Kanye West reportedly previewed his next album during a listening session in Las Vegas on Sunday night (July 18). While reps for West have not returned Billboard‘s request for comment at press time, a number of attendees posted what were described as snippets of songs played at the private event, in which West is seen bobbing his head while manning the DJ booth and wearing a hood.
The lyrics and music in the clips are poor quality, so it’s unclear which direction the rapper is headed on the follow-up to his gospel-oriented recent turn. “Father didn’t show up/ [unintelligible] feeling nauseous like she fittin’ to throw up/ The water pills down the drain, she is fittin’ go up,” it sounds like West raps over a spare beat in a 30-second video seemingly shot at the party. “[unintelligible] her daughter just turned one/ And she’s still depending on her mom/ Big brother in the streets he went and bought him a gun/ He want revenge cuz the pain feelin’ numb/ And her mom still doing drugs, that’s the only time she feel love.”
A second, more energized snippet reportedly features rapper Baby Keem rapid-fire rapping over a choir-like arrangement, his voice tweaked to an almost cartoon-like helium pitch in the second half. Anticipation for the album was further stoked by Revolt TV host Justin Laboy, who tweeted, “Kanye played his new album for me & @KDTrey5 last night in Vegas. Man listen! The production is light years ahead of it’s time, and the bars sound like he’s broke & hungry trying to get signed again. Any artist who plan on dropping soon should just push it back.”
Def Jam seemed to continue fueling the fire Monday when the label tweeted, “YZY SZN.”
West was recently spotted in the studio with Tyler, the Creator listening to a song that sounds similar to the Baby Keem track. In that clip, Tyler enthusiastically bobs his head as a hooded figure — believed to be West, though his face is obscured by the kind of hood/mask that the reclusive rapper has been sporting in recent images — cues up songs on a computer in a studio with what looks like a track list on a nearby whiteboard.
Since the release of 2018’s Ye, West has mostly focused on gospel music on albums such as 2019’s Jesus Is King, and that same year’s Jesus Is Born. He has reportedly been working on his 10th studio album, DONDA — named in honor of his late mother — for much of 2020, and it was tentatively scheduled for a July 24, 2020, release, but that date came and went.
Check out the videos and tweets below.
— trying to think like kanye (@CDdenimflow) July 18, 2021
— kanye weast (@thelifeofpanblo) July 19, 2021
Kanye played his new album for me & @KDTrey5 last night in Vegas. Man listen! The production is light years ahead of it’s time, and the bars sound like he’s broke & hungry trying to get signed again. Any artist who plan on dropping soon should just push it back 😤 #Respectfully
— Respectfully Justin (@JustinLaboy) July 18, 2021
— Def Jam Recordings (@defjam) July 19, 2021