Photo by Ben Kaye
In a new interview with GQ, Kanye West offered new details on his seventh solo album and the follow-up to last year’s opus, Yeezus. If you recall, Kanye previously postponed a string of Australian tour dates in order to work on the as-yet-untitled effort. While some have speculated of an impending, surprise release, a la Beyoncé’s most recent effort, Kanye says the album will most likely arrive this fall. He also hopes to release the first single, titled “All Day”, “in the next couple weeks.”
Kanye explained: “I hope I can get one of these songs out in the next couple of weeks, just to have something up and running. But I think most likely September. I go back and forth. Like, should it be September or should it be October? Should it be November? When Beyoncé was working on her last album, she took a while. I was thinking it could somehow come out in June, like Yeezus, and just kill it for the summer. But then I’m like, I have to work on Adidas and be with my child.”
He also spoke candidly about his creative process:
This time three years ago, here at the Mercer, working on “Niggas in Paris,” at this time in early June, it was apparent it was still not finished. I had the “married at the mall” line, we had “that shit cray,” Jay had his verse… Jay finished his verse. He always finishes, and my shit is always kind of open. Like, “Okay, now I’ve got the Will Ferrell sample, so I need to say something that finishes the verse. But people have to not know what it means.” [laughs] So it’s like problem-solving to get to the point where you’re saying, “going gorillas.” It’s difficult sometimes.
But now, for the new album, one new thing could change everything. I had an idea of the way I wanted to do the album. And then I got a new song that’s so good that the album has to be balanced against it. This song is a song that can be in the club like “Don’t Like” or “Niggas in Paris.” Whereas before I was working on the album and I had these beautiful songs, they were just more songs. They weren’t saying, “Okay, tuck your whole summer in.” They were just saying, “Hey, I’m a great musician, I make these beautiful songs, and they have all this meaning, and nobody can make anything that means this much.”
In regards to the first single, “All Day”, Kanye shared a few of its lyrics and briefly discussed its inspiration:
I think just my usual pattern is like that. It’s like a pendulum. The pendulum gains momentum by swinging in the other direction. Even lyrically, I think about certain lines that I say on my new single, which is called “All Day”, that usually Jay would say, but Jay’s not on there. So I say, “All day, nigga, it’s Ye, nigga. Shopping for the winter, it’s just May, nigga. Ball so hard, man, this shit cray, nigga. You ain’t getting money unless you got eight figures.” Right? Jay would have said that. And then eventually I would have came in with, like, whatever I come in with. But the balance of a meal is that when people walk in, they want water first. People definitely weren’t getting water first on Yeezus. I do fight with myself to say, “Keep fighting.” But also, you know, you can’t win every single fight. It’s a long war, and if you’re out there trying to, like, blow up every single building, you won’t win the war.
As previously reported, the album is reported to feature 12 tracks, featuring “mostly a mixture of soul samples and tamed ‘Yeezus’-esque darkness… nothing abrasive.” Kanye previously described the LP as his Born in the U.S.A..
Below, listen to Kanye’s latest track, “God Level”, which soundtracked an Adidas World Cup commercial.