By Maurice Bobb
Kanye West may appear to be on the “No Plan, Plan” with the roll out of his sixth studio album, Yeezus, with the barely-there cover art, no radio single approach, but his out-of-the-box thinking has done more for the promotion of his album than radio play ever could. Case in point: In another bold move, Yeezy held an impromptu listening session of his highly-anticipated LP Wednesday (June 12) night at Art Basel in Switzerland.
According to the Daily Beast, ‘Ye was previewing some of the posh art fair’s exhibits when the mood to have a listening event struck him.
“I asked if they had any Rick Owens furniture in the show,” Kanye said. “Then I went to the gallery that had the Rick Owens furniture. And as I sat there, I thought, ‘Maybe it would be cool to play my album tonight, as it comes out on the 18th of June’…I feel almost like Steve Jobs giving one of those addresses right now.”
The “Black Skinhead” MC got the word out with the quickness via Twitter and his website and everyone who’s anyone—in Switzerland, of course—scrambled to the listening session at Design Miami in the Messeplatz.
NEW LINK @ KANYEWEST.COM
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) June 12, 2013
“I thought it was so important to get close to the artists who worked so hard on making a usable form of art—like this furniture right here, like everything that is in all these rooms that inspire us so much—and I fight in my position of being a very commercial celebrity boyfriend, I fight to push culture forward every chance I get,” he said. “And I only frown because paparazzi ask me dumbass sh-- all the time, and I think about changing the world, and I think about what I can do to make things better. And, without further ado, I want to play you guys my new album. It’s called Yeezus.”
The self-proclaimed “black new wave artist” then played songs from his new project from his laptop, even engaging in an a capella of “New Slaves” before tying in his place among the priceless art on display at Art Basel by comparing the creation of his music to the creation of art by luminaries such as Andy Warhol.
“What I want people to understand about sampling and producing is that it’s really similar to—and I know this is obvious what I’m going to say, because I’m a black guy so I’m gonna name the ‘most obvious artist in the world’—Warhol, but it’s very similar to the way Warhol would appropriate a Campbell’s Soup can is the way I would sonically appropriate a Ray Charles sample or a Michael Jackson sample. Right now it’s a fight against the separation and constant dumbing-down of culture, and I’m standing in the middle of it. So if you know what people say are my lowest moments, those moments where I sat and saw them try to dumb down culture, and I would not allow it to happen on my clock.”