Kanye West debuted his highly anticipated eighth studio album, Ye, at a star-studded listening party Thursday night in Wyoming.
Ye’s guests include Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremih, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson and Willow Smith. The seven-song album, West’s first full-length release since 2016’s The Life of Pablo, runs 23 minutes, making it the shortest LP in West’s catalog.
On Thursday, West flew out hundreds of journalists, celebrities and music industry vets to Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s Diamond Cross Ranch for a massive listening party that included Chris Rock, Nas, Kid Cudi, Jonah Hill, Lil Yachty and 2 Chainz among many others.
Attendees and viewers of West’s livestream heard references to Stormy Daniels, West’s controversial comments about slavery being a choice (“They said build your own, I said, ‘How, Sway?’”/I said slavery’s a choice, they said, ‘How, Ye?’”) and Russell Simmons’ rape allegations. (“Russell Simmons want to pray for me, too,” West rhymes. “Ima pray for him ’cause he got Me Too’d.”) One track includes a West verse written by Nicki Minaj that includes a voicemail from Minaj about writing the verse.
On Friday morning, West made the album available on all major streaming services alongside the cover art: a photo of a Wyoming sunset with the words “I hate being bi-polar it’s awesome” in neon green atop it. “Kanye shot the album cover on his iPhone on the way to the album listening party,” Kim Kardashian tweeted Friday morning.
This is the first project West has released following a series of controversies stemming back to late 2016, when he cancelled the closing leg of his Saint Pablo tour, met with President-Elect Trump ahead of his inauguration and was subsequently hospitalized. West has returned to the spotlight in recent months, beginning with a return to Twitter, his social media platform of choice. Ye is the second in series of five albums from G.O.O.D. Music that West plans on producing and releasing weekly from May to June. Each will be seven songs long. Pusha-T’s Daytona, released last Friday, was the first in the series and is already racking up praise as the rapper’s best album to date.
Since announcing Ye, West has reiterated his support for Donald Trump, and sparked outrage when he mused out loud during a TMZ telecast whether slavery was a choice. Most recently, West was brought into the developing beef between Drake and West’s labelmate Pusha-T, when Drake claimed to ghostwrite for West on his recent “Duppy Freestyle.”
Kanye West – Ye Track List
1. “I Thought About Killing You”
3. “All Mine”
4. “Wouldn’t Leave”
5. “No Mistakes”
6. “Ghost Town”
7. “Violent Crimes”