Yeezus

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Yeezus
Studio album by Kanye West
Released June 18, 2013 (2013-06-18)
Recorded 2012 − June 2013; No Name Hotel (Paris), Studios de la Seine (Paris), Germano Studios (New York City), Gee Jam Studios (Port Antonio), Real World Studios (Box, Wiltshire), Shangri-La (Malibu)
Genre Hip hop
Length 40:01
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Producer Kanye West, 88-Keys, Ackee Juice Rockers, Arca, Benji B, Carlos Broady, Brodinski, Ben Bronfman, Evian Christ, Eric Danchick, Daft Punk, Mike Dean, Dom Solo, Jack Donoghue, Gesaffelstein, Noah Goldstein, Lunice, Lupe Fiasco, Hudson Mohawke, No ID, Che Pope, Rick Rubin (exec.), S1, Travis Scott, Sham Joseph
Kanye West chronology
Cruel Summer
(2012)
Yeezus
(2013)
Singles from Yeezus
  1. "Black Skinhead"
    Released: June 19, 2013 (2013-06-19)
  2. "Bound 2"
    Released: August 28, 2013 (2013-08-28)

Yeezus is the sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist and producer Kanye West. It was released on June 18, 2013, by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. The album began production in the living room of a loft space at a Paris hotel. During the process, West gathered various artists and close collaborators for production on the album, including Mike Dean, Daft Punk, 88-Keys, No ID and Symbolyc One. Yeezus also features vocal guest appearances from Assassin and King L, as well as previous collaborators Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, Chief Keef, Kid Cudi and Charlie Wilson. West enlisted the help of producer Rick Rubin only 15 days before its due date to strip down the record's sound in favor of a more minimalist approach.

West was inspired by minimalism from design, including architecture, with a particular interest in the works of Le Corbusier, and visited the Louvre several times while in Paris. Musically, Yeezus is dark and sonically experimental, combining elements of Chicago drill, dancehall, acid house, and industrial music. West continues his use of unconventional samples including and most notably, the vocal refrain from Nina Simone's cover of "Strange Fruit". Yeezus has no album artwork, and the physical CD edition of the album was released in a clear jewel box with only a strip of red tape and sample credits. Initial promotion of Yeezus included worldwide video projections of the album's music and live television performances. West released two singles from the album, the song "Black Skinhead" in July 2013 and "Bound 2" the following month.

The album received rave reviews from music critics, who considered Yeezus among West's best work and praised the difference in sound compared to his previous albums. However, it was met with mixed reactions from the public, with divided opinions emerging after the album had an internet leak four days before release. Yeezus debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 327,000 copies in its first week of release, but sales soon diminished. It topped the charts of 30 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia. After less than two months of release, the album was certified gold by the RIAA and later platinum on January 8, 2014. Yeezus was nominated in two categories at the 2014 Grammy Awards including for Best Rap Album.

Background

Following the release of his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), West collaborated with longtime friend Jay-Z on Watch the Throne (2011).[1] In July 2012, producer No ID revealed that he had been working on West's sixth solo studio album and that it would be released after Cruel Summer (2012), a collaborative compilation album between members of West's record label GOOD Music.[2] For Yeezus, West enlisted several collaborators, including Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson, S1, The Heatmakerz, Mike Dean, Hudson Mohawke, Skrillex, Young Chop, Chief Keef, Frank Ocean, Odd Future, Travis Scott, The-Dream, Cyhi the Prynce, Malik Yusef, King L, John Legend, James Blake, RZA, Mase and Pusha T. The album features additional vocals by Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, Chief Keef, King L, Kid Cudi, Assassin and Charlie Wilson.[3]

West first began work on Yeezus at his personal loft in Paris, and on numerous occasions visited the Louvre (pictured) for inspiration.[4]

West was influenced primarily by minimalist design and architecture during the production of Yeezus, and visited a furniture exhibit in the Louvre five times.[4] A single Le Corbusier lamp was his "greatest inspiration".[4] West worked closely with the architect Oana Stanescu, and took "field trips" to Le Corbusier homes. Fascinated by Stanescu's comments on the unusual and radical nature of Corbusier design choices, West applied the situation to his own life, feeling that "visionaries can be misunderstood by their unenlightened peers."[5] West also met with architect Joseph Dirand and Begian interior designer Axel Vervoordt, and had "rare Le Corbusier lamps, Pierre Jeanneret chairs and obscure body-art journals from Switzerland" delivered to the loft.[5] West also wanted a deep hometown influence on the album, and listened to 1980s house music most associated with his home city of Chicago for influence.[4]

Recording and production

West began recording his sixth studio album in mid-2012 with collaborators including No ID and DJ Khaled.[6] The first recordings were held in January 2013, in the living room of his personal loft at a Paris hotel, referred to in the album's credits as the "No Name Hotel". West kept compositions simple in order to hear the tracks more clearly; too much bass or complexity would simply overpower the room's poor acoustics.[4] The beats emanating from the loft space, which sometimes lasted through the night, provoked complaints from neighbors.[5] Reports emerged that he and his girlfriend Kim Kardashian had moved to the loft in order for West to begin work on the album.[7]

The atmosphere in the studio was described by Evian Christ as "very focused," and West once again brought in several close collaborators. All involved were given a song to work on and return the next day to sit and critique, a process Anthony Kilhoffer compared to an art class.[8] Determined to "undermine the commercial," several tracks were left off the finished product that were deemed too melodic or more in line with West's previous material.[8] West set parameters regarding sound and style, insisting that there be no "bass wobbles" reminiscent of dubstep.[8] The album's recording process was described as "very raw" by Thomas Bangalter of the French electronic duo Daft Punk, who produced four songs for the album, adding that West was "rapping – kind of screaming primally, actually."[9] While previous albums, particularly Dark Fantasy, took considerable time in the studio, Yeezus was described by Kilhoffer as "the fastest record we ever made."[8] In May 2013, Def Jam executives listened to the "final product," (only later to be changed) describing the album as "dark."[10]

Kanye West enlisted Rick Rubin to executive produce the album.

W writer Christopher Bagley reports that West's creative process often bordered on perfectionist. In March 2013, West described the album to Bagley as near completion, only to revise this statement one month later to "[the album is] only 30 percent complete."[5] West made several last-minute alterations to Yeezus, enlisting Rick Rubin as an executive producer for additional recording mere days before its release; changes included re-recording whole songs and rewriting entire verses.[11] For several days in late May and early June 2013, West and a "rotating group of intimates, collaborators and hangers-on" holed up at Rubin's Shangri-La Studio in Malibu in service of completing the record.[4] Rubin thought it impossible to meet the deadline and all involved ended up working long hours with no days off in order to complete the record. The rough cut West played Rubin, originally with 16 tracks, ran nearly three and a half hours long.[12] West's orders to Rubin were to take the music in a "stripped-down minimal direction", often removing elements already recorded. Rubin gave as example "Bound", which was "a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style" before Kanye decided to replace the musical backing with a minimalistic sample, "a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition." Two days before the album had to be delivered to the label, West wrote and sung lyrics to two songs while also recording the vocals to three others in just two hours.[13] Rubin also suggested to reduce the album from sixteen songs to just ten, saying the others could be reserved for a follow-up.[14]

Composition

Music and style

According to Charles Aaron of Spin, Yeezus is "a hip hop album, not a rap album", because of how its sounds and subject matter are assembled together, and although listeners can hear "'punk' or 'post-punk' or 'industrial'" throughout, "hip-hop has always been about noise and dissonance and dance music as agitation".[15] Slant Magazine's Ted Scheinman wrote that, with the album, West reconceives the "notion of what kind of music (or noise) can underpin hip-hop."[16] According to music critic Greg Kot, Yeezus is a "hostile, abrasive and intentionally off-putting" album that combines "the worlds of" 1980s Chicago acid-house and 2013 Chicago drill music, 1990s industrial music, and the "avant-rap" of Saul Williams, Death Grips and Odd Future.[17] The album also incorporates elements of industrial and trap music.[18] The record "most closely resembles" 1990s industrial rock, during which the genre had a significant pop culture impact, with artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and Marilyn Manson gaining success. The industrial scene created a "vast global underground community," and Esquire notes that one of its epicenters was in Chicago, where West was raised.[19] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club characterized its opening series of songs as electro and industrial hip hop.[20]

Yeezus is primarily electronic in nature, and boasts distorted drum machines and "synthesizers that sound like they're malfunctioning, low-resolution samplers that add a pixelated digital aura to the most analog sounds."[19] To this end, the album incorporates glitches reminiscent of CD skips or corrupted MP3's, and Auto-Tuned vocals are modulated to a point in which they are difficult to decipher.[19] Esquire cites "On Sight" as an early example of the album's connection to electronic music, citing its "droning synthesizer tone," which is "modulated until the signal starts throwing off harshly treble-heavy spikes and begins to clip, as if it were overloading a digital audio processor."[19]

Yeezus continues West's practice of eclectic samples: he employs an obscure Hindi sample on "I Am a God", and a sample of 1970s Hungarian rock group Omega on "New Slaves". "On Sight" interpolates a melody from "Sermon (He'll Give Us What We Really Need)" by the Holy Name of Mary Choral Family, although the track originally sampled an old vocal track from the original recording.[11] As late as a week prior to release, lawyers were forced to track down the choir director and members of the choir on the South Side of Chicago in order to get clearance for such a sample.[21] Def Jam executives were significantly worried enough the deal would not be in place in time for the record's deadline, and producers re-recorded the vocals with a new choir as the sample could not be cleared in enough time.[21] "Bound 2" features heavy soul music samples and has been described as the only song on Yeezus which recalls the sound of West's early work.[22] "Bound", a 1971 song by American soul group Ponderosa Twins Plus One from their album 2 + 2 + 1 = Ponderosa Twins Plus One, serves as the primary sample used in West's track.[23]

Song analysis

The album's second track "Black Skinhead" is a Industrial hip hop[24][25] song that contains "a galloping punk-rap manifesto".[26] "I Am a God" was inspired by a "diss" from a major fashion designer, who informed West of his invitation to a widely anticipated runway show on the condition he agree to not attend other shows.[5] "I'm in It" began with a different sample and melody, but West removed the sample and Rubin edited the track down from a six-minute arrangement.[8]

"Blood on the Leaves," which samples Nina Simone's 1965 rendition of "Strange Fruit" and was the first track in the first incarnation of the track list, is an example of West's signature dichotomy in which he melds the sacred and profane.[8][27] "Strange Fruit", first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, brought the lynchings of black Americans to a "startling poignancy," creating "one of the most towering, important songs of the 20th century." West's anthemic re-telling instead details an MDMA-fueled hookup and the perils of fame.[27] "Bound 2" features heavy soul music samples and has been described as the only song on Yeezus which recalls the sound of West's early work.[28] "Bound", a 1971 song by American soul group Ponderosa Twins Plus One from their album 2 + 2 + 1 =, serves as the primary sample used in West's track.[23]

Packaging

The physical CD edition of Yeezus was released in a clear jewel box with no album artwork, reflecting the minimalist tone. The packaging consists of little more than a piece of red tape and a sticker affixed to the back, with sample credits and the album's UPC. The front is affixed with a Parental Advisory label.[29] The Source pointed out a resemblance between the Yeezus CD packaging and a packaging concept designed for the single "Crystal" by the English band New Order in 2001.[30]

Promotion

Kanye West performing during The Yeezus Tour.

On May 1, 2013, West used the social networking site Twitter to post a single message reading "June Eighteen," leading several media outlets to speculate that the post referred to the release date of West's upcoming album.[31] On May 17, he began promotion of the album by unveiling the previously unreleased song "New Slaves" through video projections in 66 assorted locations.[32] The following day, West appeared on the American late-night live television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live and performed the songs "New Slaves" and "Black Skinhead."[33] He subsequently revealed the album's cover and title, Yeezus, on his official website.[34] The iTunes Store made Yeezus available for pre-order on May 20, but the listing was subsequently taken down for unknown reasons.[35] On May 29, A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou unveiled an advertisement for Yeezus which stated that the album would not be available for pre-order.[36] Speaking about the album's minimal promotion, West stated: "With this album, we ain't drop no single to radio. We ain't got no NBA campaign, nothing like that. Shit, we ain't even got no cover. We just made some real music."[11]

On September 6, 2013, Kanye West announced The Yeezus Tour, a North American tour to take place between October 19 through December 7, 2013. The tour was marketed as his "first solo tour in 5 years", and featured Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, A Tribe Called Quest and Travis Scott as a supporting acts.[37] On October 30, 2013 while on the road to Vancouver, a truck carrying custom-made video screens and equipment for the show was involved in a car accident, the crash damaged the equipment beyond repair.[38] The tour resumed on November 16, 2013, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The missed Chicago and Detroit shows were rescheduled however, the rest of the missed dates were cancelled, Def Jam cited routing logistics as the reason.[39]

Singles

Def Jam confirmed in late June 2013 that "Black Skinhead" would be serviced to American radio as the album's first single on July 2, 2013 and that a music video for the track was being produced.[40] It was officially released to radio in the United Kingdom on June 19.[41] The song peaked at number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and 34 on the UK Singles Chart.[42][43]

In August 2013, it was revealed that "Bound 2" would be released as the second single from Yeezus.[44] The single was sent to radio in the United Kingdom on August 28.[45] "Bound 2" features vocals from American soul singer Charlie Wilson and incorporates numerous samples into its production, including prominent elements of the song "Bound" (1971) by soul group Ponderosa Twins Plus One.[23] "Bound 2" received general acclaim from music critics, who referred to the song as one of the highlights of the album and compared its soul sample-based production to West's early work from his debut studio album The College Dropout.[46][47] The song has since peaked at number 55 on the UK Singles Chart.[48]

In November 2013, producer Hudson Mohawke revealed that "Blood on the Leaves" would serve as the album's third single.[49] West subsequently made the announcement in an interview on New York's 92.3 NOW.[50]

Public reaction

Kanye West at the Governors Ball Music Festival, where he performed several tracks from Yeezus publicly for the first time.

Public reaction to Yeezus, including its unorthodox and deliberate lack of promotion as well as its brash and aggressive sound, was mixed. Yeezus was noted as one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 by major publications, but the lack of a major radio single was regarded as a risky move.[51] Regardless, radio stations have still played tracks from Yeezus on air, despite it being a departure from the normal playlists found on hip-hop stations.[52] "When I listen to radio, that ain't where I wanna be no more," stated West at his headlining June 9, 2013 Governor's Ball performance, where he unveiled several tracks from the record for the first time. Rolling Stone summarized the audience's response: "Half the crowd cheered, half almost audibly rolled their eyes."[53]

West's June 11 interview with Jon Caramanica of The New York Times was similarly viewed with a mixed reaction, with many outlets mocking West's seemingly vain statements.[54] In the article, West compares himself to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and refers to himself as "the nucleus of all society."[55]

Yeezus leaked four days prior to release.[56] The New York Times wrote that the leak "stirred up a Twitter frenzy" and received widespread media coverage.[57] The Washington Post commented on the significance of the leak: "Kanye West’s new album didn’t leak online over the weekend. It gushed out into the pop ecosystem like a million barrels of renegade crude — ominous, mesmerizing and of great consequence."[58] Critics were very kind to Yeezus regarding critical reviews, but others viewed the release as "musical and commercial suicide," and "fans live-blogged their own befuddlement on Twitter and Facebook."[59] The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones suggests that Yeezus may be preferred over any of West's previous works in coming decades by a new generation due to the "lean vibrancy" of the album.[54] "One of the most fascinating aspects of Yeezus' arrival is the discursive crisis it's caused, produced by a fast-react culture colliding with a work of art so confounding," wrote The Atlantic columnist Jack Hamilton.[59]

West was criticized by the UK and US Parkinson's Disease Associations for controversial lyrics in lead-song "On Sight".[60][61]

In February 2014, English singer Lily Allen announced that she would title her third studio album Sheezus. In an interview with Australian radio station Nova, Allen stated that she is terrified that West would think it's "a diss rather than a tribute." She said that she thinks West is brilliant and praised him for speaking his mind all the time.[62]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 84/100[63]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[64]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[17]
The Daily Telegraph 5/5 stars[65]
Entertainment Weekly A−[66]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[67]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[68]
Pitchfork Media 9.5/10[69]
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars[70]
Spin 8/10[71]
USA Today 4/4 stars[72]

Upon its release, Yeezus received rave reviews from music critics.[73] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from music critics, the album received an average score of 84, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 45 reviews.[63] Steve Jones of USA Today called the album "immediately stunning [...] he created a polarizing, multi-layered body of work that probably will be debated all summer."[72] Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone called Yeezus a "brilliant, obsessive-compulsive career auto-correct," comparing it to similarly abrasive records: "Every mad genius has to make a record like this at least once in his career – at its nastiest, his makes Kid A or In Utero or Trans all look like Bruno Mars."[70] Pitchfork Media writer Ryan Dombal viewed it a "razor-sharpened take" on West's fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak, concluding that "Cohesion and bold intent are at a premium on Yeezus, perhaps more than any other Kanye album. Each fluorescent strike of noise, incongruous tempo flip, and warped vocal is bolted into its right place across the album's fast 40 minutes."[69]

In his review for The Guardian, the newspaper's lead critic Alexis Petridis was positive in his assessment of the record: "Noisy, gripping, maddening, potent [...] Yeezus is the sound of a man just doing his job properly."[67] Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot wrote that "West sounds more complicated than ever, an artist willing to throw himself off the ledge not just to get a reaction, but to open up a conversation about, well, just about everything that matters to him."[17] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times called Yeezus West's "most musically adventurous album [...] It's also West's most narcissistic, defiant, abrasive and unforgiving."[68] Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented on the album's mix of genres: "Deploying anything from a Hungarian progressive-rock band to the rasp of dancehall, the album is one long, efficient, inventive kick in the head."[57] Ray Rahman of Entertainment Weekly considered the record a plunge "directly into the darker crevices of his psyche," commending the "dense breathless sound sets the tone for an album that reaches far outside of traditional sample-based hip-hop."[66] Evan Rytlewski, writer for The A.V. Club, wrote that "Even by the standards of an artist who reinvents himself with each release, it’s a drastic departure," calling it West's "loudest and most impulsive album."[20]

David Jeffries of AllMusic called Yeezus an "extravagant stunt with the high-art packed in, offering an eccentric, audacious, and gripping experience that's vital and truly unlike anything else."[64] Dan Buyanovsky of XXL awarded the album a perfect "XXL" rating, believing the album featured some of West's "most provocative writing to date, and it sees him perfecting his formula of dissecting power and otherness with a masterpiece mix of awareness, ignorant wit and fuck-off confidence."[74] Hardeep Phull of The Independent felt Yeezus less grandiose than previous efforts, elaborating that "Kanye West has emphatically rejected the idea of making another slick hip-hop record precisely because it's what has become expected of him. It’s not quite godlike, but Yeezus certainly feels like it was created by a higher power."[75] Ryan Reed of Paste called Yeezus the "least likable album Kanye's ever made," citing several lines on "Bound 2" as a "beautiful blast of humanity on an album—a perplexing, fascinating, absorbing album—that often feels outside normal human grasp."[76] Chris Richards from The Washington Post called West's lyricism on the album "refined and probably his least compelling. But they don't feel lazy so much as drunk on bitterness."[58] In a more mixed review, Ted Scheinman of Slant Magazine praised the production as "head-spinning," but criticized West's lyrics, commenting that he is "seeking social-commentary cred that he hasn't earned."[16] Robert Christgau, writing for The Barnes & Noble Review, said that the album's combination of harsh rock and hip hop sounds is as bold as Public Enemy's 1980s music, but found West's lyrics grotesquely off-putting: "[H]e's wordsmith enough to insure that his sexist imagery is very hard to take."[77]

Musician Lou Reed reviewed the album shortly before his death, describing it as "majestic and inspiring [...] no one's near doing what he's doing, it's not even on the same planet."[78]

Accolades

Based on 146 individual year-end top ten lists compiled by Metacritic, Yeezus was the most critically acclaimed album of 2013, appearing on 61 lists and being named first on 18 of them.[79] In October 2013, Complex named Yeezus the sixth best hip hop album of the last five years.[80] Yeezus was rated as album of the year by nine publications. Spin named it the best album of 2013, writing, "Yeezus was a thorny tangram puzzle of boxy headbanger blats that exemplified a year of equally stripped-down, basal pleasures."[81] The A.V. Club named it the best album of 2013 saying "It’s magnificent, and it sounds like absolutely nothing else."[82] Rolling Stone named it the second best album of 2013, comparing it in concept to Reed's polarizing 1975 album Metal Machine Music: "No wonder the late, great Lou Reed embraced Yeezus, since it's basically the Metal Machine Music concept translated into futuristic hip-hop, all industrial overload and hypertense egomania and hostile vibes."[83] Exclaim! also named it the hip hop album of the year.[84] NME named it the second best album of the year calling it "his most sonically challenging album to date."[85] Stereogum, Pigeons and Planes, TIME and Complex also named Yeezus the best album of 2013.[86][87][88][89] It was also nominated in two categories at the 2014 Grammy Awards including for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for "New Slaves". West responded unfavorably to this due to not receiving more nominations. He then addressed the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at one of his concerts and referred to it as patronizing.[90][91]

Year Publication Rank Country List
2013 Exclaim! 1 Canada Top 10 Hip Hip Albums of 2013[92]
The Guardian 1 United Kingdom The Best Albums of 2013[93]
Mojo 38 Top 50 Albums Of 2013[94]
NME 2 50 Best Albums of 2013[85]
The A.V. Club 1 United States The 23 Best Albums of 2013[82]
Complex 1 The 50 Best Albums of 2013[95]
Entertainment Weekly 1 10 Best Albums of '13[96]
Idolator 4 2013's Best Albums[97]
New York 2 The 10 Best Pop Albums of the Year[98]
Paste 16 The 50 Best Albums of 2013[99]
Pigeons and Planes 1 The Best Albums of 2013[87]
Pitchfork Media 2 The Top 50 Albums of 2013[100]
PopMatters 6 The 75 Best Albums of 2013[101]
Rolling Stone 2 50 Best Albums of 2013[83]
Spin 1 Spin's 50 Best Albums of 2013[81]
Stereogum 1 The 50 Best Albums of 2013[86]
Time 1 Top 10 Albums of 2013[88]
Vulture 2 10 Best Pop Albums of 2013[102]
The Washington Post 2 Top Ten Albums of 2013[103]

Commercial performance

Within one day of availability on the iTunes Store, Yeezus topped sales in the UK, Canada, Australia and Germany, while remaining at number two in the United States behind J. Cole's Born Sinner.[104] Yeezus debuted at number one in 31 countries, while also landing top five spots in 20 more charts.[105] It would eventually have chart-topping performances in the United Kingdom, where Yeezus debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart on downloads alone, making the album West's first number one on that chart since Graduation in 2007,[106] and Australia, where it became West's first album to top the ARIA Charts.[107]

Yeezus debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 327,000 copies in the United States in its first week.[108] The numbers marked West's lowest solo opening week sales in the US.[108] Despite initially being projected to sell 500,000 copies in its first week, the album's leak led to diminished sales figures.[109] However, it still had the third-best first week sales of 2013 at the time of its release and the best first week sales by a hip hop album since Drake's 2011 album Take Care.[109] The second-week sales saw the album fall dramatically: although it still ended at number three on the chart, sales dropped by 80% to 65,000 units, making Yeezus the largest second-week percentage drop for a number one-debuting album in 2012–13 and the fourth-largest for a number one-bowing album in the SoundScan era.[110] Billboard's Keith Caulfield attributed the diminished figures to the non-traditional marketing, considering that the lack of singles and public appearances led the album to find "difficulty in sustaining its momentum".[110] The album was certified Gold for sales of over 500,000 copies[111][112] on August 12, 2013, and certified Platinum for shipments of over 1,000,000 copies on January 8, 2014.[113] As of January 5, 2014, the album has sold 630,000 copies in the United States.[114]

Track listing

Credits adapted from West's official website.[3]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "On Sight"  
2:36
2. "Black Skinhead"  
3:08
3. "I Am a God" (featuring God)
3:51
4. "New Slaves"  
4:16
5. "Hold My Liquor"  
  • Dean
  • West
  • Arca[a]
  • Goldstein[a]
5:26
6. "I'm in It"  
3:54
7. "Blood on the Leaves"  
6:00
8. "Guilt Trip"  
  • West
  • Dean
  • S1
  • Travis Scott[a]
  • Ackeejuice Rockers[a]
4:03
9. "Send It Up"  
  • West
  • Daft Punk
  • Gesaffelstein[b]
  • Brodinski[b]
  • Arca[a]
  • Dean[a]
2:58
10. "Bound 2"  
3:49
Total length:
40:01
Notes[3]
Sample credits[3]

Personnel

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[3]

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[113] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Australia[146] June 18, 2013 CD, digital download Universal
Germany[147]
New Zealand[148] Def Jam
United States[149]
France[150] June 21, 2013 Universal
United Kingdom[151] June 22, 2013 Virgin

See also

References

  1. ^ Christman, Ed (July 28, 2011). "Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne' Exclusives Have Retailers Up in Arms". Billboard.biz. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Markman, Rob (July 5, 2012). "Kanye West To Drop Solo LP After G.O.O.D.'s Cruel Summer". MTV News. MTV. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Yeezus (Media notes). Kanye West. Def Jam Recordings. 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Caramanica, Jon (June 11, 2013). "Behind Kanye's Mask". The New York Times (Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Bagley, Christopher (June 19, 2013). "Kanye West: The Transformer". W (Condé Nast Publications). Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Markman, Rob (June 11, 2013). "Kanye West's Yeezus Gets Him 'Don Status' From DJ Khaled". MTV News. MTV. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  7. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (March 4, 2013). "Kanye West, Kim Kardashian Moving To Paris So He Can Work On New Album (Report)". The Huffington Post (New York). Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Dombal, Ryan (June 24, 2013). "The Yeezus Sessions". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ Weiner, Jonah (April 13, 2013). "Daft Punk Reveal Secrets of New Album – Exclusive". Rolling Stone (New York). Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Kanye West to Release New Album 'Yeezus' on June 18". Rap-Up (Los Angeles). May 18, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Michaels, Sean (June 11, 2013). "Kanye West still working on Yeezus even though it's due out next week". The Guardian (London: The Guardian News and Media). Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
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