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Kanye West talks 'Yeezus' LP: "I'm a minimalist in a rapper's body"

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Kanye West has spoken about the "minimalist" sound on his upcoming Yeezus album.

The rapper releases his sixth studio album on June 18, and has worked with legendary Def Jam producer Rick Rubin on the record.

Kanye West in concert in 2011

© Rex Features / Startraks Photo

Kanye West in concert in 2011



Talking about the recording process of the album, West told the New York Times: "Architecture - you know, this one Corbusier lamp was like, my greatest inspiration.

"I lived in Paris in this loft space and recorded in my living room, and it just had the worst acoustics possible, but also the songs had to be super simple, because if you turned up some complicated sound and a track with too much bass, it's not going to work in that space. This is earlier this year.

"I would go to museums and just like, the Louvre would have a furniture exhibit, and I visited it like, five times, even privately. And I would go see actual Corbusier homes in real life and just talk about, you know, why did they design it?

"They did like, the biggest glass panes that had ever been done. Like I say, I'm a minimalist in a rapper's body. It's cool to bring all those vibes and then eventually come back to Rick [Rubin], because I would always think about Def Jam."

West said of working with Rubin: "For him, it's really just inside of him. I'm still just a kid learning about minimalism, and he's a master of it.

Kanye West

© PA Images

Kanye West

Rick Rubin
2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower Hotel - Arrivals

© WENN

Rick Rubin



"It's just really such a blessing, to be able to work with him. I want to say that after working with Rick, it humbled me to realise why I hadn't - even though I produced Watch the Throne; even though I produced Dark Fantasy - why I hadn't won 'Album of the Year' yet."

Speaking about the stripped-back nature of the sound, West added: "This album is moments that I haven't done before, like just my voice and drums. What people call a rant - but put it next to just a drumbeat, and it cuts to the level of, like, Run-DMC or KRS-One.

"The last record I can remember - and I'm going to name records that you'll think are cheesy - but like, J-Kwon, 'Tipsy'. People would think that's like a lower-quality, less intellectual form of hip-hop, but that's always my number one.

Kanye West new album 'Yeezus' advert.

'Yeezus' advert



"There's no opera sounds on this new album, you know what I mean? It's just like, super low-bit. I'm still, like, slightly a snob, but I completely removed my snob heaven songs; I just removed them altogether.

"It's like trap and drill and house. I knew that I wanted to have a deep Chicago influence on this album, and I would listen to like, old Chicago house. I think that even 'Black Skinhead' could border on house, 'On Sight' sounds like acid house, and then 'I Am a God' obviously sounds, like, super house."

Daft Punk and Bon Iver are among the artists featured on Yeezus.

Watch Kanye West perform new song 'Black Skinhead' live below:

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