With his new album, Yeezus, in stores in less than a week, Kanye West‘s media presence is ramping up exponentially. Yesterday (June 12), the G.O.O.D. Music rapper held an off the cuff listening session in Switzerland.
The Daily Beast reports:
The annual Art Basel Fair in Basel, Switzerland, is many things: a place where the über-wealthy come to schmooze, a place to see and be seen, and—of course—a place where collectors flock to buy major pieces of art.
The last thing you’d imagine during Art Basel? A sweaty, body-to-body crowd around a stage, screaming at each other in anticipation of a “secret listening party” by Kanye West.
But just days before the release of his new album titled—yes—Yeezus, West descended on Basel—as he put it—“have dinner with the Kravliks” (no idea who they are, or how to spell their names), and to see some art.
Onstage, West recalled his experience walking between the booths at the fair: “I asked if they had any Rick Owens furniture in the show,” he said. “Then I went to the gallery that had the Rick Owens furniture. And as I sat there, I thought, ‘Maybe it would be cool to play my album tonight, as it comes out on the 18th of June’…I feel almost like Steve Jobs giving one of those addresses right now.”
The New York Post, while making sure to mention that Kim Kardashian didn’t make the trip—she is, ya know, about to have a baby—reported that Yeezy hit Art Basel for a secret show, which appears to be this listening session.
Of course, Yeezy spoke, making sure to touch on his appreciation of the art world in everything he does while delivering more awesome quotes.
“What I want people to understand about sampling and producing is that it’s really similar to—and I know this is obvious what I’m going to say, because I’m a black guy so I’m gonna name the ‘most obvious artist in the world’—Warhol, but it’s very similar to the way Warhol would appropriate a Campbell’s Soup can is the way I would sonically appropriate a Ray Charles sample or a Michael Jackson sample.
He also mentioned getting shut down at fashion shows, too.
“So when I used to go to fashion shows with my boys and we’d be eight deep, it was almost like a civil rights, like a sit-in. They wouldn’t even let us in. They had no idea what rap would mean to this world, what rap would mean to the art world. Before the Kendrick Lamars and the A$AP Rockys, it was Kanye West in a hotel room at the Le Maurice getting a ‘No, no, no, no’ to every single fashion show.
Yeezus is in stores June 18.
Photo: Isabel Wilkinson