Set for release on June 18th, Kanye West’s sixth studio album, Yeezus (Def Jam and GOOD Music), has been leaked four days early. In the follow-up to the critically acclaimed hip-hop opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye returns to a dark form and then some—the key difference being this album lacks the star-studded roster of guest verses. We at the Airspace have worked to single out the moments of brilliance in the oft-underrated lyrical workings of Mr. West.
But brace yourselves, vulgar imagery and words are ahead. Kanye insists on raw sexuality over the typical rapping about drugs, guns, materials, and money that his rapping counterparts. It’s not without effect and meaning, but it can be a little disturbing, however realistic.
We’ve also included some of our favorite user-generated album artwork inbetween posts. The goal of the minimalist accompanying artwork was to encourage fans to create their own and to see the CD for what it really is. Unfortunately, it was hard to find original credits for some of these images.
All lyrics courtesy of RapGenius.com
“Yeezy season approaching / Fuck whatever y’all been hearing / Fuck what, fuck whatever y’all been wearing / The monster about to come alive again.”
“Enter the kingdom / But watch who you bring home / They see a black man with a white woman at the top floor they gone come to kill King Kong.”
American cinema is notorious for its hesitancy about showing a black man and a white woman in a relationship, and when Hollywood does, that interracial relationship usually takes center stage. King Kong touched on a national consciousness with a long fear of black men “destroying the purity” of white women. Kanye sits at the top (see: Watch the Throne) with Kim Kardashian. Only time will tell if America sicks the biplanes on King Kan.
“I Am a God”
“I am a god / So hurry up with my damn massage / In a French ass restaurant / Hurry up with my damn croissants.”
Possibly the most quotable line of the album. Not the most technically skilled, but Kanye has already proven himself as the best in the rap game. Why not have a little fun? Anyway, our relationship with hip hop music is one in which we seek out the corny, cheesy, ghetto lines. It’s why mid-2000s Lil Wayne was one of the most infectious rappers of all time despite dumb wordplay. But, on the bright size, at least Kanye learned not to order fish filet while he’s goin gorillas in Paris. Try the local cuisine, man.
“I just talked to Jesus / He said, ‘What up Yeezus?’ / I said, ‘Shit I’m chilling / Trying to stack these millions’ / I know he the most high / But I am a close high.”
Jesus gives his tacit endorsement to this song and the album’s title. I might just like this line because Kanye released a video of him previewing these lines to Rick Rubin, who suggested “millions” as “more relatable” than billions. I guess when you speak with Christ on the regular, such minor details get lost.
“You see it’s leaders and it’s followers / But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower.”
Kanye’s false dichotomy turns the entire world into a sexual relationship. Cringe when you realize we’re the one swallowing his lines.
“Fuck you and your Hampton house / I’ll fuck your Hampton spouse / Came on her Hampton blouse / And in her Hampton mouth.”
Here he exercises righteous indignation at those profiting from consumerism, once again putting realistic, raw sexual energy over material pleasure. Ye looks good (and he knows it), but he’d rather pride himself on his sexual prowess than compare himself to old money or something corporate. If Kanye were in The Great Gatsby—scored by his friend Jay-Z—he would be a West-Egger.
“Hold My Liquor”
“Bitch I’m back out my coma / Waking up on your sofa.”
Kanye is back after his stretch of other projects. He was just hungover from the amazing work on 2010′s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He’s also so bad that you might as well have kicked him out of your bed, so he’s stuck on the sofa. Poor Yeezy.
“I’m in It”
“Eatin’ Asian pussy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce.”
This one was popular on Twitter as far as I could tell. Once again, the simple whimsy of it makes it so memorable.
“Uh, black girl sippin’ white wine / Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign.”
“Uh, my mind move like a Tron bike / Uh, pop a wheelie on the Zeitgeist / Uh, I’m finna start a new movement.”
Based on the enormous reaction to this leak, there’s no doubt that Mr. West has been doing donuts on the zeitgeist for years. The Tron bike is fast and futuristic; Kanye is leading the way.
“Blood on the Leaves”
Verse 3 is hands down the best on the album (though “I’m in It” obviously has some great lines), so I’m pulling two—let’s consider these a tie.
“I don’t give a damn if you used to talk to Jay-Z / He ain’t with you, he with Beyonce, you need to stop actin’ lazy / She Instagram herself like ‘Bad bitch alert’ / He Instagram his watch like ‘Mad rich alert’ / He only wanna see that ass in reverse.”
This is Jay’s only real appearance on the album, unfortunately. But it raises a good question: now that both Jay and Kanye are taken, what’s a girl to do but step aside?
“Now you sittin’ courtside, wifey on the other side / Gotta keep ‘em separated, I call that apartheid.”
Jay-Z and Beyonce are often found on the floor of NY basketball games. Jay’s got a face that only a few can love, but if he were a baller on the court, he might have to keep his main girl in the booth suite and his side girl on the floor.
“Star Wars fur, yeah I’m rockin’ Chewbacca.”
Remember when Kanye’s “Cold” verse from Cruel Summer drew the ire of PETA? Well he hasn’t stopped covering himself in out-of-this-world fur.
“Send It Up”
“She say ‘Can you get my friends in the club?’ / I say ‘Can you get my Benz in the club?’ / If not, treat your friends like my Benz / Park they ass outside ’til the evening end.”
West has a well-documented history of hating on girls for using his popularity to advance their friends or children. Also with his Benz. Maybe Ye should marry that car.
“Start a Fight Club, Brad reputation / I turnt the nightclub out of the basement.”
This is the most prescient and self-aware line of the album. With screams and raw realness, Kanye bombs the consumerist culture throughout the album, just like Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club. The dark sound of his songs is brought out of the underground with this release, and like what we saw in albums past, the rap game will probably follow Kanye’s lead on this one.
“After all these long ass verses / I’m tired, you tired, Jesus wept.”
I was pretty disappointed without the lack of a proper outro to this album, which is uncharacteristic for West. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t end it with the most potent line of all. Referring to the shortest verse of the Bible, John 11:35, Kanye closes his rapping with “Jesus wept.” Even Jesus is mourning the end of Yeezus. But Jesus teared up just before resurrecting his friend Lazarus, so who knows what’s in store for West.