It’s been almost a year since fans last heard from the ever eccentric Kanye West.
During a year-long hiatus, West still remained in the spotlight for various reasons. From being spotted in Hawaii to Paris at Fashion Week 2010, wearing a full-fledged fur coat to becoming the subject of a Saturday Night Live Video Music Awards parody, West could not escape the media. In addition, West was producing for rapper Drake’s debut album Thank Me Later and even worked as an intern for Fendi in Italy while living in Rome.
It seemed that West was doing everything else but working on what fans have been yearning for the past few months—music.
But the wait is over.
The anticipation for a new album reached new heights when West released his comeback single “Power” in May. Although leaked and unfinished, the track gained positive reviews from critics and fans alike. After its official release on iTunes, the single reached 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
“Power” finds the once emotionally struggling emcee declaring his awakened return, taking it back to his roots of hard-hitting rhymes and signature beats. West also leaves his previous extensive use of the auto-tune behind. In the song, “Power,” West discusses in his lyrics what’s been going on in his mind throughout his hiatus: “I just needed time alone with my own thoughts/ Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open my own vaults…”
Speculation has already rose into collaborations on his forthcoming album. Confirmed collaborations include producers DJ Premier, Pete Rock, RZA and Q-Tip. Previously titled Good A** Job, the upcoming album has allowed West to make a weekly event of releasing new songs (titled G.O.O.D Friday). Two have already received radio play including “See Me Now” featuring Charlie Wilson and Beyonce, as well as the star-studded “Monster” which contains verses from hip-hop greats Jay-Z, Rick Ross and rap’s female newcomer Nicki Minaj. Drake and Raekwon are also said to contribute to the album.
To add to the hype, West even joined the latest fad in social networking, Twitter. Through his account (@KanyeWest), the rapper has given details about his daily whereabouts while letting go of some emotional steam. For example, he tweeted on Aug. 28th, “When I create I try to submerge myself into a dreamlike state where I am a 5 year old. Just enough information to still have my own opinion.”
West has also released a snippet of his music video for “Power.” He tweets: “It’s not a video, it’s a moving painting…” Directed by Marco Brambilla, the video makes West out as a king in heaven amidst half-dressed female angels and warriors seeking to decapitate him.
With an upcoming album set to come out in November, a recently announced upcoming EP with Jay-Z titled Watch The Throne, and a performance at the event responsible for his hiatus, the VMAs, West has a secret arsenal of music and projects just waiting to be released. It’s safe to say that West is back and he indeed has the power.