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Will Kanye West actually release his slate of June album releases?

Ralph Bristout

 // May 16, 2018

Artist // Instagram

Kanye West is back at it again on Twitter, but this time it's actually music related.

As you might remember, before his crackpot statements on Donald Trump and slavery, Mr. West announced an entire slate of G.O.O.D. Music releases for next month, including a Nas album. So, of course, with each passing day the likelihood of this Hail Mary pass draws both wonderment and skepticism. Possibly aware of this, West hopped on Twitter this week to reveal that not only is he actively working on them, but these records actually exist — at least according to his written tracklist.

Just as he did with The Life of Pablo, Ye scribbled down a series of seven-song tracklists for his own untitled album, as well as Kids See Ghosts (his collaborative album with Kid Cudi), Pusha T, Nas, and Teyana Taylor. In the midst of previewing the potential tracklist for these records, Ye himself is hard at work on his drum machine, cranking away at an instrumental that, in our mind, screams out: Got my mind right.

If there's one thing for certain about this post, it's that this is much better than anything Ye has tweeted or socialized since emerging from his "sunken place." And besides, all we ever wanted from him was the (good) music. In this era of politics-turned-reality show and ongoing ignored injustice, music can help unite and transcend barriers.

Now, back to those promised albums for June. There's a right by Kanye fans, and rap fans in general, to feel uneasy about these albums actually arriving. After all, we've been through this before.

In 2016, Kanye dropped The Life Of Pablo after months of overturning album titles (remember Waves?). But after its arrival, the album then became a "living" Frankenstein. How's that for no rules? After that, he announced plans to drop "three albums a year" and among the bunch would be Turbo Grafx 16, his tentatively titled Pablo follow-up that was promised to arrive sometime during summer '16.

And don't get us started on Kanye's collaborative project with Drake.

In September 2016, Ye spoke to Vogue and confirmed that he and Drake were "working on a bunch of music together" and "just having fun going into the studio." Since the news, the only proof we have from these sessions is "Glow," their surprise collab that popped up on Drake's More Life.

Then there's the ongoing Cruel Winter debacle. Depending on who you ask, this is still a thing. In an interview with Billboard last year, CyHi the Prynce said that after the release of his own album (No Dope On Sundays), "it is time for Cruel Winter." Of course, that's just one of many updates on the mysterious project. In fact, since Cruel Winter's announcement over five years ago, several notable moments took place, including Kendrick Lamar going from Dr. Dre protege to universally acclaimed superstar; the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series; and JAY-Z dropping not one, but two albums. Heck, in that time span, Travis Scott even came into his own as a reputed artist.

In regards to Ye's June timetable, the closest thing that mirrors this moment is, believe it or not, when Andre Harrell teased a possible G.O.O.D. Music drop day in 2010. As the story goes, Harrell hopped on Twitter after hearing an early taste of Kanye's new album at the time (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). According to the music exec, Ye was preparing to drop the album on September 14. Minutes after the tweet, he also revealed the same release date for Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon 2. Big Sean later confirmed the release dates on a Twitter handle, writing in a since-deleted tweet, "September 14, 2010 My album Finally Famous x Kanye West album Good Ass Job x Kid Cudi album Man on the Moon pt 2 RT #GOODMUSIC." If that wasn't enough, Consequence and Pusha T also teased the G.O.O.D. Music drop date. As history would have it, the date came and went. Although, Kanye and Kid Cudi went on to drop MBDTF and MOTM in November. Big Sean's debut, Finally Famous, arrived in June 2011.

But even with the missed release dates and broken promises in the past, we've also learned to trust the process with Ye. After all, the guy gave us My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy after spending two years in exile. And after that album, he announced another: Watch the Throne with JAY-Z. While skepticism was high, what did he do? He dropped WTT a year later—as promised. Plus, even with the sloppiness of its campaign, The Life of Pablo, was a solid album (sans the "bleached asshole" line, of course).

All of that said, we should trust the process and see what June 1 may bring. Beyond everything, though, he's focused, man. June, here we come.

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