One day after revealing his new song “New Slaves” via images projected on buildings across the globe, Kanye West took the “Saturday Night Live” stage on Saturday night (May 18) to perform that track along with another equally venomous new number, “Black Skinhead.”
Both songs, presumably taken from West’s forthcoming sixth studio album “Yeezus,” denote a stark creative shift for the superstar rapper: marked by corrosive drums, a frantic flow and primal screams, “Black Skinhead” was performed by West in front of a video screen that showed images of barking hounds and slogans like “Not For Sale.” “New Slaves” was unveiled less energetically, but West’s dead-eyed stare remained haunting as he spit (slightly more network TV-friendly) lyrics like, “You see it’s leaders and there’s followers/But I’d rather be a prick than a swallower.”
The season finale of “SNL,” which was hosted by Ben Affleck, came three days after West performed a surprise show at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday night, which featured a new song possibly titled “So Awesome” and a lengthy rant against the paparazzi. Two nights later, West’s face was being projected on buildings in New York, London, Miami and Sydney, as a guerilla-style marketing tactic used to reveal “New Slaves.”
“Yeezus,” West’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2010’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” is reportedly due out on June 18. West’s next major public appearance (at least, one that fans know about) will come on June 9, when he headlines the final day of the 2013 Governors Ball festival on Randall’s Island in New York.