Last Saturday night, Sydney-siders were treated to brand new material from Kanye West as part of an innovative launch campaign for the superstar rapper’s new studio album.
The hip hop artist’s face was projected onto buildings in 66 locations across the globe on the 18th May, performing brand new song ‘New Slaves’, taken from his forthcoming studio album, with the controversial rapper tweeting ahead of the worldwide launch, “New song and visual from my new album being projected tonight across the globe on 66 buildings…”
A map on KanyeWest.com revealed that Sydney was one of several international cities treated to West’s visage, with the ‘New Slaves’ projection first airing in Paddington’s Oxford St at 8.15pm before being screened again several times across the night in popular CBD areas such as Darlinghurst, George Street, and Bondi Junction.
It wasn’t long before fan footage of the ‘New Slaves’ projection turned up online, demonstrating a darker, angrier new direction for Mr. West’s sixth solo album, featuring the main lyrical hook: “You see it’s leaders and there’s followers/But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower.”
The rapper’s much-hyped appearance on the Ben Affleck-hosted season finale of Saturday Night Live saw him performing both ‘New Slaves’ as well as airing another new track, ‘Black Skinhead’, featuring screaming vocals, fast agitated rhymes, and pounding drum parts sampling Marilyn Manson single ‘The Beautiful People’; all against projected images of snarling dogs and various pricing slogans (most prominently, ‘Not For Sale’).
The lyrics to ‘Black Skinhead’ were later posted on West’s Twitter account (and can be viewed below), again showing the rapper’s darker, racially-charged lyrical turn: “You see a black man with a white woman/at the top floor they come to kill King Kong/Middle America packed in/came to see me in my black skin.”
Both ‘New Slaves’ and ‘Black Skinhead’ will feature on Kanye West’s new album, titled Yeezus and due June 18th through Def Jam Records, according to Pitchfork. The artwork for Yeezus has also turned up online courtesy of Kanye’s girlfriend Kim Kardashian sharing an Instagram of a CD with the hashtag #Yeezus from backstage at Saturday Night Live.
Yeezus is Kanye West’s first official solo release since 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and his 2011 team-up with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne as well as his 2012 GOOD Music release Cruel Summer.
The new album is rumoured to feature collaborations and appearances from Odd Future, Skrillex, Chief Keef, Young Chop, TNGHT, and Daft Punk, who confirmed they were working with the rapper in a recent Rolling Stone interview promoting the release of their own blockbuster release, Random Access Memories.
“It was very raw: he was rapping – kind of screaming primally, actually,” said Thomas Bangalter of the new track they’d worked on, while Daft Punk partner Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo remarked of his new musical approach, “Kanye doesn’t give a fuck.”
Forthcoming Splendour In The Grass act, Frank Ocean, was also rumoured to feature on Kanye West’s latest, while none other than the RnB storyteller’s mother, Katonya Breaux Riley, has all but confirmed that it is Ocean’s vocals that are heard in the second of half of ‘New Slaves’:
What'd you think about the new Kanye video? Recognize voice at the end?…
— katonya breaux (@katonya) May 18, 2013