Kanye West’s new album has arrived online.
The provocative rapper premiered his eighth studio album, “Ye,” late Thursday night at a star-studded listening party in Jackson, Wyo., which included celebrity guests Chris Rock, Jonah Hill and wife Kim Kardashian-West.
He live-streamed the top-secret event — which was also attended by reporters, social-media influencers and fellow rappers — on music/video app WAV, although if you missed it the first time, it is not currently available to re-watch on the app or any other platform.
On Friday morning, the album became available to stream on other music platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.
So what exactly do we know about “Ye”? For starters, its album cover — a picture of mountains and sky at twilight — was shot by West on his iPhone en route to the listening party, according to Kardashian. The cover also includes the text, “I hate being bipolar. It’s awesome,” which may allude to his mental health struggles over the past several years.
Then there’s the music itself, which clocks in at a lean seven songs and features special guests John Legend, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, DeJ Loaf, Willow Smith, Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremih and PartyNextDoor.
The album begins with a reference to suicide on “I Thought About Killing You,” as West raps, “Today I seriously thought about killing you / I contemplated premeditated murder / And I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so …”
On “Yikes,” he tackles his own struggles with mental health and addiction, after admitting to TMZ last month that he became addicted to opioids following liposuction surgery in 2016. He also shouts out Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons, mentioning sexual assault accusations and his public comments about West’s mental health following his controversial comments supporting President Trump. (“Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too / I’ma pray for him ’cause he got Me Too-ed.”)
Although he doesn’t rap about Trump directly, he does reference porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleges that she had sex with the president in 2006. “I could have Naomi Campbell and still want me a Stormy Daniels,” West says on All Mine, alluding to Rock’s cheating on his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, with several different women, one of whom was allegedly actress Kerry Washington (who is name-dropped on the song).
On Wouldn’t Leave, West addresses his polarizing comments to TMZ last month that slavery was a choice, rapping, “I said, ‘Slavery a choice.’ They say, ‘How ‘Ye?’ / Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day.”
Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY