Kanye West is expected to drop his eighth studio album this year and the sound is comparable to a pair of sturdy boots, according to producer/writer Malik Yusef, who is working with him on the release. Yusef and West, both from Chicago, have been longtime collaborators.
In comparison to Yeezus, which Yusef said was a challenge “to work on because it was a departure from where I wanted to be with our music,” the new project also pushes creative limits but in a new direction. "This album is different,” he told Rolling Stone recently. “It's like a pair of Timberlands; like how Timberlands are not quite leather and not quite suede. It's not the smooth, slick Chicago music sound we have right now and it's not the ruggedness of just 'hip hop hip hop hip hop.' We're still working like a motherf***er. We've been all around the world [recording]."
Without giving up too much information, Yusef revealed that West has “20 finished songs” and that the recording process was easier this time. Yusef, who is also a musician and artist signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint, has worked with the “New Slaves” MC and has had some heated exchanges with the Midwest MC. "We fought overYeezus every day," he said with a laugh. "There was no friendly disagreements. It was definitely a war. It's 'I don't give a f**k*, Malik. It's a Kanye album, not a Malik Yusef album.' Kanye's kicked me off the label eight times."
For now it seems like West is only letting a small circle of people get a taste of what he's been cooking up in the studio. Last month, rapper Theophilus London Instagrammed a photo from an intimate listening session West held in Paris. He reportedly played the album three times, although it was not yet completed as originally assumed. London later slammed a writer for accusing him of lying about the album being done, which he never actually said.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photos from left: Pierre Suu/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images)