Four Years Ago, Kanye West Begat ‘Yeezus’

Today marks four years since Kanye West dropped his seventh studio album, Yeezus. It was one of Ye’s most significant releases, as he shifted creative directions to embrace electronic minimalism, abrasive distortion and heavy bass. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, sold 327,000 copies in its first week and has been certified platinum.

As with many innovative albums, public reaction to Yeezus was mixed. Its stripped down sonics alienated some listeners who had just been celebrating West’s lush, sample-heavy masterpieces My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne with Jay Z. Yeezus found West throwing out what he had done before and building everything back up.

First single “Black Skinhead” premiered on the season finale of Saturday Night Live and reached No. 69 and the Billboard Hot 100. Second single “Bound 2” was more similar to the sound tat listeners expected of West. It reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The music video for “Bound 2,” featuring West’s wife Kim Kardashian topless on a motorcycle, has over 62 million views on YouTube, and it was parodied by Seth Rogen and James Franco.
Yeezus remains one of Kanye’s most challenging albums, but proved he’s still as innovative as ever.
Recording for Yeezus began in a loft in a Paris Hotel, listed on the album’s credits as the “No Name Hotel.” Other producers who contributed to the album include Daft Punk, Travis Scott, Hudson Mohawke, Arca and No I.D.

Later on, West would enlist the infamous Rick Rubin as an executive producer and relocate to Rubin’s Shangri-La studio in Malibu for several days to finish the project. Rubin reportedly suggested reducing elements from the songs, as well as cutting the tracklist down from 16 to 10 songs.

Yeezus remains one of Kanye’s most challenging albums, from the brutal beginning of “On Sight,” through the ego trip of “I Am a God,” all the way to the soulful conclusion of “Bound 2. Even as he approached his forties, Ye proved that he was still as innovative as ever.

Watch our Daily Operation video up top, and stream the album in its entirely below.

Related Articles


Kanye’s 17-Minute Remake of “Bed” is Epic


The Best Rap Music Videos in the Desert


Remembering Big Hawk Through His Verses


26 Years Ago, EPMD’s ‘Business as Usual’ Went Gold


Chance the Rapper Does a Good-Ass Job With Chance 3


15 Years Ago, El-P Delivered His Mind-Bending Classic ‘Fantastic Damage’


Latest News

clams casino the listening room Music

New Music From Clams Casino, Denzel Curry, Rockie Fresh and More

The Listening Room (June 26, 2017)
DJ Premier with Prodigy and Mobb Deep Music

The Best Prodigy Rarities and Tributes SoundCloud

"Still came home with his shine"
Taylor J "Five Times" Music

Taylor J Takes Over a Five Guys in His New Video For “Five Times”

Can we get a combo?
chris brown future "pie" video Music Video

Future Adds a Bite to ‘HNDRXX’ With “Pie,” Featuring Chris Brown

You thought he'd take the summer off?, open space, chicago, black and white Video

Open Space:

"We don't give off that same violent persona. We just be ourselves."
Super Nintendo Classic Tech/Games

The World May Be Burning, But At Least The Super Nintendo Classic Is Coming Back

Help us Star Fox, you're our only hope
XXXsensation Rainbow Cover Music

An Interview With XXXSensation, the Internet’s Top XXXTentacion Parody Artist

Travel Ban Protests News

Trump’s Muslim Ban Partially Reinstated By the Supreme Court

Welcome to the "bona fide relationship" era
clams-casino-tape Music

Clams Casino Brings His Beats Back with ‘Instrumentals 4’

Download a fresh catch from the Vince Staples & A$AP Rocky producer
computer-brain Knowledge

Knowledge Darts Vol. 17: Content Of My Character

You can’t pay rent or utilities with respect
run-the-jewels-daily-op Music

Killer Mike and El-P’s Run the Jewels Debuted Four Years Ago. Job Well Done!

The bangin' beginning of one of hip hop's best duos
Chance The Rapper News

Watch Chance the Rapper’s Moving Speech At the BET Awards

Michelle Obama introduced Chance for his BET Humanitarian Award
shaqisdope, power, toronto Music

PREMIERE: ShaqIsDope Wants That “Power”

"I wanted to create a record that would inspire people to get up and go get it."
jay-z-reaction News

What JAY-Z Going To Rap About? Colonoscopies?

Never Read The Comments
migos and joe budden nearly fight at bet awards News

Joe Budden and Migos Almost Got Into Fisticuffs on BET Red Carpet

Watch Offset elegantly prepare himself for battle
will wagner, deep cover, vintage, wwe Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Will Wagner of Deep Cover

Look back at the Attitude Era through vintage WWE/WWF clothing