The festivities took place at Manhattan’s Milk Studios, but rather than following the countless PR and fashion events that Milk has hosted before, West instead chose the Meatpacking District building’s loading dock. Attendees were let in one by one, a slow process that would have led one to believe that only a select few were being given the privilege of the record. That was not the case: The venue was open to the street, so anyone within earshot could hear the album, which had hitherto been shrouded in secrecy, and anyone within sight could view the basic video imagery that went along with the audio.
That’s in keeping with West’s public — and global — debut of “New Slaves,” but there’s more to the theme than a simple stunt. Though the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, Theophilus London, Timbaland and Q-Tip stopped by, West seemed most pleased to see that his work had the potential to be heard by passersby.
Long after Jay-Z and Beyonce had stopped their all-out, hands-in-the-air dance-along to the vibrant album, West became excited when a city bus drove by and grabbed the microphone to remark on the fact that the event was “out here in the middle of New York City blasting music and nobody is shutting us down.”
West also put one matter of confusion to rest: “I want to explain something about the album title. Simply put, ‘West’ was my slave name and ‘Yeezus‘ is my god name.”
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