Kanye West’s new album won’t hit stores until November 16th, the rapper revealed yesterday, but he’s dropping new details about his fifth disc left and right. Last night, during a surprise performance at a New York club, the MC debuted a new track, “Mama’s Boyfriends,” which borrows a piano riff from Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out.” It was played, last night, by John Legend. (Interestingly enough, when Kanye visited the Rolling Stone offices two weeks ago, he told us he couldn’t listen Joel’s song “Big Shot.” “It just makes me cringe, like, ‘Aw man, this is really about me,'” he said, referring to his infamous incident with Taylor Swift.) Check out video of Kanye’s new song above.
Yesterday, during a visit to New York hip-hop station Hot 97, Kanye West also delivered a brand new song “See Me Now,” featuring Beyoncé on the chorus. (Download the track here.) “Lyrically, can’t none of y’all murder ‘Ye, cuz y’all raps ain’t got no vertebrae,” West raps on the track, which was co-produced by West, No ID and Lex Luger and also features the Gap Band crooner “Uncle” Charlie Wilson. Kanye also revealed on air that his still-untitled fifth album, featuring “See Me Now,” would be released on November 16th.
West played “See Me Now” during his recent Rolling Stone visit, but without Beyoncé on the chorus. According to Nah Right, West and Beyoncé completed the track in the studio yesterday at 5 a.m., with West quickly putting the finishing touches on it before its debut on Hot 97’s Angie Martinez Show. Jay-Z also reportedly took part in the late night studio session, laying down a verse for the “Power” remix, rumored for release later this week.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z aren’t West’s only collaboraters on the album: Indie-folk singer Justin Vernon of Bon Iver appears on “Lost in the World.” West told Rolling Stone that he flew Vernon to the Hawaii studio where the new disc was being cut, and had him rerecord the vocals from Bon Iver’s Auto-Tune experiment “Woods,” from the Blood Bank EP. Kanye first heard “Woods” when Ed Banger Records boss Pedro Winter played West the track and talked about his plan to sample it. West asked if he could use “Woods” instead, and quickly moved to get Bon Iver in the studio. “I called [Vernon] and we ended up becoming like really good friends, playing basketball together everyday, and going into the back studio and just record his parts,” West told RS. He’s similar to me, like where he just does shit just so people would be like, ‘Oh shit how did you do that? How did that happen?’ He’s just a really cool guy to be around.” Vernon was equally thrilled about the collaboration. In an interview with Pitchfork, the songwriter says he added vocal overdubs to ten other tracks. “I came back a few weeks later and it was the same kind of thing, throwing ideas around — there are a bunch of other songs I’d just throw down on, write a little hook, whatever. In the studio, he was referencing Trent Reznor, Al Green, the Roots — the fucking awesomest shit. It made total sense to me.”