NME Festival blog: New Kanye West album ‘Yandhi’: release date, guest spots, producers and everything else we know

The ‘Yeezus’ follow-up is incoming

Just in case you hadn’t had quite enough Kanye West for one year, there’s another album incoming. Hold your eye rolls, though, cause this one could be quite exciting. Titled ‘Yandhi’ (stay with us), it’s reportedly a follow-on from for Kanye’s genre-busting, game-changing 2013 record ‘Yeezus’. Which certainly pitches it higher than half the Wyoming records, anyway.

With the album underway – and already delayed once, naturally – we thought best to round up everything we know about Kanye West’s ninth studio album.

When’s ‘Yandhi’ released?

Originally announced back in September and slated for a September 29, 2018 release, Kanye West has since delayed the release of ‘Yandhi’, in order to head to “what is known as Africa” for recording.

“I need to go, I need to find out what it’s really called,” he told TMZ, “Just grab the soil and be and cook food, five meals a day so the metabolism stays up, have my kids in the studio, and have the mic in the open so you can hear nature while we’re recording.”

Following that announcement, Kanye flew to Uganda – presenting the President of Uganda with a pair of Yeezys in the process.

The release date is now November 30 (commonly known as Black Friday) – which at least suggests he’s not rushing it, as he reportedly did with previous albums released this year.

“It is worth the wait,” says Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian.

What is the artwork for ‘Yandhi’?

The artwork for ‘Yandhi’ features a similar stripped-back, minimalist style to that of ‘Yeezus’, emulating a transparent case for a MiniDisc, a now defunct audio format which was largely available from 1992 to 2013, and carried up to 80 minutes of music.

Check out the ‘Yandhi’ artwork below.

Kanye West’s ‘Yandhi’ artwork

What does ‘Yandhi’ mean?

Much as 2013’s ‘Yeezus’ was a less-than-subtle interpolation of the name ‘Jesus’, ‘Yandhi’ sees West comparing himself to Mahatma Gandhi – the Indian activist who led the Indian independence movement against British rule.

What is the tracklisting for ‘Yandhi’?

The tracklisting for ‘Yandhi’ has not yet been revealed.

Who features on ‘Yandhi’?

In a September visit to The Fader’s office, West reportedly confirmed the inclusion of 6ix9ine and XXXTentacion on ‘Yandhi’. The move has attracted widespread criticism, due to 6ix9ine’s previous guilty pleas to sexual abuse of an underage woman, and XXXTentacion’s widely-reported domestic battery allegations.

He also said Ty Dolla $ign would appear on multiple tracks, and that he was sending a hook to Rihanna for her to sing. It’s not yet known who has co-produced the tracks on ‘Yandhi’ alongside Ye – ‘Yeezus’ was, famously, co-produced by Rick Rubin. 

What will ‘Yandhi’ sound like?

Due to the similarities in name, many have speculated that ‘Yandhi’ will follow a similar sonic thread to ‘Yeezus’, Kanye’s 2013 noise-indebted, industrial hip-hop album. Upon its announcement, Def Jam Records (the parent company of Kanye’s GOOD Music) delivered a coy response to speculation that the album will indeed be ‘Yeezus’ follow-up.

A previously-released teaser clip for ‘Yandhi’ finds Kanye singing in falsetto and layering his vocal with countless vocal effects. Listen to that below.

In addition, during his visit to The Fader’s office, one fan captured 15 seconds of new music. In one track, he raps about “giving up my slave name”. He also addresses his children, saying: “Saint, you don’t really need a last name/North, you don’t really need a last name.“ Listen to that clip below.

“I started incorporating sounds that you’ve never heard before, pushing, and having concepts that people don’t talk about,” Kanye also told TMZ. “We have concepts talkin’ about body shaming and women being looked down upon for how many people that they’ve slept with. It’s just a full Ye album. Those five albums that I dropped earlier were like superhero rehabilitation. Now the alien Ye is fully back in mode, off of medication, working out, breathing as much fresh air as possible, thinking, doing, being himself.”

On October 14, Kanye live-streamed an 11-minute video titled ‘Spaceship calling earth| 3 Domes Uganda.’ In the clip, he rapped: “Relax your mind / Let your conscious be free / No matter what they say / I’m gonna still be free,” and also shouted out his “brother A$AP Ferg,” and mentioned a “2019 prophecy.” Check that out above.


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