A lot happened here, but ‘The Life Of Pablo’ has yet to be released.
On February 11, 2016 – Kanye West would broadcast live from Madison Square Garden across the world to debut his YEEZY Season 3 clothing line and his highly anticipated 7th studio album, The Life Of Pablo.
I attended a showing in Chicago, where about 35 other Kanye supporters showed up to a non-heated theater to see and hear how Kanye was going to top his previous work. Kanye West fans are loyal; there was a person in the theater that was on crutches. Nothing was going to stop that person from hearing this new album. Most people in attendance only wanted to see Kanye perform and hear the new material.
When entering the theater, the live feed from Madison Square Garden was already up and running on the screen. Just as past YEEZY Seasons, the show did not begin on time. The wait however wasn’t long as the scheduled start time was 3:15pm; the show began 15 minutes after.
A wide shot of the main floor would display a beige globe-like dome covering what would showcase the models wearing the new YEEZY collection. The dome looked like the planet Jakku from Star Wars.
Soon after that, the man of the hour Kanye West would emerge from the back with Lamar Odom (which was his first public appearance since his incident) to make his way over to the soundboard area.
A simple “yeah” by Kanye would be the first words spoken to the people in the arena. Kanye told the audience before he begins to play the new album, feel free to get up, dance, yell and clap if they rock with the songs. The first track played was titled Ultra Light Beam that featured Chicago MC – Chance The Rapper and Gospel musician, Kirk Franklin. While the song played, shots of Kanye and crew vibing to the track were shown. As the song peaked, Kanye instructed that the dome be uncovered.
This is where the advertised performance by Contemporary artist, Vanessa Beecroft would begin. This wouldn’t be the first time Beecroft and West would work together, she helped design Kanye’s YEEZUS Tour stage and performance and among other ventures. What was unveiled in New York was a reenactment and reimagined version of a photo taken by photographer Paul Lowe of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The performance did feature previous YEEZY Season models Amina Blue, Braina Laviena, and Ian Connor. As Kanye continued to play tracks from the new album, models that were standing would slowing begin to sit. Out of the three models mentioned, Amina Blue would be the last to take a seat after the main show had ended. That means she was standing for a whole two hours, that’s dedication to the art.
A few surprises were thrown into the show – Naomi Campbell would make an appearance wearing YEEZY Season 3. Also Young Thug would be a model in the show. He may or may not have fell asleep.
The YEEZY Season 3 collection kept the distressed look of the clothing, but added a little more color. There was only one new colorway of the YEEZY Boost 350, an all grey colorway. By the looks of it, no 750s are in Season 3. The new softer bottom YEEZY Boost 950s were displayed as were the new 1050s. Season 3 also included two new models of women boots, a high-knee model and a standard model.
As each track played, you could feel and sense people in the theater were trying to take everything in before settling on a final verdict. The track Famous featuring Rihanna got a reaction from both those in my theater and people in MSG. There is a line in the song where Kanye mentions Taylor Swift – not in the good way either. It’s a definitely a track I want to return to.
The Life Of Pablo has a lot of notable features such as Future, The Weeknd, The Dream, Young Thug, Post Malone, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. Even the old school “Wake up Mr. West” that was a staple in his first three album returns on this new album. In my opinion, the album has a feel of 808’s & Heartbreak meets YEEZUS. I liked what I heard.
It should be noted different versions of Real Friends, Wolves, FACTS, and All Day were played. The tracklisting released earlier in the week by Kanye does not include FACTS and All Day. No word on if these will become bonus tracks on The Life Of Pablo.
Kanye West finished The Life Of Pablo with Fade, but the track would not finish as Kanye got back on the mic and announced that Young Thug wanted to play some of his new material. The track’s beat sounded similar to the Ludacris track – Booty Poppin’ . After Thug’s track finished, Vic Mensa asked Kanye to play his new track. This was beginning to look like a game of “pass the aux cord”. Mensa’s track looked to have killed the vibe of Kanye’s crew and everyone in attendance. I noticed people began leaving the theater. Mensa would be the only one jumping up and down, spitting his lyrics to Kanye.
Kanye took the time to express his gratitude to God for “holding him down”. He stated he felt so happy and joyous that he could create. He also thanked Tidal for helping him stream the show, Adidas, his family and fans. He continued to thank the fans for making the YEEZY Boost shoe the number one selling shoe. He explained that with this season that Adidas and himself worked on making prices lower and that Adidas plans on making even more YEEZY Boosts so everyone can have them.
Before concluding, Kanye West revealed he’s been working on a video game that follows his mother’s journey into heaven. The game is called Only One: The Game. After a trailer of the game was shown, Kanye told the live audience it was not easy getting help to create a video game as everyone in San Francisco (Silicon Valley) dissed him.
On my end, the show concluded when Kanye put on All Day and the screen abruptly went black. The show was over. I truly enjoyed what I saw and heard at the YEEZY Season 3 show. Now I wait for the official release of The Life Of Pablo. Last month it was announced by Kanye West himself that the album would release on February 11th. That day has come and gone. Maybe he meant he would debut the album on the 11th and it would be available at a later date. That seems to be the case now.
As of this writing, there is no official word on when The Life Of Pablo will be released.
Check out the photos of YEEZY Season 3 below
– Journalist Without A Beat
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