Whether on his Twitter or in interviews (or on stage at the VMAs), Kanye West has never exactly been shy about stating his opinions. So it was something of a letdown that his half-hour-long live chat on Ustream Thursday afternoon wasn't more controversial. Sure, he gave up some details about his forthcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and showed off the album's impressive artwork — a dark-red gatefold with lots of gold ink, and has a die-cut square as its cover with five separate gold inserts with artwork that can serve as different covers (the was pixilated)—but if viewers were expecting fireworks, they were disappointed.
Wearing a blue jacket and a grey shirt, Kanye was seen hovering over a computer screen in a brightly lit office, and was joined in the middle of the session by rappers Cyhi Da Prince, Big Sean and (via conference call) Pusha T, all of whom contributed to the album.
Asked several times about the album's guests, Kanye listed "a bunch of legends" including "the RZA, Q-Tip, Rick Ross ... Nicki Minaj, Elton John, Fergie, No ID — I don't wanna give everything away, there's a couple of surprises on there, even with people doing their best to leak it."
He continued: "It's just amazing to be in the studio, say, with the RZA because of how much Wu-Tang affected me as a child. I just took the album as an opportunity to get close to the legends of the game. He came down not just to put beats down but to give me some inspiration."
Later, he singled out "Blame Game," featuring John Legend, as his favorite track on the album, and noted that the final versions of songs on the LP are "extremely different" from versions that were leaked.
Asked about his forthcoming album with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, he skimped on details but did say, "It's coming soon, we're gonna do another Ustream for that, it's gonna be early next year."
He did, however, offer some clues about what his live shows might look like. "There's nothing more I can do: I'm ordering 30 ballerinas from overseas, I've got these all-red outfits, it's hard out here! I'm just trying to take it to another level."
A hard-hitting question came toward the end of the interview from a reporter from The Source: Does Kanye think he's "pandering too much to the mainstream media" by sympathizing with George Bush and Taylor Swift?
Kanye didn't rise to the bait, saying simply, "If I thought that, I wouldn't have been doing it."