After celebrating his 36th birthday until the wee hours with friends, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Nas on Saturday, Kanye West got up Sunday (June 9) and headlined this year's Governors Ball Music Festival, unleashing five fiery new tracks from his upcoming album, Yeezus.
While heavy-hitters like Guns N' Roses, Kings of Leon and Kendrick Lamar heated up the bill, West set it ablaze, closing out the three-day, yearly event on New York City's Randall's Island. In his first sole headlining appearance in New York since 2008, West premiered the tracks "On Site," "I Am God" and "Send it Up." He also performed two recently premiered tracks from the upcoming album, "New Slaves" and the show's closer, "Black Skinhead," which he performed on SNL's season finale. The backdrop behind him was complete with dramatic visuals: black folks in KKK hoods and a "not for sale" statement that flashed across the screen. He sprinkled the new songs throughout his heavily synthesized set with current and classic crowd pleasers like "Jesus Walks," "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and "Power."
The Chicago native has been in a decidedly darker place lately, routinely speaking out against big brands. 'Ye hit the audience with a signature rant, reiterating his anti-commercialism viewpoint, telling the crowd he's no longer interested in traditional promotion. "With this album, we ain't got no single to radio… We ain't even got no cover. We just made some real music...." As the rapper continued, citing personal past experiences with record label promo stunts, and growing more emotional, he drew tears from the audience. "Honestly, at this point when I listen to radio, that ain't where I want to be no more. Honestly at this point, I could give a f--k about selling a million records as long as I put out an album for the summer that y'all can rock to for all f--kin' summer... At this point I don't really give a f--k about outside opinion."
Yeezus, West's sixth studio album, is out June 18.
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(Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage)