By Gil Kaufman
"If you ever see someone standing next to me, [you] know that they're better than me at something," Kanye West told the audience crowded onto a loading dock at Milk Studios in New York on Monday night for an exclusive, spur-of-the-moment first listening party for his Yeezus album.
"The way we put this s--- together, all ya'll coming out here tonight, vibin' with us in the way this whole album's put together," he continued, talking about the producers he worked collectively with to make the songs without caring about what anyone on the outside had to say about it. "We just wanted to make the best product possible and this is just the beginning of an entirely new mentality of how we make music and records for the people."
If there was any doubt that "Yeezus Season" is upon us, 'Ye put that uncertainty to rest on Monday night during the listening party where he revealed his list of collaborators for next week's top-secret Yeezus release.
He played the album in its entirety during the party at Milk attended by Jay-Z and Beyoncé, where he talked about working on three or four songs with Daft Punk, as well as one that features both Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Chief Keef, called "Can't Handle My Liquor," according to Pitchfork.
'Ye also mentioned that Travi$ Scott, frequent collaborator Mike Dean and EDM producer (and G.O.O.D. Music family member) Hudson Mohawke pitched in.
"It's about delivering some s--- for ya'll to go to work to, to ride to, to listen to while ya'll workin' out," he said, continuing his rant from the Governors Ball festival over the weekend where he said that there were zero considerations about singles and radio hits.
Pitchfork also reported that one track blends Billie Holiday's classic "Strange Fruit" with TNGHT's "Higher Ground" and that famed record man Rick Rubin executive produced the album. Yeezus is scheduled for release on June 18. Kanye said the unconventional roll-out plan was actually inspired by the way Rubin did things back when he co-founded Def Jam Records in the 1980s. "Everything we did on this project … I was like, 'What would Rick Rubin do?'" he said.
He has, reportedly, filmed an "American Psycho"-themed video for one of the songs from the album that features Kardashian family friend Jonathan Cheban and Kourtney Kardashian baby daddy Scott Disick. Oh, and West also explained the controversial title of the album. "Simply put, West was my slave name and Yeezus is my god name."