A History of Kanye West Album Delays

G.O.O.D. things come to those who wait.

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Image via Complex Original
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The most cruel thing about summer 2012 was not Kanye West's forthcoming compilation, Cruel Summer, but waiting for it. Fans and critics alike have been stalled in anticipation since 'Ye announced the G.O.O.D. Music project last fall, but still, no album. 

Kanye said that the record would be out this past spring, but as it turns out, spring and almost all of summer will pass before it hits shelves. It is now slated for September 18. Of course, this isn't the first time West has pushed back the release date of a project. Not even close.

Looking back, these creative delays have happened with just about every Kanye West album. Complex took a trip down not-so-happy memory lane and recalled all of the times that Yeezy kept us fiending for his crack music. It's never fun, but at least we know that the wait is always worth it.

Written by Brad Wete (@BradWete)

The College Dropout

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Late Registration

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808s & Heartbreak

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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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Release Date: November 22, 2010

After releasing first single "Power" in May, Kanye made his first TV appearance since Swift-gate and performed it at the 2010 BET Awards in June. That summer, an often suited Kanye joined Twitter, visiting their headquarters and Facebook’s to recite rhymes from his then untitled album, slated for a September 14 release.

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On July 29, he announced that its title would not follow the school theme of his previous efforts. “The album is no longer called 'Good Ass Job,'" Kanye tweeted. "I'm bouncing a couple of titles around now.” A few days later, the album was given an October 12 release date, but it wasn’t until October 5 that he revealed the set’s title.

The next release date announced was November 22, and it stuck. It was the second time he'd drop an album on the Monday before Thanksgiving.

Watch The Throne

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Release Date: August 8, 2011

It began with a seemingly offhand Kanye West tweet. “Me and Jay ‘bout to drop a 5 song album called ‘Watch the Throne,’" he wrote in August of 2010, before even finishing his then forthcoming fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

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In an October 2011 interview with MTV, promoting Fantasy’s accompanying short film, Runaway, West confidently said cranking out Throne out would be light work. “We’ll probably be done with the album in, like, a day or whatever,” he said after informing host Sway that it would be a full album. He was wrong. It wasn’t until January 2011 that the two offered up “H.A.M,” the album's first single. It was met with heavy criticism, so the duo went back to the drawing board.

Though it was never confirmed, an Independence Day release date was highly rumored. On July 7, Jay-Z invited a select few journalists to hear the unfinished album at downtown NYC’s Mercer Hotel, where they recorded the majority of the project.

Weeks later, Funkmaster Flex debuted their new lead single “Otis” on Hot 97. Throne was then supposed to be available for iTunes download on August 1, with a physical release on August. 5. That didn’t happen, either.

Fortunately, the last delay was only a week. Watch The Throne hit iTunes on August 8, then Best Buy on August 12.

Cruel Summer

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Release Date: September 18, 2012

Similar to the roll out of his previous two albums, West used Twitter to get the ball rolling on G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer album. “GOODMUSIC.THE ALBUM.SPRING2012,” he tweeted to his millions of followers last October.

In April of this year, West released the then untitled project's first single, “Mercy.” On May 23, he debuted his Qatar-shot film Cruel Summer at Cannes, which doubled as an announcement of the album’s title.

Earlier this month, Kanye reportedly played some Cruel tracks in an NYC club, including one called “Perfect Bitch,” dedicated to his girlfriend Kim Kardashian. "I wrote the song Perfect Bitch about Kim," West wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted. On August 2, West tweeted out the artsy album cover.

The album, originally due  August 7 and then pushed to September 4, is now apparently slated to drop on September 18. Contributing producer Hit-Boy confirmed that the album is done and that they’re just putting the final touches on it.

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If this was another artist, we wouldn’t hold our breath. But this isn't Detox. No matter how many delays an album sees, Yeezy's track record shows that he always comes around, eventually. September 18 should be a go.

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