NEW YORK — Kanye West is nothing if not a showman, and on Tuesday, the rapper celebrated the release of his fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, with a performance that was as daring and dashing as it was fraught with traces of the petulant MC of the past.
Shortly after midnight, West took to the stage at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan accompanied by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and femcee/singer Teyana Taylor.
The trio launched into “Dark Fantasy,” the spirited opening number of ’Ye’s new set.
Sporting a skin-tight dress, Taylor admirably belted out the chorus to the track and stuck around to ride shotgun with the G.O.O.D Music chief.
“New York City, make some noise,” West told the gathering crowd after the opening selections. “Today, I’m gonna do My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
From there, West breezed through “Gorgeous,” “Power” and “All of the Lights,” the latter of which was a rumbling effort.
Nicki Minaj joined Yeezy on stage for some album-release unity when the DJ spun “Monster,” sans Jay-Z.
Rick Ross arrived onstage for the Bink-produced “Devil in a New Dress.”
When West teased the first few chords of “Runaway,” the crowd — which included Diddy, music executives Lyor Cohen and Sylvia Rhone, ?uestlove, comedian Aziz Ansari and Selita Ebanks — erupted with approval.
The dramatic rendition was easily the night’s highlight and featured artist Pusha T looked possessed on the microphone. Meanwhile, West was like a mad scientist pounding away on his MPC machine, creating musical backdrops to match almost each song.
After over an hour of performing, Yeezy closed the proceedings with a stirring, slowed-down rendition of the song “Lost in the World,” the song he’s slated to perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday .
He reappeared on stage shortly after for an encore and powered through brief versions of “Christian Dior Denim Flow” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”
Although he finished with “Good Life,” it may have been the defiance of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” that stuck with ’Ye after the performance, when he spoke to the crowd.
“As you know, it’s been an extremely hard year for me,” he began. “But getting back to music, G.O.O.D. Fridays, and the album … I never thought I’d say this, I wanna thank the magazines for perfect scores across the board. I always felt like I could do anything.
“To do 100,000 digitally,” Ye continued, remarking on his first day tally in sales from Monday. “And slated to do 600,000 the first week. I’m not here to do mother—-ing politics. I’m here to make music. I’m not here to talk in no interviews; no one ask me any stupid f—ing questions.”
Open the floodgates! It’s Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.