Kanye West Hosts Star Studded Yeezus Listening Party 

Rapper says "West" is his slave name, "Yeezus" is his god name.

Posted: 06/11/2013 09:14 AM EDT

Late last night (Jun. 10), in the loading dock of Milk Studios in NYC's Meatpacking District, Kanye West hosted a listening session for his Yeezus album, slated for release Jun. 18.

It was dark in the warehouse-like location, with visuals projected on the walls, much like his global guerrilla roll-out of his lead singles, "New Slave" and "Black Skinhead." West told the audience, "I gotta new strategy, it's called 'no strategy.' And I gotta way to sell more music, it's called 'make better music.'"

Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, Timbaland, Q-Tip, Joell Ortiz and New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler were among those in attendance to hear Kanye's genre-bending sixth studio album.

"I feel like I know who I am," 'Ye continued.

All of the usual industry accoutrements — bottles, equipment, etc. — were wrapped in red tape so that no logos showed, except for that of his DONDA creative team on signs that announced this party was, "NOT FOR SALE. BRANDS MUST PAY."

"We didn't give a f--- about what nobody said from the outside looking in. We just wanted to make the best product possible and this is just the beginning of an entire new mentality about how to make music," he said before reflecting on his own "label. "… I wanna explain something about the title Yeezus; simply put, 'West' was my slave name and 'Yeezus' is my god name."

Yeezy also explained why he recently brought on Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin as executive producer of the much-anticpated project.

"I remember Rick even saying, he said, 'When we did Def Jam, we really wasn't feeling like we was in competition with nobody because our s--- was so direct … so I had to go to the god Rick Rubin and play him my s---, ask him questions and allow him to take this project to an entirely new level. And he made a lot of great decisions at the end and pulled it to a new level."

'Ye also said that he doesn't care if the whole album leaks (he performed five new tracks at the Governor's Ball this weekend).

Similarly, J. Cole, who shifted his Born Sinner release date to compete with Kanye, made his album available for streaming, just about a week away from those crucial first week sales.

 

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 (Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)

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