1. Yeezus leaked! Unless something crazy happens before Tuesday, here is the final tracklist:
2. Kanye enlisted legendary producer Rick Rubin’s help last-minute to put some finishing touches on the album, and credits Rubin with helping pare it down.
On working with Rubin, who is listed as an executive producer on the album, Kanye told the NY Times:
I’m still just a kid learning about minimalism, and he’s a master of it. It’s just really such a blessing, to be able to work with him. I want to say that after working with Rick, it humbled me to realize why I hadn’t — even though I produced “Watch the Throne”; even though I produced “Dark Fantasy” — why I hadn’t won Album of the Year yet.
5. Frank Ocean can be heard singing at the end of “New Slaves.”
6. “Blood on the Leaves” samples Nina Simone’s version of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” and TNGHT’s “R U Ready.”
7. Yeezy actually used “R U Ready” in his own Fall/Winter 2012/13 show at Paris Fashion Week.
8. Scottish producer/DJ Hudson Mohawke (one-half of TNGHT) dropped the Auto-Tuned song during his set at the Parklife Festival in Manchester last weekend.
TNGHT is comprised of Mohawke and Lunice, from Montreal. The duo released an excellent self-titled EP last summer, and Kanye is a fan. He even walked out onstage while they played their remix of his song, “Cold,” at their show in Brooklyn last December.
9. Chief Keef and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon feature on a track called “Can’t Hold My Liquor.”
“I knew that I wanted to have a deep Chicago influence on this album,” Kanye told the NY Times. In addition to the influences from Chicago house music, Kanye also drew from the young talent currently repping his hometown, bringing in 17-year-old rapper Chief Keef. ‘Ye first showed his appreciation for Keef by doing a remix of his song “I Don’t Like” last year.
Keef’s joined by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who sang the hook on “Lost In The World,” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
10. “Send It Up,” features Chicago rapper King L.
‘Ye shouted out the southeast-side rapper (formerly known as King Louie) last year on his remix of Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like”: “Chief Keef, King Louie / This is Chi, right?” Part of Chicago’s drill scene, King L’s been bringing southern trap influences to the midwest with stellar minimal, gritty songs like “I’m Arrogant,” “Too Cool,” and “Val Venis.”
11. Singer Charlie Wilson, of the legendary funk and soul band the Gap Band, is featured on the album closer, “Bound 2.”
“Bound 2,” feels like a throwback to Kanye’s Late Registration days and features a hook from R&B singer Wilson. Wilson also previously lent his vocals to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
14. John Legend was rumored to appear on a number called “In the Heavens,” but that, too, is probably lying on the cutting room floor.
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