A designer has revealed that one of the most iconic albums in Kanye West’s discography almost had a very different, and potentially controversial moniker.
Back in the early ’10s, Kanye West was in the middle of a creative purple patch. With the controversies of the ’00s behind him, the hip-hop icon entered the new decade by releasing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which remains the only record from the last ten years to be given a perfect score from Pitchfork.
With praise heaped upon him, it was going to be hard to top this effort, so when he was gearing up to release 2013’s Yeezus, Kanye recruited iconic hip-hop and metal producer Rick Rubin to strip the record down into the barebones, industrial behemoth it remains today.
One of his most celebrated and critically acclaimed records, much of the success of Yeezus came from Kanye’s give-no-fucks approach to its composition, recording, and artwork, with grandiose claims of being a god appearing in both song titles and even the record title itself.
However, it turns out that the entire record might have had an entirely different impact had it gone by its original name.
Taking to Instagram recently, graphic designer Joe Perez shared a few pre-design concepts for the record, which ultimately boasted a clear CD jewel case and an orange sticker on its side.
Interestingly though, Perez also noted that he had crafted these ideas back when the record was originally titled Thank God For Drugs.
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Check out the concept artwork for Yeezus:
As Genius points out though, this actually confirms a rumour that many fans of Kanye had heard for quite some time, with a number of social media users revealing claims prior to release that the record would either be titled Thank God For Drugs or Black American Psycho.
Although we’re glad that Kanye West ended up settling on Yeezus and giving up on Thank God For Drugs, we can’t help but imagine the reception the record would have received with Black American Psycho as its title.
With tunes like ‘Black Skinhead’, ‘Blood On The Leaves’, and ‘New Slaves’ in the mix, the title may have helped further the message that Kanye had been trying to convey with its release, and could have served as an amazing statement for his work.
While we might never know, we have however seen the artist do a 180-degree turn of sorts, with 2019 seeing the abandonment of a record ostensibly titled Yandhi in favour of a new gospel album titled Jesus Is King, and an album by his Sunday Service choir titled Jesus Is Born.
Whether or not we’ll ever see Kanye return his former glory of records like Yeezus remains to be seen, but we’re assuming he’s likely thanking God he didn’t go with Thank God For Drugs as its title.