A day after debuting his new single “New Slaves” by projecting its music video in 66 locations across the globe, Kanye West made his triumphant return to “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday night (May 18).
He performed that new cut and debuted an unreleased track, “Black Skinhead,” giving the TV audience a glimpse of what they can expect on the controversial rapper’s forthcoming LP.
West hit the stage just minutes after midnight to deliver the new tune. Backed by a live band and dressed in a studded black leather biker jacket and red Air Yeezy II’s, he let out screams over a sparse drum track and melody culled from Marilyn Manson’s 1996 hit “The Beautiful People.”
“From my theme song, my leather black jeans on/ My by any means on, pardon me getting my scream on,” he spit, while ghoulish faces flashed on the screen behind him. Another graphic that said “Not For Sale” flashed behind him repeatedly, as did clips that alluded to discounts and coupons. As the song ended, “Not For Sale” flashed across the screen again, as if to hammer home a not-so-subtle point.
The title of the unreleased song was confirmed by the “Saturday Night Live” Twitter account just minutes after it was performed. “That was just ‘Black Skinhead’ by @kanyewest. #SNL #SNLFinale,” the tweet read.Why Kanye West’s ‘New Slaves’ Reminds Us Of College Dropout.
West returned later in the show to perform “New Slaves.” Flanked by the same graphics from earlier, he ditched the jacket and instead held court in a simple open-chest V-neck and thick Cuban link chain. He stood center stage, clutching the mic with both hands tightly to deliver the song’s powerful lyrics .
“You see it’s broke n—a racism, that’s that ‘don’t touch anything in the store’/ And there’s rich n—a racism, that’s that ‘come in and buy more’/ What you want a Bentley, fur coat and diamond chain?/ All you blacks want all the same things,” West rhymed in a deliberate spoken-word cadence, which he clumsily fumbled repeatedly.
In the moments leading up to the “SNL” broadcast, Kim Kardashian posted a photo to her Instagram account that seemingly confirmed a poorly kept rumor: Kanye’s new record, Yeezus, would be dropping June 18. “#Yeezus #RedYeezy’s #SNL #Tonight #NewSlaves #YeezySeason #Donda #June18,” she wrote, along with a photo of the album’s packaging.