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The Internet was abuzz on Friday when Kanye West’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Yeezus, leaked.
Now, the Kanye that fans know and love (and haters love to hate) would be expected to fly off the handle about the security slip-up, offering a plethora of headline-worthy sound bites. But the Yeezus of today may be taking a more zen approach, while still offering headline-worthy sound bites.
At a recent listening party in New York City, where Yeezy previewed his new album in full, the rapper readily allowed attendees to record and share anything and everything they deemed worthy. According to a report on Mashable, West’s label allegedly said they “didn’t have any qualms with the music leaking.”
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Even West took the mic to tell revelers that “I have this new strategy. It’s called no strategy.”
The artist said, “This album is about giving. This whole process is all about giving no f—-s at all.”
Indeed. ‘Ye has opted for a new process with his latest, forgoing previous precautionary measures such as limiting the amount of people working on the album and storing the files on secure external hard drives, while avoiding file transfers via email.
“The whole way this album was put together, the amount of producers that came together for it, and the way we worked on this s— really collectively, collaboratively, we really didn’t give a f— what nobody else said — outside looking in or anything. We just wanted to make the best product possible,” West said at the event, as reported by Mashable.
Rather than abide by standard industry practices, including releasing a lead single to radio, West says his plan for selling more music is “called make better music.”
And he’ll likely get his wish. Early projections from Billboard suggest that West’s latest could sell half a million copies in its first week on the market.
Several critics have weighed in on the album thus far, and while reviews generally skew positive, few appear to be raves. It appears that no one can rave about Kanye quite like Kanye raves about Kanye.
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“It’s definitely agro and raw, though those sounds tend to take up the album’s first half,” writes Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly. “The B-side, honestly, sounds a lot more like the Kanye we’re used to: Unfiltered, internal, and funny.”
“If the provocation costs him some fans, then so be it because Kanye West has emphatically rejected the idea of making another slick hip-hop record precisely because it’s what has become expected of him. It’s not quite godlike, but Yeezus certainly feels like it was created by a higher power,” says The Independent’s Hardeep Phull.
Heavy.com’s Ian Kar rates the album 4.5 out of 5, noting: “Solid all around, but a couple of duds keep it from excellence.”
Yeezus will be officially released on Tuesday, June 18, but first the rapper will preview the album for Los Angeles reporters on Friday night. In explaining the album’s title, West reportedly said: “West was my slave name. Yeezus is my god name.”
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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