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Tag: Kanye West (31-40 of 243)

Album sales: J. Cole rises to No. 1, outsells Kanye West

When no one was watching, J. Cole stole the throne: The Roc Nation rapper’s Born Sinner has not only crept up to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, but it’s also outselling Kanye West’s Yeezus.

J. Cole’s latest first charted three weeks ago, where it debuted at No. 2 behind West. But Sinnger has since taken advantage of a relatively slow month in music (remember, Wale was the last week’s No. 1) and become the rare album to top the chart without debuting there. As Soundscan reports, the album sold 58,000 copies in the last frame, which Billboard points out is “the sixth-smallest sales week for the top-selling album in the SoundScan era.” Still, that brings its total sales to 439,000, while Yeezus – which debuted the same day and currently sits at No. 3 — has only mustered 431,000 in sales to date.

Meanwhile, stuck in the middle of all this is Wale’s The Gifted, which fell from the top spot to No. 2, with 50,000. Of course, all these rappers will have to clear the way for Jay-Z, whose Magna Carta Holy Grail will register next week. Current projections have that landing in the 350-400,000 range, even though everyone knows it’s already platinum anyway.

Album sales: Wale tops chart, Kanye West sees 'Yeezus' fall big

Perhaps it’s fitting that during the Fourth of July holiday, the chart’s top album hails from our nation’s capital: D.C. rapper Wale snagged his first ever No. 1 this week with The Gifted, which debuted with 158,000 in sales.

And while that marks a career-high chart position for the wordy rhymesman, it’s actually a slip sales-wise from his last effort, 2011′s Ambition, which sold 164,000 when it landed at No. 2 in its debut week.

Speaking of slips: last week’s chart-topper, Kanye West’s Yeezus, suffered a steep drop, falling to No. 3 with 65,000 — an 80% drop. As the number-crunchers at Billboard report, all the previous No. 1 albums this year experienced a second-week drop of 69% on average.

And according to Soundscan, Yeezus‘ fall is the fourth-biggest since the service started keeping records in 1991. (The record, if you’re curious, belongs to Madonna’s MDNA, which fell 87% percent after its debut week last year.)

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Kanye West's 'Yeezus' gets a single after all: 'Black Skinhead' heading to radio

During a performance earlier this month, Kanye West made it very clear that he doesn’t care whether his music is on the radio. But after his latest album, Yeezus, bowed last week with the lowest first-week numbers of his career, it looks like someone has had a change of heart (or, more likely, the label got its way).

Billboard reports that “Black Skinhead” will be the first single from West’s fifth solo album, with a clean radio version and a music video likely to arrive in time for the Fourth of July.

So far, promotion for Yeezus has been limited to West’s few appearances on TV (SNL) and in person (Adult Swim’s upfront and New York’s Governors Ball festival), as well as a handful of cryptic short films projected onto the sides of buildings across the country. During his Governors Ball performance, West explained why he didn’t feel the need to pimp his new project.
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Kanye West's 'Yeezus' tops chart, though he doesn't beat his own sales record

Kanye-West

Looks like Kanye West’s no-radio strategy has paid off: Yeezus has landed on the top of the Billboard albums chart, with 327,000 copies sold in its debut week.

For some historical context, that’s the biggest week for a rap album since 2011, when Drake moved 631,000 units of Take Care.

As for West’s own discography, Yeezus marks the rapper’s sixth consecutive album (Watch the Throne included) to premiere at No. 1; only his very first album, 2004′s The College Dropout, debuted outside the top spot (it bowed at No. 2). It’s also his lowest selling debut week: his last solo record, the 2010 opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, topped the chart with 496,000 in its first week.

Still, Yeezus‘ performance was strong enough to make it the year’s third-highest sales week for an album, bested only by Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience (968,000) and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (339,000).

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Here's a list of proper nouns from Kanye West's 'W' magazine profile

Hot on the heels of Kanye West’s recent babies — Yeezus and North, both about a week old — W magazine has put their Kanye cover story online.

It’s a good read but also a long one, and you’re at work! So, until you have time to properly ingest the article (which you should), we’ve compiled a list of all the proper nouns* featured in the profile. Because how better to judge West than by itemizing his current favorite architects (Le Corbusier), cultural heroes (the Soup Nazi), and champagne-flute makers (Baccarat)?

Read on for the list, including helpful annotations when needed:

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Kanye West turns Scott Disick into an 'American Psycho' for 'Yeezus' short film -- VIDEO

Just because Kanye West is a new dad doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about his other creation coming out this week: Promotion for West’s Yeezus album continued Saturday with a listening party in Los Angeles and another short film projected onto buildings across the country.

Rumors about the film swirled last week, and they turned out to be (frighteningly) true: West cast Kourtney Kardashian baby-daddy Scott Disick as Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, with another Kardashian regular, Jonathan Cheban, playing the Jared Leto to Disick’s Christian Bale. The pair re-create the movie’s infamous Huey Lewis scene, but this time, they’re discussing how Kanye’s earlier stuff was “too hip-hop,” as the Yeezus track “New Slaves” plays in the background.

Check it out in the video below:
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Kanye West's 'Yeezus': It's out there, so what do you think?

He may be a God, but even He can’t beat the Internet.

Though it doesn’t come out in stores until Tuesday, Kanye West’s hotly-anticipated Yeezus has found its way onto the Interwebs. Now that it’s out there in the universe, the great conversation can begin: Is this a dramatic departure for ‘Ye? How does it sit alongside his other work? Is it the angriest rap album of all time? Is it good?

After a handful of listens, a lot of what you’ve heard is true: It’s definitely aggro and raw, though those sounds tend to take up the album’s first half. The B-side, honestly, sounds a lot more like the Kanye we’re used to: Unfiltered, internal, and funny. In fact, that album-closing track “Bound 2″ is essentially a throwback tribute to the cats who dug College Dropout (at one point, he refers to the song as “prom s—”).

But what do you think? Sound off on Yeezus in the comments below, and stay tuned for the full in-depth review care of EW’s Ray Rahman coming Monday.

Read More on EW.com:
Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ video teaser: Watch it here
The unbearable narcissism (and ‘complete awesomeness’) of Kanye’s big ‘Yeezus’ interview
Governors Ball, Day 3: Kanye West debuts new songs, disses radio, demands croissants
Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ listening party last night in New York City: On the scene

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' video teaser: Watch it here

Perhaps you’ve heard that Kanye West’s sixth solo album, Yeezus, is due next Tuesday?

EW did get a chance to listen to a version of the record Monday night in New York City at a star-packed, last-minute listening event hosted by Yeezy himself. But for all the bananas quotes he dropped in that New York Times piece, we’ve still seen very few of the hallmarks typical for a release from a star this big — no real single, no music video, and not even a real confirmed track listing.

What we have so far: Daft Punk is on it, and there are appearances by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Chief Keef, and, via sample, Billie Holiday. And we know that tracks like “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” are pretty aggro.

Now there’s a video teaser for Yeezus, featuring some a cappella recording and the oft-prostrate Rick Rubin. Check it out below.

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Kanye West's 'Yeezus' listening party last night in New York City: On the scene

How loud was Yeezy’s Yeezus listening last night, blasted from the loading dock of westside Manhattan’s Milk Studios?

So loud that New Jersey heard it. So loud that my kidneys are still vibrating. So loud that even the Spinal Tap dudes were like “Bro, maybe turn it down to eight and a half?”  It felt like something between lying directly beneath a jet path and getting into a slap bet with Godzilla — and mostly, it was glorious.

It was also very very dark. Or as a friend turned and said to me: ” When did Kanye get into Ministry?” At times, the whole night felt like it was about to break into the opening scene in Blade (cue the blood sprinklers!). But it was also just a party, with an open bar and dancing and a lot of complicated handshakes between old friends and scenester acquaintances. ‘Ye’s full East Coast roster of famous fans came out: Jay-Z and Beyonce were there, glowing with the light of a thousand suns; so were lesser celestial bodies like Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, and Timbaland, plus a towering crew of flamingo-like models and professional athletes.

After an hour (only an hour!) of milling around in Milk’s dim, cavernous space, the crowd turned to find ‘Ye himself onstage, delivering an impassioned, rambling, and sometimes impenetrable introduction — there was a lot of talk of artistry and marketing (“I got a new strategy, it’s called no strategy. I have a plan to sell more music, it’s called ‘make better music.’”) and something about Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson’s clothing lines — before he wrapped with “I had to learn about giving, this whole album is about giving… this whole process is about giving … NO F–KS AT ALL.” Touché! Go home, kumbaya.

This blog post isn’t an album review; our writer Ray Rahman will be delivering that next Tuesday, or sooner if the record officially leaks. But I will say that from two listenings, this definitely feels like his Darker, Twistier, Still Sometimes Beautiful Fantasy. Some technical details: West revealed that Daft Punk are on “three or four” tracks; Kid Cudi and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Chief Keef also appear; it was hard to catch titles beyond already-known ones like “I am a God,” “Can’t Handle My Liquor,” “Black Skinhead,” and “New Slaves” (featuring Frank Ocean), but one that appeared to borrow samples from both TNGHT’s “Higher Ground” and Billie Holiday’s haunting lynching ballad  “Strange Fruit” will almost definitely be a talking point when it goes wider.

Is this record going to be all over the radio? Are these let-the-alpine-blast summer jams? Not in America in 2013, no. But it still sounds — if I could actually hear anything this morning besides a faint post-show mosquito buzz — like a pretty fascinating manifestation of what goes on inside the mind of one of pop music’s most confounding, singular, and totally gonzo talents. Yeezus! He is risen.

More on EW.com:
Governors Ball Day Three: Kanye West debuts new songs, disses radio, demands croissants
Tyler the Creator under fire after onstage rant in Australia

Governors Ball, Day 3: Kanye West debuts new songs, disses radio, demands croissants

Oh, poor Avett Brothers. As part of the counterprogamming scheme at New York’s Governors Ball festival, Sunday night’s schedule pitted the worthy North Carolina folk act against one of the most interesting, talked-about people making music right now: self-declared god Kanye West, whose sixth album Yeezus hits streets June 18.

And while we’re sure the A-Bros put on a great show for however many fans showed up for their set, the night clearly belonged to West, who drew a small nation of people to his festival-ending show at the event’s main stage.

In a way, it was just an afterparty for him. The future father celebrated his 36th birthday sans Kim Kardashian* Saturday night at a party in Manhattan’s West Village, where buddy Jay-Z, buddy-in-law Beyoncé, and fellow Gov Ball performer Nas were all on the guest list. (This might explain why Nas ended his headlining set early that night?) But despite the audience’s attempts to wish him a happy birthday, Kanye didn’t exactly look like he was in the mood for revelry when he took the stage at around 9:50 pm, twenty minutes behind schedule.

Flanked by a pair of jumbotrons flashing vidoes of barking dogs and Adbusters-y imagery, ‘Ye opened his set with the established Yeezus cuts “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” — in other words, the same thing you saw on his recent Saturday Night Live outing. While both songs were on the aggressive side, so far “New Slaves” seems to be the more enjoyable (or at least approachable) of the two. Take a look at both performances from the festival in the videos below:

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