It’s Kanye West’s world, and we’re just living in it.
The controversial rapper has been in and out of the spotlight over the last few years, experiencing fatherhood, the launch of his own shoes and a dubious announcement to run for President in 2020—all while working on a new album, which has been shrouded in mystery ever since the release of 2013’s Yeezus.
Then things got really weird.
In 2015, the rapper announced he was changing the title of his much-anticipated new album from So Help Me God to SWISH, only to change the title again to Waves. That, too, was short-lived, as the rapper then revealed he was changing the name to T.L.O.P., challenging people to figure out what the acronym stood for. The prize? Free tickets to a Yeezy 3 show at Madison Square Garden on the album’s day of release (today), and a pair of free Yeezy boosts.
Amidst all this, Kanye brought back G.O.O.D. Fridays, releasing Real Friends and No More Parties in L.A., only to go quiet once again. But today’s the day. The Life of Pablo will be live streamed in select theaters and on TIDAL, which you can view below. Will this be the best album of all time, as Kanye West has previously said? That’s the kind of hubris that has made him one of today’s most popular, and hated, figures in entertainment.
While we’re not here to judge the album, the title of which was confirmed to be The Life of Pablo last night, as good or bad, we felt it was necessary to talk about because of how widely and quickly music like this can be distributed around the world. I remember before iTunes and iPods and 1GB Internet connections were a thing, you had to go to the store and pick up a physical copy of the music you wanted. Today, music is conveniently delivered through services you can listen to literally anywhere around the world whenever you want.
It’s so easy to take music streaming services for granted, too. I use Spotify every day and rarely stop to acknowledge how amazing it (and other services) can be. They give us access to millions of songs, all for a tiny monthly sum. And these services continue to get better, though there’s an ongoing fight among them for exclusive releases and better features. Competition does breed innovation.
Catch the live stream today, which begins at 1 p.m. PST / 4 p.m. EST.
Update: Kanye on Friday Tweeted that the album will be out later today, saying he has tweaked the tracklist a bit.https://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/698175350854021120