March 30, 2016


The Complete Guide to Kanye West's New Album 'Turbo Grafx 16'

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3

Update (3/30): Migos member Quavo posted an all-star studio pic simply captioned "TURBO." It's got his bandmates plus Big Sean, Vic Mensa, Lil Yachty and a creepin' Kanye West in the back. Definitely further evidence that a Life of Pablo–esque amount of collaborators are in the mix this time, too.

Check out the pic, then read on for everything we know about Turbo Grafx 16:


Feb. 14, 2016: The Life of Pablo, Kanye West's nearly three-years-awaited seventh album, releases exclusively on Tidal. Notably absent are 2015 singles "Only One," "All Day" and "FourFiveSeconds." (Read the 35 best lyrics right here.)

Feb. 15: 'Ye says he's recorded 40 songs with Kendrick Lamar and 40 songs with Young Thug, adding, "I got more songs than I got old pictures." He also says he, Drake and Future "all got new shit together that's gonna drop."

Feb. 18: Nearly a dozen TLOP demos, alternate takes and unfinished tracks—including "Fall Out of Heaven," featuring Bon Iver and The-Dream—emerge online. They are pulled from most sources within a day.

Feb. 23: In an appearance at an L.A. club, Kanye debuts a new seven-minute song possibly titled "Closest Thing to Einstein." It samples Jay Z's "Where I'm From" and seems to feature Sampha, who sang on Drake's "Too Much."

Feb. 24: In the middle of a lengthy Twitter attack on the GRAMMYs ("You like your black people a certain way"; "We need to see Young Thug at the Grammys. Not just me and Jay in a suit"), Kanye announces that he'll release a new album this summer.

Feb. 27: We get the title and a little background:

The video game console, made by Hudson Soft and NEC, debuted in Japan in 1987 and North America in '89. Its contemporaries were primarily the Sega Genesis and Super NES.

Based on how LP7's name changed from So Help Me God to Swish to Waves to The Life of Pablo, it'd be smart not to get too cozy with Turbo Grafx 16 as a title.

Feb. 29: Kanye West's longtime barber/circle of trust member Ibn Jasper posted an Instagram shot featuring Kid Cudi and frequent producer collaborators Plain Pat and Mike Dean. The caption says it's "day 1" for the Turbo Grafx 16 album:

March 2: Kanye West tweeted a screenshot of his computer screen, one showing him listening to Sufjan Stevens' tune “Death with Dignity." We're guessing he's sampling or pulling inspiration from Sufjan, who is the master of the "Hotline Bling" cover.

March 3: Kanye producer/live musician Mike Dean has Instagrams two pics of Turbo Graf 16 #day4. They've got Kid Cudi, Plain Pat and Tha Dogg Pound veteran Daz Dillinger. (There's also a video of Anthony Kilhoffer fucking around with the Life of Pablo song "Waves" on an acoustic guitar, if you need that.) Check out the photos:


Hang tight...


Kid Cudi: Though he left G.O.O.D. Music in 2013, the 808s & Heartbreak power player has continued working with Yeezy, most recently on The Life of Pablo's "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" and "Waves."

Plain Pat: The longtime Yeezy/Drake/Kid Cudi affiliate scored production credits on four TLOP tracks, including the epic opener "Ultralight Beam."

Mike Dean: The GRAMMY-winning producer and multi-instrumentalist has worked with Kanye on every album since Graduation and served as his live keyboardist and guitarist on multiple tours.


Kendrick Lamar: If K.Dot and 'Ye really have 40 songs in the bank, it'd be silly for Turbo Grafx 16 to not feature at least one.

Young Thug: See above.

Ty Dolla $ign: The L.A. singer/rapper was a key presence on Pablo and seems like a go-to guy for 2016 Kanye.

Chance the Rapper: Odds seem high that the Chicago 22-year-old will drop his super-long-awaited third mixtape somewhere in the vicinity of Turbo Grafx 16, making a second straight collaboration a no-brainer. Another vote of confidence for Chance: He's the first rapping voice on The Life of Pablo.

Caroline Shaw: The Pulitzer-winning composer/vocalist seems like one of Kanye's major new muses, appearing thrice on TLOP, most memorably as the haunting voice that makes "Wolves" so spectacular. She also sings on an unreleased version of "Only One" that soundtracks the trailer for Kanye's video game of the same name.

Desiigner: The latest G.O.O.D. Music signee, an 18-year-old Brooklyn native, appears twice on Pablo; his newness to the crew and that of-the-moment, Future-y sound makes him a shoo-in.

The Weeknd: Kanye tweeted in August 2015 that the Canadian crooner is one of his favorite artists. 'Ye produced the Beauty Behind the Madness track "Tell Your Friends," rapped his own freestyle over it, then duetted with Abel on the Life of Pablo standout "FML." We suspect their working relationship has just begun.

Frank Ocean: Ocean has appeared on 'Ye's last three releases. ("No Church in the Wild" and "Made in America" on Watch the Throne; "New Slaves" on Yeezus; "Wolves" on TLOP.) No artist is a better bet for a Kanye album cameo right now.

Future: Sorely missed on Pablo, Hendrix appearing on the next record would surprise exactly no one.

Drake: See above.


Stay tuned!


Summer 2016