Kanye Premieres ‘The Life of Pablo’ at Madison Square Garden Yeezy Season 3 Show
In a packed Madison Square Garden, Kanye West unveiled The Life of Pablo and his latest Yeezy fashions. The Yeezy Season 3 show was as much of a spectacle and as much of a happening as one has come to expect from one of the most confounding and ambitious artists in popular music, and it certainly made it clear that Kanye's Yeezyness is still at peak levels.
As stone-faced models, "led" by supermodels Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek and Veronica Webb, showed off the latest in the Yeezy collection, beats and rhymes from The Life of Pablo tracks like "Highlights" and "FML" and the Sister Nancy sampling "Famous" played over the sound system. Young Thug, Vic Mensa and the Kardashian clan were among those on-hand as fans in attendance cried and cheered the moment. And others tried to catch what they could from the TIDAL live stream.
After playing several tracks, Ye thanked his buddy Jay Z and TIDAL for hosting the event before attempting to dive back into the music -- that is, until the sound tripped up before he could debut the next track.
"Soundcloud," Kanye cracked, which got a chuckle from the crowd, before he played "Freestyle 4."
"I'm a Chicago South Sider," "Ye raps on the track. "Yall heard about the good news?"
"Father, Stretch My Hands" is one of the album's more introspective moments and is likely part of what West means when he refers to ...Pablo as a "gospel album."
"All of yall...all 20,000 of y'all here now is something that couldn't have happened without God really holding me down," Kanye told the crowd. "It's been a hard struggle and I feel so happy. I feel so much joy to be able to follow my dreams without people s----ing on me and being given an opportunity as an artist. I'll forever appreciate Jay Z for that, I'll be forever appreciate Adidas for that and my wife and family for supporting me.
"I really appreciate y'all supporting the shoes when they come out and supporting the albums and supporting the frame of mind...of somebody wanting to speak they mind."
Kanye also had another new project that he debuted during the show: a video game dedicated to his late mother, Donda West.
"I worked on a video game and I wanted to show y'all," Ye said prior to introducing the game's teaser. "The idea of the game is, my mom traveling through the gates of heaven."
The brief clip of the new video game was played onscreen featuring an animated versions of Donda West ascending to heaven with a choir-led version of West's dedication to her "Hey Mama" playing as she becomes an angel -- before the title Only One displayed onscreen, with the words "COMING SOON."
The crowd's reception was respectful, but not quite what Ye wanted to hear, apparently.
"That's not easy to do," Kanye made sure to note for the attendees. "Y'all be acting like that shit is just easy to do, man!"
"I go out and meet with everybody in San Fran and they'll diss the f--- out of me. I'll be like 'I wanna make a game' and they'll be like 'F--- you.' That was hard to do, bruh. This s--- was hard to do, man."
After the teaser for the game was played a second time, the audience cheered a bit more enthusiastically. Kanye then once again reminded his fans that he refuses to be constrained by critics or corporations.
"Y'all see so many artists be controlled by corporations or public perception or their personal finances or whatever, if you're going to be an artist you have to fight for whatever you dream," West said, before referencing his own Yeezy sneaker's success.
"It's the No.1 shoe--what are you talking about?" Kanye asked rhetorically. "It's the No. 1 Christmas present. It's not regular."
"Adidas did promise that they're gonna press up more so more people will be able to get 'em. We're gonna lower prices," he continued. "Seriously. Whenever you start, that's just a learning cover. My dream is be the creative director of Ermez. That would be a dream of mine. I just want to bring as much beauty to the world as possible. I'm only 38 years old."
But it wasn't all sentiment and soft feelings, as Kanye played more of "Famous" that was as brash, misogynistic and controversial as anything he's ever done. With lyrics name-dropping everyone from Taylor Swift to Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian, Kanye decided to drop every line he could about his tabloid-fodder family.
"I bet me and Ray J would be friends if we ain't f--- the same bitch," Kanye raps. "Imma bust the coach head on some Diddy s---, if he ever talk to my son like a idiot."
"This is major. This is amazing," Kanye said before heading backstage to "be with my wife and kids."
"I love yall for supporting me."
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO GAME TEASER FOR "ONLY ONE" BELOW:
AND CHECK OUT CHANCE THE RAPPER'S TWEETS ABOUT THE LIFE OF PABLO: