Screengrab from Twitter/KanyeWest
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) After around 20 million people watched his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show and listening party on live stream alone, Kanye West has finally dropped The Life of Pablo on February 13, Saturday (February 14, Sunday in Manila). He officially announced it in an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
The @kylemooney / @kanyewest rap battle you didn't know you needed. #SNL https://t.co/T67KGAmGpu — Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) February 14, 2016
The much-anticipated record, which has gone through several name changes, is now available for exclusive streaming on Tidal and as a digital download on KanyeWest.com for a week before it is distributed through other retailers. (READ: Kanye West names album 'The Life of Pablo' – but who's Pablo?)
Cover by Peter De Potter pic.twitter.com/wdQOHk6QBA — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 11, 2016
Another Cover pic.twitter.com/WOwEmmmlHI — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
this new album is ONE of the greatest albums not the greatest just one of … — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 3, 2016
Yeezus also finally reveals the identity of Pablo, and it's not the artist Pablo Picasso nor infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. It's the Apostle Paul, "which is in keeping with his claims that [The Life of Pablo] was conceived as a 'gospel' album," as Hypebeast puts it.
Paul ... The most powerful messenger of the first century... Now we stand here 20 centuries later... Because he was a traveler... — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
He was a learned man not of the original sect so he was able to take the message to the rest of the world... — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
He was saved from persecution due to his Roman citizenship... I have the right to speak my voice... — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
All memes are wrong... The Life of Paul... The life of Pablo... Ultralight beams... Moms dads daughters sons stand up... — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
On February 12, Friday (February 13, Saturday in Manila), he posted a photo and a message on Twitter that more tracks (now 18 in total) had made the cut and that he would release on the same day. (READ: Kanye West unveils new album, Yeezy 3 line at NY fashion week)
The album is being mastered and will be out today… added on a couple of tracks… pic.twitter.com/6lBxcd83N2 — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 12, 2016
He earlier posted a list that comprised of 10 tracks.
Final track list for The Life Of Pablo pic.twitter.com/PMH94MAAeJ — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 11, 2016
However, he later announced a delay on Twitter, blaming it on Chance the Rapper who co-wrote the track "Waves," which features Chris Brown.
It’s Chance's fault the album not out yet… he really wanted Waves on that Bitch… we in the lab now... — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 13, 2016
The new album features collaborations with Kanye’s contemporaries: Chance the Rapper (“Ultra Light Beams”); Kid Cudi and Desiinger (“Father Stretch My Hands”); Rihanna (“Famous”); Ty Dolla $ign, The Weeknd, and Young Thug (“Real Friends”); Swizz Beatz and Metro Boomin.
Kanye West talked about his new album at the end of his Yeezy Season 3 show in Madison Square Garden, New York City, as quoted by Vanity Fair: “This album is really a gospel album. […] It couldn’t have happened without God holding me down […] It’s been a hard struggle, and I feel so happy and so blessed to be able to follow my dreams without people sh*tting on me.” – Rappler.com