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Tag: Kanye West (31-40 of 249)

Kanye West explains bringing 'Jesus' on tour and using his 'white' voice

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From Zane Lowe to Jimmy Kimmel, Kanye West is the best at making headlines.

This week, the rapper stopped by San Francisco’s Wild 94.9 JV show  to talk about bringing Jesus onstage, his own relationship with God, and why he uses his “white voice” with the press.

Addressing his Yeezus meets Jesus collaboration, which served as the intro to “Jesus Walks” during his Seattle tour opener last Saturday, West said, “I had a friend of mine who’s a pastor there as we started discussing how we want to deliver it… My girl even asked afterwards, ‘Hmm, is that weird if Jesus comes on stage?’ No, we do plays all the time. People play Jesus. You know what’s awesome about Christianity is we’re allowed to portray God? We’re allowed to draw image of him, we’re allowed to make movies about him.”

As for bringing Jesus center-stage, Kanye was just relaying a message to his fans about the power of a strong relationship through Christ.

“You can have a relationship with Jesus, you can talk to Jesus,” he said. Anytime the word Jesus can be used more in our lives, it’s a good thing. Even if it’s the title, Yeezus. With my heroes, people want to be like Mike, I want to be like Christ.”

Kanye also addressed the criticism received for the change of tone in his voice in some of his interviews:

“What I didn’t know, and I really didn’t know about until a couple of years go was that it’s not about race, it’s about class,” he said. “Even when you’re in certain magazines, it’s still like a Dinner for Schmucks situation. Are they inviting you to be a part of your situation, or are they inviting you to laugh at your teeth? We have our thing that every time we do it, we give them the ‘white’ voice.”

Pusha T, the Last Great Gangsta Rapper

How gangsta is Pusha T? So gangsta that on his first official solo album, the killer My Name Is My Name, the marvelously menacing Virginia rapper includes a soaring inspirational anthem, “Hold On”—and invites the profoundly unsentimental Rick Ross to join him on it. (Though “[you] couldn’t fathom my wealth/Build a school in Ethiopia/should enroll there myself” may be Ross’s most civic-minded statement yet.) He’s so gangsta that he calls a song that features Chris Brown “Sweet Serenade.” He’s so gangsta that he has Jeezy, a relic of the peak-thug era, rap on “No Regrets.”

Pusha—one half of the sadly dormant coke rap duo Clipse, prolific mixtape and guest rapper and member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music—sums himself up this way on “No Regrets”: “Nowadays I sell hope/what, you rather I sell dope?/What I sell is a lifestyle/naked bitches on sailboats.” That’s “hope” the way Rick Ross can understand it. Pusha remains a deadpan, do-it-to-death thug whose self-awareness never undermines his drug-dealer fairy tales.

Which makes him an exception among the great rappers with recent albums. Danny Brown, who just released the terrific Old, uses meanness as just another one of his masks. Drake surrenders to complexity—he’s tougher on Nothing Was the Same, but still like a boyfriend who’s needy at home and aloof around your friends. On Doris, Earl Sweatshirt is utterly—and engrossingly—cerebral. And then there are the A$APs: image jockey Rocky and the inspiringly weird Ferg. Pusha may be the last gangsta standing—not an anachronistic monolith, but a living, snarling monument to hardcore hip hop.

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Kanye West: 'I'm the number one rock star on the planet' -- VIDEO

It’s official: Kanye West is now “the number one rock star on the planet.”

At least, that’s true according to the totally scientific opinion of Kanye West, who recently sat down with BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe for an extended interview. The full conversation will run in two parts on BBC Radio 1 next week, starting on Monday at 7 PM British time (or 2 PM EST). In the meantime, they’ve released a teaser, which includes West’s advice on footwear (“No flip-flops for black dudes! Wear some hot-ass Jordans on the beach!”), the merits of his best albums (“Dark Fantasy could be considered to be perfect”), and letting the haters hate (“People are gonna look at this interview and say, ‘I don’t like Kanye. Look, he looks mad. I don’t like his teeth.”) Check it out below. READ FULL STORY

Kanye West makes surprise appearance on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' -- PHOTO

Looking at the photo above, you’re probably thinking the same thing we are: How has this not already happened?! But it’s true. Kanye West made his very first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight, performing his song “Bound 2″ off his latest album Yeezus. 
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Kanye West and Jay Z each announce separate tours

Kanye West, who hasn’t gone on a solo tour since 2008, announced this morning that he’ll embark on The Yeezus Tour, a 23 city North American trek kicking off October 19 in Seattle (the same place West launched his Glow In the Dark tour back in ’08—Yeezy must really dig the Space Needle).

He’s bringing along summer festival VIP Kendrick Lamar as his opening act. Tickets go on sale next Friday, September 13 in most cities, and you can check out all of the dates and venues at the bottom of this post. And if you see your city listed — um, no return dates for you, Kazakhstan — be sure to let your local French bakery know when Kanye is coming; as we know, dude can be pretty demanding.

Not to be outdone, Jay Z also announced a new tour this morning. Jigga’s Magna Carter World Tour finally has its North American bookings, which will begin in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 30 (hope he’s packing a parka). The 34 date run will take him through the new year and includes a pair of stops at his home court in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on January 12 and 13. Tickets go on sale Thursday, September 12, and the entirety of Jay’s run is below as well.

So the two biggest hip-hop acts in America are going on separate tours, hitting many of the same cities. Let’s assume that the tickets will be impossibly expensive (because let’s face it, most all concert tickets are impossibly expensive), and you can only afford to go to one this fall. Which one do you choose? Let us know in the comments.

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Kanye West's dark, interactive 'Black Skinhead' video finally arrives

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A few weeks ago, an unfinished version of Kanye West’s video for “Black Skinhead” hit the Internet, and nobody knew what to think. Was it real? Was it incomplete? It turned out the answers to those questions were “Yes” and “Yes.”

Having finally gotten over the heartbreak of the leak, West has now pulled back the curtain on the finished version of “Black Skinhead.” The video was directed by Nick Knight (the British fashion photographer who also directed Lady Gaga’s unicorn-centric “Born This Way” clip and who also helmed that “New Slaves” video that was projected onto the sides of buildings), and it is designed to be a fully interactive experience — you can speed it up, slow it down, and capture images from it, which West hopes leads to a proliferation of images from the video on all Facebook pages everywhere.

Perhaps the most impressive element of the “Black Skinhead” experience is the middle-fingered cursor, which was an element my freshman year roommate added to his then-state-of-the-art computer to make it more “edgy.” (Did that overhaul also include a ton of quotes from the South Park movie? You better believe it did.)

Anyway, you can experience the madness of “Black Skinhead” (which, admittedly, looks pretty awesome) over at Kanye West’s official site. It’s impressive, though honestly it’s not nearly as good a promotional clip for “Black Skinhead” as the trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street. Could the “Black Skinhead” video be the thing that gives Yeezus a second life? And now that everybody has spent some time with it, what’s the final verdict? Sound off in the comments.

(Or, if you’d rather debate something else, just consider Kanye’s latest proposition. Never change, Kanye.)

Read More on EW.com:
Album Review: Kanye West, Yeezus
Kanye West scuffles with paparazzi at LAX
Kanye West’s pricey clothing line sells out, crashes site
Album sales: Wale tops chart, Kanye West sees ‘Yeezus’ fall big
Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ gets a single after all: ‘Black Skinhead’ heading to radio

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

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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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