Kanye West surprised and disappointed many fans (and non-fans) last week after releasing the very stark CD cover art for his controversially-named newest album, YEEZUS. After a string of album covers featuring broken hearts, flying cartoon bears, and film-noir doorway stances, we celebrate Kanye’s new appreciation for minimalism. And we celebrate the rejects too, which Kanye was nice enough to sketch out and send to us via gold-plated, diamond-encrusted carrier pigeon. But that pigeon was a dove. And that dove was in the Illuminati. Praise YEEZUS
Rejected for being too obvious of a graphic representation of Kanye West’s recent personal and artistic self-destruction. Bookmarked for future Baby West to play with later. Mentally tattooed on the hearts of millions in remembrance of.
Rejected for being slightly too modern and unidentifiable with the unchanging grimaced palette that is the face of Kanye West. Also rejected for being too much of a homage to the reactions of Kanye West’s fans and critics upon learning the name of his newest album. It’s about YEEzus, not YOUzus (or Drakezus).
Rejected for misunderstanding the meaning of “YEE.” Almost selected for the shameless exploitation of the largest religion in the Western world. Ultimately rejected again because Kanye’s head would not fit on top of the crucified asthmatic inhaler.
Rejected for being too much of a reference to Gold Digger. We all already know what’s going to happen in “18 years, 18 years” and we’re all willing to sit cross-legged in a circle and wait for that punchline. (Also rejected for not being actual cover art design but just what the duct-taped YEEZY cover reminded us of–Maury Povich unsealing an envelope and making the announcement.)
Rejected because there’s no going back to the way things used to be in the world of Kanye West’s music. It’s time to loosen our grip on our favorite early singles and forget about how deeply we originally engaged with his lucid and game-changing lyricism. We’re up to album number six now and it’s time for us all to grow with Kanye West as a musician and ease up on the criticism of his personal and musical life choices. This was not written by the PR team for Kanye West.
Rejected because this probably isn’t even close to the last we’ll hear or see or know of Kanye West. He will continue to be a provocative musician people on the Internet waste time arguing about and making fake album covers for. He has and will continue to influence the music game…for better or for worse–we’ll let you know when the music inside the cover drops on June 18th.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 7, 2013