Kanye West unveiled a new rebellious, political side with the two new songs from his upcoming “Yeezus” album on “Saturday Night Live” that have already guaranteed that ‘Ye will have controversy on his hands when it arrives on June 18.
He actually debuted the video for “New Slaves” Friday night when it was shown on the sides of buildings around the world – from the Prada store in midtown to Wrigley Field in Chicago to the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, as well as sites in London, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Miami and San Francisco.
In “New Slaves,” West talks about how rampant consumerism has created new generations of slaves owned by big corporations. He also takes on the idea that the “DEA teamed up with the CCA... they tryin’ to make new slaves,” referring to how the Corrections Corporation of America, which is the nation’s largest private corrections facility manager, has reportedly branched out into conducting drug sweeps in high schools in Arizona. He then says the company owners are “prolly all in the Hamptons, bragging 'bout their maid” before he gets more, well, graphic. (WARNING: The language is graphic. Watch it here.)
On “Black Skinhead,” he gets his persecution complex on, saying that it’s only a matter of time before the “Middle America” that embraced him for his creativity will turn against him. He raps about how he knows he is at the peak of his powers but that this time can only last for so long. (“Runnin' out of time -- moving fast/So just close your eyes and then enjoy this crash.”) It’s a gripping piece, especially given its stark, but aggressive musical backdrop. It’s also pretty prescient stuff, though, if we’re going to play pop psychologist about it, it’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Same warning, similar language. Watch it here.)
Whether these songs are just the tip of the “Yeezus” controversy iceberg or if they are the album’s boldest statements, we’re in for a bumpy, Kanye-filled ride for the next month. Who thought fatherhood was going to soften him up?
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