minutes), and its unconventional road to release seems like a personal quest for the next provocative, headline-making, and unforgettable fix. That's an unfathomable thing for most and irritating for many, but it's Kanye's unbelievable reality, so complaining about Yeezus being unrelatable is like complaining the sky is untouchable. At least he has decided to indulge his giant hunger with the help of art, and if anything, this is the moment he becomes a swashbuckling Salvador Dali figure, chopping down all that's conventional with highly imaginative work and crass, attention-grabbing attitude. Unlike Dali's separate delivery of the two, Yeezus is an extravagant stunt with the high-art packed in, offering an eccentric, audacious, and gripping experience that's vital and truly unlike anything else.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/18/2013
Label: Def Jam
UPC: 0602537432134
catalogNumber: 001865302
Rank: 1797

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kanye West   Primary Artist
Alvin Fields   Choir Director
Mike Dean   Bass,Guitar
Charlie Wilson   Vocals
Ken Lewis   Vocals
Dylan Wissing   Drums
Gloria Ryann   Choir, Chorus
Justin Vernon   Vocals
Tammy Infusino   Vocals
Frank Ocean   Vocals
Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney   Cello
John Morgan   Choir, Chorus
Carmen Roman   Choir, Chorus
Chief Keef   Vocals
Natalis Ruby Rubero   Choir, Chorus
Sean Drew   Choir, Chorus
Ronnie Artis   Choir, Chorus
Jessenia Peña   Choir, Chorus
K Nita   Choir, Chorus
Timeka Lee   Choir, Chorus
Matt Teitelman   Percussion
Lorraine Berry   Choir, Chorus
Crystal Brun   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Ronnie Self   Composer
Clifton Bailey   Composer
Mike Dean   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation,Additional Production
Keith Elam   Composer
Mike Levy   Composer
Rick Rubin   Executive Producer
Charlie Wilson   Composer
Moses Davis   Composer
Colin York   Composer
Daft Punk   Producer
Ken Lewis   Engineer,Choir Production,Sound Creation
Kenny Lattimore   Composer
Carlos "6 July" Broady   Producer
Andrew Dawson   Engineer
Thomas Bangalter   Composer
Marlon Williams   Composer
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo   Composer
Andre Harris   Composer
Harvel Hart   Composer
Robert Dukes   Composer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Anthony Kilhoffer   Engineer
Che Pope   Composer,Programming,Producer,Executive Producer,Additional Production
88-Keys   Additional Production
Che Smith   Composer
Jill Scott   Composer
Vidal Davis   Composer
Chris Martin   Composer
R.D. Burman   Composer
Lewis Allen   Composer
Uri Djemal   Choir Arrangement
John Stephens   Composer
Bob Massey   Composer
Terese Joseph   Administration
Eric Wong   Marketing
Brent Kolatalo   Engineer
Izvor Zivkovic   Management
Lupe Fiasco   Composer,Additional Production
Eric Danchick   Additional Production
Carol Corless   Package Production
Rahul Dev Burman   Composer
Justin Vernon   Composer
Ab-Liva   Composer
Anand Bakshi   Composer
Brodinski   Producer,Additional Production
Noah Goldstein   Programming,Engineer,Additional Production
Justin Saunders   Art Direction
Anna Adamis   Composer
Hudson Mohawke   Programming,Producer
Gesaffelstein   Producer,Additional Production
Scott Mescudi   Composer
Lowell Dunbar   Composer
Kevin Hansford   Composer
Norman Whiteside   Composer
Terrence Thornton   Composer
Alejandro Ghersi   Composer
Brenna Chase   Management
Cydel Young   Composer
Tony Williams   Composer
Benji B   Additional Production
Matthew Williams   Art Direction
Lunice   Producer
Larry Griffin   Composer
Ben Bronfman   Composer,Producer
Dupree Kelly   Composer
Evian Christ   Producer
Al'Terik Wardrick   Composer
Christopher Breaux   Composer
Ross Birchard   Composer
Keith Cozart   Composer
Tyree Pittman   Composer
Travis Scott   Programming,Additional Production
Arca   Additional Production
Gabor Presser   Composer
Elon Rutberg   Composer
Derrick Watkins   Composer
Sakiya Sandifer   Composer
Louis Johnson   Composer
Josh Leary   Composer
Jeffrey Ethan Campbell   Composer
Carvin Haggins   Composer
Dom Solo   Producer
Ackeejuice Rockers   Additional Production
Malik Jones   Composer
Jack Donaghue   Additional Production
Joe Perez   Graphic Design
Sham Joseph   Additional Production

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