Sound Off: Kanye West interrupts again

By Managing Editor

Kanye West made a surprise appearance at the iHeartMedia Music Summit in California on Jan. 21, where he previewed some unreleased tracks slated for his seventh studio album, according to a Jan. 22 Billboard report. 

West apparently took the summit into his own hands after Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels abruptly halted his own speech about upcoming releases from artists like Big Sean and Alesso to announce West’s arrival. 

“I want to stop this and turn it over to one of the great iconic rock stars of our time: Kanye West,” Bartels reportedly announced to the summit attendees. 

According to the Billboard article, West spoke to the crowd of radio programmers for roughly 45 minutes about the importance of innovation in music, pointing out his own trendsetting career moves of the past like when he brought EDM-influenced music to mainstream radio with “Stronger” after discovering artists like Daft Punk, and popularized the use of autotune with 808s & Heartbreak in 2008. 

Billboard called West’s speech “a bit stream-of-consciousness,” which should not come as a surprise given his tendency to embrace that particular form of expression.

After highlighting his past achievements and radio successes, West acknowledged another stream-of-consciousness experience that recently brought fans an unexpected collaboration. 

The single “Only One,” an ode to West’s late mother, Donda West, and his daughter, North West, dropped on New Year’s Eve.

As if the sentimental track—a song in which West claims to believe his mother overtook his body and spoke through him—wasn’t already a gift, the song features keyboard accompaniment by Paul McCartney and backing vocals by Ty Dolla $ign.

Just in time to make fans’ last moments of the year intensely emotional, the song may have helped nurse the wounds of fans who were disappointed West didn’t drop an album in 2014. 

West also used his platform at the summit to sing some of “Black Skinhead” a capella and said he was disappointed the record didn’t see the radio play he had hoped for, despite having “joked” in 2013 that he didn’t want to be on the radio, according to Billboard. 

After performing the older tune, West reportedly wowed attendees by singing “Only One,” and followed it up with a preview of a currently untitled duet with Rihanna, which is thought to potentially be the track Ty Dolla $ign hinted at to Billboard earlier this month.

He said the new track would feature West, Rihanna and McCartney.  

“It’s going to drop soon,” Ty Dolla $ign told Billboard in early January. “I heard they shot the video recently. I don’t know what the final title is, but I know it’s crazy, so just be looking out for [it].” 

Hopefully West will release his highly anticipated seventh studio album in 2015 so fans who have been awaiting the album since he told GQ magazine last July that  it would be out “most likely in September” of 2014 can finally get their hands on yet another “godly” work of art and many more extraordinary collaborations.