Grammys and platinum plaques haven’t made Kanye West lazy; in fact, he’s striving for more perfection. West, along with Jay-Z, premiered “Diamonds,” the first single from his upcoming Late Registration album, Wednesday on New York radio station Hot 97.
“The Roc is still alive every time I rhyme,” he says at the beginning of the record. He goes on to drop a litany of punch lines, rapping, “I realized that I arrived/ Because it takes more than a magazine to kill my vibe” and “All I need is y’all to pronounce my name/ It’s Kanye, but some of my plaques, they still say ’Kayne.’ ”
Jay told the station’s Angie Martinez that West mixed his record about 14 times before he felt comfortable enough to put it out.
West said “Diamonds” was inspired by memories of Jay-Z’s 2001 Blueprint Lounge tour and recollections of being a part of the Roc-A-Fella movement. He also said he’s still friends with former Roc CEO Dame Dash, whom he references in the song: “You know the next question, ’Yo, where’s Dame at?’/ This track’s the Indian dance to bring our reign back.”
Late Registration is due July 12, according to Kanye.