Kanye West Hosts a Listening Session at Design Miami/ Basel 2013

Yesterday, American rapper, platinum producer, and art/design aficionado Kanye West paid a visit to Design Miami/ Basel in it’s new location at Hall 1 Süd. Mr. West, who’s releasing his new album Yeezus next week, said in an interview with the New York Times that the biggest inspiration for the groundbreaking, minimalist record was the pioneering and revered modern architect Le Corbusier, who has work being shown here at Galerie Patrick Seguin.

In true Yeezy style, he decided to host a spur-of-the-moment, surprise listening party for his new record on Design Miami/ Basel’s ground floor. In just a few short hours, the ground floor was transformed into a vibrant concert space with colossal speakers flooding bass. 

A huge crowd gathered around the stage and cheered as Kanye took the stage, where he spoke about his art education and the impact it’s had on his long and innovative music career,  and the way that multiple visual disciplines play a role in his sonic craft. “The way Andy Warhol appropriated a Campbell’s soup can, I appropriated a Ray Charles sample,” he said to the crowd – who had by that point gotten onto the stage and turned the massive event into a more intimate occasion. 

Kanye then played songs from his new record, the nearly-impiously titled Yeezus, and talked about what went into the viscerally emotive album. He spoke about his desire to get away from the mainstream and to reassemble hip hop, and doing so by collaborating with influential yet innovative producers, including Rick Rubin and Daft Punk. “This ‘aint some radio sh##.” 

Kanye finished with an a cappella version of his already-controversial single off Yeezus, titled “New Slaves.” Mr. West then dropped the mic and left the roaring crowd the way he arrived – in a blur.

Rob Goyanes

Design Miami/ Design Log


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