If anything, the stark, raw album art for Kanye West’s album ye that dropped today is particularly fitting for a past few months of speculation and news-making. “I hate being Bi-Polar. It’s awesome,” reads the cover.
It’s his first full-length project since 2016’s Life of Pablo, and the seven short tracks on ye talk about everything from mental health to Kim Kardashian West’s reaction to his declaration that slavery was a choice.
“They say, “Build your own,” I said, “How, Sway?/I said, “Slavery a choice,” they say, “How, Ye?”/Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day/Now I’m on fifty blogs gettin’ fifty calls/Wife calling screaming saying we’re about to lose it all I had to calm her down ‘cos she couldn’t breathe/I told her she could leave me now but she wouldn’t leave,” he rapped. “This is what they mean for better or for worse huh?”
A listening party took place last night in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where West reportedly worked on his ninth album. A group of handpicked celebrities and media members attended the party, like Big Sean, Jonah Hill, Pusha T, and Chris Rock, who introduced the rapper saying, “Remember this rap music, hip-hop music, is the first art form created by free black men. And no black man has taken more advantage of his freedom than Kanye West,” adding, “Listen without prejudice.”
Guests on the LP include Nicki Minaj, Jeremih, Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. West covers a lot of territory on this album, from Tristan Thompson cheating on Khloé Kardashian to Russell Simmons, who recently got accused of sexual misconduct. He also confirmed he’s bipolar, proclaiming it “ain’t no disability, I’m a superhero.”
Jon Caramanica of the New York Times painted a particularly poignant picture of last night’s party in Jackson Hole. Describing West sitting at a local bar, Caramanica wrote, “He posed for pictures with locals, sat and talked to Big Sean for a bit, and generally played the part of guy in a bar, just like everyone around him. And on this night, in this room, America looked like it might be something great after all.”