Once again, we enter YEEZY season. Just over a year and a half since the debacle that was DONDA 2, Kanye “Ye” West is back in the studio, assembling a new album.
You’ll obviously never get official word from Ye himself as to what’s actually going on so interested parties are forced to cull scraps of information about Ye’s next album from tabloids, leakers, and the fastidious YEEZY fan pages that obsess over Ye’s every move like it’s a full-time job.
Here, we’ve compiled every major moment in the development of Ye’s forthcoming music thus far, aside from some mild rumblings.
Speculation about Ye’s new music began in earnest by September 15, 2023, when Ye and Censori made a surprise appearance at London Fashion Week.
Ye and Censori’s destination was a runway show held by ex-YEEZY GAP designer Mowalola, who previously created some custom “clothes” for Censori.
Wearing outré outfits that nearly stole the show, Ye and Censori watched as models walked to a song reported on by Ye fans as new music.
By the end of September, a TMZ source reported that Ye was devotedly producing songs from his Florentine bunker. Supposedly, he’d completed nearly a dozen tracks in under a week, unusually prolific for someone so stingy with his music.
The source also claimed that Ye didn’t have a release date in mind, meaning that the album is likely still a very long ways away.
By the end of September, Ty Dolla $ign previewed another unreleased Ye song during a show in Switzerland.
Ty was soon revealed to be working quite closely with Ye, later traveling to Ye’s makeshift studio in Italy and capturing some footage of a violin player putting some tones to tape.
Then, on October 1, the big reveal.
Well, Ye’s obsessive fans already knew that Ty Dolla $ign was working with Ye, presumably as a producer on the new album, but an in-studio video leaked to tabloids revealed that Ty was more involved than previously thought.
Ye devotees wondered whether the new album would be a collaboration between Ye and Ty or if it was a Ye album with Ty’s features or production.
In the background of the leaked video, what appears to be a tracklist is scrawled on a whiteboard towards the back of the room. Ye fans, as fixated as they are, immediately began attempting to decode the scribblings.
The only semi-(semi-semi-)discernible phrase is what appears to be “New Body,” referencing a Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign-featuring song from Ye’s scrapped album Yandhi, which Ty was heavily involved with.
“New Body” was then intended to be included on 2019 record Jesus Is King but the track got pulled from that, too.
Various iterations of the song have leaked online but, if Ty is as involved with Ye’s next album as he seems to be, it’d make sense that Ye would re-record it for the new record. As for the Minaj verse, who knows?
Ty then wiped his Instagram on October 5 save for a bizarre video of Ye getting a pedicure. He deleted the clip shortly after posting it.
Oddly, some Ye leaks that began to surface by late September eventually made their way onto Ye’s YouTube channel on October 5 in an apparent hack. They were summarily removed.
Also around the same time, an unreleased Ye documentary (no, not that Ye documentary) emerged online and was widely shared around Twitter.
Lots of extraneous Ye goings-ons.
Let’s pause here to pick apart Ye’s year.
They eventually began appearing in public with increasingly bizarre outfits. These range from Ye’s newfound sock obsession — part of a greater rejection of shoes that peaked with barefoot looks — to Censori’s increasingly revealing outfits, leading to myriad see-through bodysuits worn on the streets of Italy, where the couple spent the summer, much to local authorities’ chagrin.
New album aside, 2023 has been a big year for the man formerly known as Kanye West.
Ye also profited mightily adidas’ two sales of leftover YEEZY sneakers, which offloaded a selection of old-stock YEEZY shoes originally meant to drop in 2023. This granted Ye a big slice of profits: though it isn’t clear exactly how much adidas forked over to Ye, its first sale generated nearly $440 million alone.
It’s all quite crazy, sure, but these paparazzi feeding frenzies serve to further push Ye’s very public late-2022 meltdown out of public memory.