On Thursday night, ‘Ye premiered the highly anticipated project titled Ye during a listening session in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kanye announced this untraditional debut just hours before its expected drop by tweeting a link to WAV—an app on which the listening session would be livestreamed. Candace Owens has been spotted at the album listening session, someone Kanye holds in high regard.
We knew the album would span seven tracks, two of which were presumably titled "Extacy" and "Wouldn't Leave." It was also rumored that the album would be titled Love Everyone, based on a screenshot of a text conversation with someone named Wes. (Many speculated the person was Wes Lang.)
There were also countless rumors about potential features, as artists such as Drake, Pi'erre Bourne, Mike Dean, Travis Scott, and more had reportedly traveled to Wyoming, where 'Ye was working on music. Though we didn't have many details, 'Ye's friends and colleagues did reveal a bit about the album's direction.
"I think it’s similar to, like, ‘socially conscious’ Ye—‘message’ Ye,” Charlamagne tha God said back in April. "You know, like on Pablo he had like 'Real Friends'; that shit was about something. It was about fake friends and who you’re real friends are. He’s on that vibe. He’s talking about real shit. Not to saying he don’t always rap about real shit."
During Thursday night's stream, many of the aforementioned rumors were confirmed, along with a number of unexpected details.
Before playing the album, attendee Chris Rock told the crowd that the project was simply titled Ye. The project's opening track referenced Kanye's struggles with mental health, and how, at one point, he contemplated suicide: "Today I thought about killing you," he rapped on the record.
Another notable line included a reference to Russell Simmons' sexual misconduct allegations: "Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too/I'mma pray for him cuz he got MeToo'd." He concluded the song with the lyrics: "That’s my bipolar shit what/that’s not a disability that’s my superpower/I’m a superhero."
And, of course, the rapper made sure to mention his controversial TMZ comments about the history of American slavery: "I said slavery a choice, they said how 'Ye?/They said build your own, I said how Sway?"
The project was stacked with guests, including Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla Sign, Jeremih, Young Thug, Charlie Wilson, and 070 Shake, the latter of which provided uncredited vocals on Pusha-T's DAYTONA track "Santeria." The album also included an appearance by Nicki Minaj.