With just a little over a week out from release date (June 18), many have been wondering why Kanye West hasn’t released a proper single off Yeezusyet. At his headlining performance at New York’s Governors Ball Sunday night (June 9), ‘Ye revealed a few reasons. Let’s just say we shouldn’t be expecting “Black Skinhead,” “New Slaves” or any of the new songs West debuted at Gov Ball to end up on the radio anytime soon — and that’s his choice.
With its distinctly industrial vibe, Yeezus doesn’t exactly sound like a conventional summer album. Previously-revealed songs “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” are among the harshest-sounding, though, from what can be deduced from the new songs revealed at Governors Ball. There was a slight modern EDM vibe in the new song being called “On Site,” while the song being called “I Am A God” — appropriate given its self-idolizing lyrics — sounds a bit like NIN. There was one other new song — or at least a new interlude, as it was quite brief — played after “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves,” which kicked off the set at around 9:50 p.m. (20 minutes late). West played for his allotted hour and a half, albeit that was over schedule since he started late.
The provocative graphics first introduced by West during his recent SNL performance made their way into the set. “Not For Sale” buttons punctuated “Black Skinhead,” as did incredibly powerful imagery featuring West clad in a KKK-esque hood, albeit black in color instead of white. West also introduced a few other visual themes that were carried out, most notably a fighter pilot/jet motif that morphed from patriotic in coloring to neon rainbow. The actual configuration of the show was also interesting, with his band strewn vertically on the brightly-lit high-rise that took up almost the entirety of the stage. West spent much of the set on a small platform set up amongst the crowd, which was also surrounded by large spotlights.