Kanye West’s Twitter binge continued unabated through Sunday, as he added albums he’s produced from Teyana Taylor, Pusha T and Nas to a schedule that already included albums from himself and a collaboration with Kid Cudi — all of which will somehow be released in May and June, he says.
West was known or reported to be working with many of these artists in recent months, and although he’s worked with Nas multiple times in the past 15-odd years — most recently both guested on French Montana’s “Figure It Out,” and West contributed music to Nas’ 2016 film “The Land” — but a new album was news.
“I’m hand-produced all the albums I tweeted about. Been chopping samples from the sunken place,” he wrote, referencing a hypnotic state from the film “Get Out.” He then sent several tweets about how much he loves driving a Tesla car.
The tally so far? One West-helmed album per week for five weeks:
Pusha T: May 25
Kanye West: June 1
Kids See Ghost (with Kid Cudi): June 8
Nas: June 15
Teyana Taylor: June 22
West’s longtime friend Charlemagne Tha God talked about the albums and West’s mental state on the “Brilliant Idiots” podcast last week (via Hypebeast).
“He’s in a very good space, he’s not shying away from discussing mental health, [therapy,] all that, meds and everything,” he said, quickly adding, “I don’t know that he’s on meds because we didn’t discuss that. A lot of things we saw Kanye going through he’s like … we kinda laugh at it — not laugh at it, but he’s an entertainer so we don’t take it as serious. When he’s onstage singing ‘Jay-Z, don’t send the killers after me,’ that’s paranoia.”
He then discussed the effect of the 2016 robbery in which West’s wife Kim Kardashian was bound and gagged in Paris. “That s—t is real life! So if you’re already going through a whole bunch of s—t and then stuff like that happens, you’re getting pushed to the edge. I hope Kanye talks [to the press] really, really soon.”
He said he’d heard both Taylor’s “phenomenal, really dope” album and Pusha T, which he also enthused.
West announced his own and the Kids See Ghost album in the middle of a long series of Tweets that he says will make up a philosophy “book” that he’s writing on Twitter.
The MC has kept a relatively low profile since cancelling the last 21 dates of the 2016 tour in support of his “Life of Pablo” album after he was hospitalized in Los Angeles for psychiatric evaluation. West’s behavior during the tour had been erratic and included several pro-Donald Trump onstage comments as well as his abrupt departure from the stage during New York’s Panorama Festival when he learned that his wife, Kim Kardashian, had been robbed in Paris.
Not much is known about the new album, which he said in March 2016 would be called “Turbo Grafx 16” after “one of my favorite gaming systems when I was a kid,” but it seems unlikely that is still the title, if it ever was.
Various reports said he has spent several months recording near Jackson Hole, Wyo. — much of the material on his recent albums has been recorded at relatively remote locations — and while he has been photographed or reported to be in the studio with Migos, Big Sean, Lil Yachty, Vic Mensa, Mike Dean, Pete Rock, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Pusha T, The-Dream, Travis Scott, Dave Chappelle, and others, it’s unclear who will be on the album.
In June of last year, Steve Bartels, then-CEO of West’s label Def Jam, told Variety that the MC doesn’t necessarily keep the label apprised of what he’s doing. “When we talk, we don’t really get down to the granular of where he’s going and how he’s flying there, we keep it much more on a broader level,” Bartels said. “Kanye is working, that’s been widely reported. He’s always very focused, and our relationship with him is that we always have great respect for him and when he’s ready to do something or talk about something, we’re there for him, we totally support his vision and his focus, and that’s where we leave it. I check in with him from time to time just to see how he’s doing. What’s great about our relationship is that I always know when it’s go time — because he wakes me up.”
Bartels has since been replaced as CEO by Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg.