We are currently living in a world where any second Kanye West could spontaneously drop his 7th album. It could be any moment. You could be sleeping, or on a run, or in a park or a Trader Joe’s line, or maybe playing with your little baby cousin who doesn’t know the first thing about music, and Yeezus 2 could come out. Just drop, out of the blue. This is quite a world we live in.
I’m not exactly sure if we’re officially calling it “a Beyonce” but Kanye has reportedly made it clear that when his album does come out, it will do so without any notice. Of course, it’s not exactly “a Beyonce” because we know it’s coming, just not when, or from what planet. But it sounds like we’re getting close. According to Theophilus London an initial recording of the album is done. He and “20 people got drunk with babes” (are the babes included in the 20?) and moshed to it three times last month. Sounds cool.
While early reports suggested a fall release, we can assume Kanye isn’t going to release an album if it isn’t a work of perfection, and that means if it’s not ready in the fall it isn’t perfect, or to borrow a Kanye-ism, “it ain’t ralph tho” yet. But still, we are led to believe that when the album does drop, it will do so without warning. Which is why I wake up everyday with a sense of vigor, purpose. Each day could be the day. The air feels, I don’t know, more important — more than a conduit of oxygen allowing me to breath and talk and live — a speaker waiting to be plugged in.
Maybe we won’t get the album all at once. Who could forget G.O.O.D. Fridays, when Kanye released a new song every Friday leading up to his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. We’ve already heard a cell phone recording version of “All Day,” which even with awful quality is still one of the ten best rap songs of 2014. A CDQ leak of “All Day” could hold us over until the New Year. Maybe we could make it to Christmas.
In terms of what the album, when it does drop, will sound like, we can only rely on the testimony and evidence. The first is from Malik Yusef, who in October told Rolling Stone that the album is “like a pair of Timberlands; like how Timberlands are not quite leather and not quite suede.” Cool, yeah, I’ll take that. But there’s also some hard evidence by way of Pusha T, who just last week released a new Kanye-produced track called “Lunch Money” which sounds like an orgy between an arcade game, a helicopter, and an alien. Coupled with Pusha’s ability to turn the intensity up to 11, it’s an amazing track and a clear descendant of last year’s “Numbers on the Board,” another Kanye-produced helping of pure, triple-distilled fire.
Perhaps the most frustrating part is that there is nothing you can do to prepare for the moment. When Yeezus leaked a week early in the Summer of 2013, I was out getting lunch with fellow interns and was forced to wait four eternities for everyone to finish their bento box. I refuse to be in a similar situation again. Which is why I rarely stray from a wifi connection and keep a KTT tab open at all times. I haven’t taken a lunch away from my desk in months. It’s all part of the ride, the magic of Kanye. It could be released on New Years Eve, or 4am on a Wednesday because he’s in Paris or Dubai, or Mars — all the more reason to stay woke.
But while we wait for the destination to arrive, this journey, this wait, is nothing short of captivating. Every day it doesn’t arrive the building excitement becomes louder. It’s a fine wine, growing ever the more expensive as it ages. We are living in great times. And soon, with a new Kanye album, we will be living in even greater ones.