In an unorthodox move, Kanye West debuted verses from three new songs a cappella for employees at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, yesterday. The rapper, who will reportedly release his fifth album this fall, performed a new poem called "Mama's Boyfriend" along with new tracks "My Chain Heavy," "Sweat on My Face" and "Lost in the World," Nah Right reports, all while standing on a folding table, without a microphone, in a room full of the social network's employees. No word why West opted to debut new material at this venue, but tweets prior to West's performance suggest that the rapper was there to meet with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.
"Many times in life I've had to deal with moments of doubt. And as it's been a minute since I've performed any fresh material in front of an audience, this could've been one of those moments… but it wasn't," West wrote on his blog in a letter addressed to the Facebook crew. "Your energy was a gift so electric, so genuine, that it really helped me give my best. The energy was so inspiring I had to keep going! I just hope you got as much from me as I got from you… which was everything! Love to all my fans, especially at Facebook."
Kanye kicked things off with what he called a "fun rap" before launching into the more "serious rap," which was highlighted by the racially charged "My Chain Heavy." "I keep that G.O.A.T. book on the Ottoman, and wrote hooks about slaves that were slaughtered in the eighteen-hundreds, you all forget that I got called 'nigga' on Twitter so many times, yo I lived that. Now I'm just trying to find where to raise my kids at," West — who faced a significant amount of racially tinged criticism after stealing the spotlight from Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs — raps on "My Chain Heavy." "This is the making of a masterpiece, so we broke out the chain and told the master, 'peace'."
Other than the explosive first single "Power," details are scarce about Kanye's new album. There's a rumored title (Good Ass Job), a rumored release date (September 14th) and a rumored track list that leaked earlier this month. That unconfirmed track list is looking legitimate, though, as all three of the songs West performed at Facebook appeared on the list, along with the "Dark Fantasy" song Kanye briefly teased on his revamped KanyeUniverseCity website.
Watch a few more verses from West's Facebook performance as well as his poem "Mama's Boyfriend":
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies