We're just over a week out from the release of Kanye West's much anticipated album Yeezus, but you would never know it. There are no singles, no music videos. There's barely even a cover for the album. And that's all on purpose.
During Kanye's 90-minute set at Governors Ball Sunday night (that went well over the 11 P.M. curfew), Yeezy took a few minutes out during his performance of Cruel Summer track "Clique" to yell-talk about his new record and why things are so different this time.
"You know with this album, we ain't drop no single to radio. We ain't got no big NBA campaign or something like that. Sh-t, we ain't even got no cover. We just made some real music."
"And you know, back when I used to make albums and sh-t, couple years ago..." Kanye continued, "We'd go away and work on the album for, like, five months or something. And then we'd always have to hold the albums until, like, August or September or until that perfect moment... 'Cause it means that you're gonna sell more and you'll get more audience and radio and sh-t. But honestly, at this point, when I listen to radio, that ain't where I wanna be no more... I could give a f-ck about selling a million records as long as I put out an album for the summer that you could rock to all motherfu-king summer... At this point I don't really give a f-ck about outside opinions. All I give a f-ck about [is] my clique." Pro segue.
But Kanye didn't keep all the new stuff to himself. Along with opening and closing his set with the high-octane Yeezus track "Black Skinhead" (in front of those same "Not For Sale" graphics we first saw on Saturday Night Live), he also performed "New Slaves" and premiered three never-before-heard songs from the upcoming album: "On Site," "I Am A God" and yet-to-be-titled third track. All three follow the super aggressive electronic/industrial bent of "Black Skinhead" and "New Slaves," which is a slightly jarring new direction for Yeezy... and his fans.
In between crowd and party favorites like "Can't Tell Me Nothing," "Power" and "All of the Lights," festivalgoers weren't quite sure how to interact with the new material. Do we dance to it? Not really. At least not yet. The most appropriate reaction was to just stand still and listen.
Lyrically, Kanye seems to have reached the apex of his ego. (At least let's hope?) If the title alone didn't give it away, "I Am A God" is about Yeezy's near immortality, proclaiming that until lightning strikes him dead, he is a god. Oh, and he's still richer than all y'all: "I just talked to Jesus / He said, 'What up, Yeezus?' / I said I'm just chillin' / Tryin' to stack all these millions." (Why doesn't he just get a bank account already? They'll do that for him.)
In all, Kanye performed 22 songs, all the way back to "Jesus Walks" and right up through his verse on Rihanna's "Diamonds."
Check out fan videos of "On Site," "I Am A God," and the third new Yeezus track below. And unfortunately, until the new album actually drops, this is all we're gonna get.
Plus, check out all the best photos from Governors Ball:
What kind of time warp?! '90s (and early 2000s) rock icons Fred Durst, Scott Weiland and Mark McGrath get photobombed by '70s icon Wayne Newton, aka Mr. Las Vegas. This should be all these guys' Christmas cards.