UPDATED: After a long series of fakeouts that have become standard operating procedure for Kanye West releases, the embattled artist and Ty Dolla $ign have finally dropped their “Vultures 1” album.
Contributors to the new album apparently include Lil Durk, Bump J, Freddie Gibbs, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Quavo, and West’s oldest daughter, North. The credits are incomplete on some streaming services, however, Genius.com has a detailed list of collaborators, along with transcriptions of the NSFW and at times offensive lyrics.
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Sources tell Variety that the original upload of the album, which was released sometime in the wee hours of Saturday morning, was not the correct, official version, but it has since been replaced with the official one. The album originally was not available on Spotify, possibly due to an apparently chaotic rollout from West’s team, but was posted onto the service early Saturday afternoon. A rep for West has confirmed to Variety that the version of the album now available on streaming services is the “correct” one.
The album is apparently the first in a trilogy that was originally scheduled to drop on Thursday, with the second volume slated for March 8, and the third following on April 5 — but most if not all of West-related releases in recent years have arrived later, often much later, than originally announced; his 2018 album “Yandhi” never came out at all.
The album appears to be released under West’s Yzy brand, as none of the other usual record label credits appear; West’s career-long relationships with Def Jam Recordings and Sony Music Publishing were allowed to lapse in 2021 as the artist’s behavior became more controversial, climaxing (for the moment, anyway) last year with his long string of antisemitic comments that torpedoed most of his branding deals and alienated all but his biggest fans. The pair were said to be seeking a distributor for the album — it seems unlikely that any of the major music companies will go near them — vinyl, CD and download versions of “Vultures 1” are available from West’s Yeezy website.
As was the case with West’s last full album, “Donda,” the release of “Vultures” was preceded by a series of public listening events in major cities, this time in Chicago and the New York City borough of Queens. The album does not appear to include the sample of a live Ozzy Osbourne recording of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” that enraged that artist and his manager-wife Sharon — which was used during the public listening sessions — who spoke out against West’s antisemitic comments and refused to clear the sample. However, a brief vocal snippet that sounds like Osbourne can be heard on the album’s closing track, “King,” although it could just as easily be someone imitating him.
Nicki Minaj also refused to clear the use of their 2018 collaboration “New Body,” which was apparently slated for inclusion on the album; there were also issues around the use of the Backstreet Boys song “Backstreet’s Back.”
Variety‘s review of the album — which, also as usual, has changed with each public airing — will be publishing in the coming days.
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