Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kanye West - "Black Skinhead" (2013)

"I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people: “This is the level that things could be at.” So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus."

Yeezus is the sixth solo studio album by American hip hop recording artist and producer Kanye West. It was released June 18, 2013, by Def Jam Recordings. The album was primarily recorded in Paris, with West enlisting various artists and close collaborators for work and production on the album. West enlisted the help of producer Rick Rubin a mere fifteen days shy of its due date to strip down the record's sound in favor of a more minimalist approach.

Musically, Yeezus is darker and sonically experimental, combining elements of Chicago drill, dancehall, acid house, and industrial music. Initial promotion of Yeezus included worldwide video projections of the album's music and live television performances. The album received rave reviews from music critics upon its release, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 selling 327,000 copies in its first week of release.

"I Am a God" was inspired by a diss from a major fashion designer, who informed West of his invitation to a widely anticipated runway show on the condition he agree to not attend other shows. "I'm in It" began with a different sample and melody, but West removed the sample and Rubin edited the track down from a six-minute arrangement. "Blood on the Leaves," which samples Nina Simone's 1965 rendition of "Strange Fruit" and was the first track in the first incarnation of the track list, is an example of West's signature dichotomy in which he melds the sacred and profane. "Strange Fruit", first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, brought the lynchings of black Americans to a "startling poignancy," creating "one of the most towering, important songs of the 20th century." West's anthemic re-telling instead details an MDMA-fueled hookup and the perils of fame.

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk are credited as co-writers and co-producers of "Black Skinhead".

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