NEW YORK, Feb 15, (Agencies): After a prolonged rollout that included last-minute changes and a massive fashion show, Kanye West’s new album is finally out for the public.
The rap superstar in the early hours Sunday put out his seventh studio album, “The Life of Pablo,” shortly after he performed on the weekly television comedy show Saturday Night Live in New York.
West had debuted the album last Thursday in a fashion show-turned-concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, as the self-described renaissance man and husband of reality television star Kim Kardashian displayed his latest Yeezy clothing line.
But the album was not yet available for fans who did not tune in Thursday. “The Life of Pablo” on Sunday came out exclusively on Tidal, the streaming service led by rap mogul Jay Z in which West has a stake.
Amid the wait, West also made last-minute changes to “The Life of Pablo.” The album includes a song, which was not on the original track list, entitled “I Love Kanye.”
On the track West — who has compared himself to Michelangelo and Pablo Picasso — raps about his public image, with references to himself in the third person in every line.
“The Life of Pablo” also features “No More Parties in LA,” a song featuring the acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar that was produced by the prolific hip-hop DJ Madlib.
The song, which has proven popular with West’s fans, was initially on the rapper’s track list and then mysteriously disappeared before reappearing.
Also on the album is “Waves,” a sexually explicit song that features Chris Brown and had initially been the album’s title.
Twitter exchanges indicated that “Waves” was the reason for the album’s holdup as Chance the Rapper, who helped write the track, insisted to West that it be included.
He was apparently referring to reconciliation with pop superstar Taylor Swift. In 2009, West rushed the stage of the MTV Video Music Awards when Swift won for best female video.
West countered that he believed the winner should have been Beyonce.
After Swift’s associates criticized West’s lyric as sexist, the rapper took to social media to defend himself and say he did not intend disrespect.
West, 38, is one of the all-time top recipients of Grammy Awards but in recent years has focused on other endeavors, with the rapper saying he plans to run for president in 2020.
He had not released a studio album since 2013’s hard-edged “Yeezus.”
It wouldn’t be a typical week in the Kanye West hype machine without some head-scratching moments-this time around they included a Bill Cosby endorsement and a second Taylor Swift feud.
But on Saturday night, prior to releasing his eighth studio album and performing on “Saturday Night Live,” the rapper disclosed perhaps his biggest shocker yet when he revealed that he was $53 million in debt.
The 38-year-old West made the claim on Twitter shortly before the highly-anticipated album premiered exclusively on Tidal and his website.
“I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt,” he tweeted. “Please pray we overcome … This is my true heart.”
West, who’s married to reality TV star Kim Kardashian, has been putting tens of millions into his fashion label. According to Business Insider, his latest clothing line is selling high-end coats and jackets for as much as $3,000 to $4,000. The Kanye sweatpants alone cost $510.
In a 2015 interview with BET, the controversial rapper said he incurred $16 million in debt from his fashion business.
“I was trying to play a sport that’s a billionaire sport. It’s not a millionaire sport and I’m proud of the debt,” he boasted.
West, on Sunday morning, asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg to invest $1 billion in his ideas because he is “the greatest living artist and the greatest artist of all time.”
West stormed the “Saturday Night Live” stage with performances of “Highlights” and “Ultralight Beam” from his just-released album “The Life of Pablo.”
Both tunes featured backing vocals from R&B veteran El Debarge, gospel star Kirk Franklin, Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price and The-Dream. Both tunes were performed in front of a multimedia backdrop that was a departure for the NBC franchise’s musical performances. “Ultralight Beam” featured a host of additional backup singers.