Yeezus is an album by Kanye West that released on June 18, 2013, and is West's sixth studio album. Yeezus encompasses elements of Industrial Rap and experimental production.
This album is a stark contrast to his fifth studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Kanye also hired notable musicians and producers such as Rick Ruben, Ben Bronfman, Daft Punk, Dom Solo, Gesaffelstein, Mike Dean, No I.D., and Travis Scott.
- Track One: On Sight - 2:36
Produced by Daft Punk, Benji B and Kanye West
Kanye West hired a choir to perform “He’ll Give Us What We Really Need” by Holy Name of Mary Choral Family due to sample clearance issues. This song was purposely put first in order to contrast his previous album's introductions with songs such as "Good morning", “Say You Will,” and “Dark Fantasy” in order to convey his anger and frustration that is a recurring theme throughout Yeezus.
- Track Two: Black Skinhead - 3:08
Produced by Daft Punk and Kanye West
Black Skinhead is a near-tribal record that threads between both Ye’s traditional braggadocio and anti-establishment, anti-racism themes. The song was premiered on the finale of Saturday Night Live, which saw West's performance backed by projected images of snarling dogs and various slogans (including "new slaves" and "not for sale"). Although West initially said Yeezus would have no singles, "Black Skinhead" became the first single released from the album after its debut on June 19, 2013, and peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Track Three: I am A God - 3:51
Produced by Daft Punk, Hudson Mohawke, Kanye West & Mike Dean
Through electronic production, “I Am a God” displays a wondrous exhibit of Kanye’s charisma (or arrogance, depending on how you feel about him), which stems from the album title, Yeezus. Through shooting synths, squeals, and mushed bass, Kanye revels in all the negativity he has endured from media, and the hate received for everything from his fashion sense to brand of hip-hop. The pained screams toward the end of this track make this one teeter towards horrorcore. Justin Vernon’s contribution to the ending of this monstrous song haunts as well.
-Track Four: New Slaves - 4:17
Produced by: Kanye West
This track is the only song on the album produced solely by West, it features Frank Ocean alongside Kóbor János, Lead singer of the Hungarian rock band, Omega. This song touches upon themes of institutional racism, stereotypes of black people, and rebellion (From fashion designer Hedi Slimane trying to prevent him from seeing other fashion shows in Paris if he agreed to come to Slimane's show.)
- Track Five: Hold my Liquor - 5:26
Produced by Arca, Kanye West, Mike Dean, and Noah Goldstein
This song represents Kanye’s inner demons fighting for control. In Justin Vernon’s hook he’s trying to hold everything in, but in Chief Keef’s hook, he’s exposing himself for the world to see and not caring about consequences. This is all followed by a reckless verse that indicates the “I'm let you finish” Kanye that we’ve come to know won the inner battle.
- Track Six: I'm in it - 3:55
Produced by Kanye West, Evian Christ, Dom Solo, Noah Goldstein, Arca, and Mike Dean
I’m In It is the sixth track on Yeezus, Kanye West’s sixth album. It’s one of three songs on the album featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and the eighth West/Vernon collaboration song overall.
This is a very sexual song with what sounds like porn samples, a simple sin/square bass, slowed drum samples and the same distorted one-shot from “Guilt Trip”. During the main section, there’s even what sounds like a dog barking sample if you listen carefully. It begins at a very slow 43BPM and pushes up to 120BPM in the main section. The beat brings this oddly titled track by Kanye into perfect melody. The slightly slowed beat adds more and more as the song rolls on, adding to it’s impactful, melodic sound. It only has one sample, by credited producer Arca, who sampled his track “Feminine” at the 2:23 mark in the song. The subtle pulses and guitar playing makes it one of the more “relaxed” beats on the album but still gives a powerful vibe. The distortions used on all three musicians are a subtle touch.
- Track Seven: Blood on the Leaves - 6:01
Produced by Kanye West, TNGHT, Mike Dean, Arca, Carlos "6 July" Broady, and 88 Keys
Blood on the leaves uses a very infamous sample, Nina Simone’s rendition of Billie Holiday’s song, “Strange Fruit”. This sample has stirred up a lot of controversies, due to the extreme depictions of lynching in the sample. This isn’t the first time Ye used this Nina Simone sample. In 2009, he used it for Common’s “Strange Fruit”, which some believe was intended for Com’s album Finding Forever.
- Track Eight: Guilt Trip - 4:04
Produced by Kanye West, Mike Dean, S1, Travis Scott, and Ackeejuice Rockers
Prominent in the 139BPM song is an ascending synth motif, a descending piano part, a sax melody, that crushed snare again and a short kick. The pivotal sample is the Popcaan vocal sampled. Kanye references the sample in the first verse when he says “blocka, blocka, blocka-blocka, blocka”.
- Track Nine: Send it Up - 2:59
Produced by Kanye West, Daft Punk, Gesaffelstein, Brodinski, Arca and Mike Dean
This 93BPM song consists of a howling high-pitched melody and the same glitchy Daft Punk synths used in “On Sight”. Kanye heard “Viol” by Gesaffelstein and asked him to work on the track. Comparisons have been made to his song “Hellifornia” which was produced first.
- Track Ten: Bound 2 - 3:50
Produced by Eric Danchild, Che Pope, Noah Goldstein, Mike Dean, No I.D. & Kanye West
Kanye first shared a snippet of a new song called ‘Bound’ on kanyewest.com, along with the official album cover casing for Yeezus. Unfortunately, the snippet was only 14 seconds long. As opposed to the industrial, electronic influences found throughout Yeezus, this warm soulful track is most reminiscent of Kanye’s earlier work. The track has since peaked at 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Yeezus is an album that is designed to be different, from the purposeful choice of electronic producers taking part in the making of the album to the minimalist promotion and presentation of the album. Yeezus is a culmination of Kanye cursing at the upper establishment and showing how he does what he wants to do because he is "a god."