Kanye West fans have been in limbo for quite some time now, nearly a year, as the rapper’s highly anticipated ninth album—supposedly, titled Yandhi—continues to be out of reach. Even though Kanye brought it down for Coachella with his Sunday services. Even though we’ve heard a number of figures from his inner circle talk up Yandhi. Even though pretty much half of the album demos have been leaked already. We are no closer to receiving a release date for Yandhi—or are we?
The project’s name is a combination of “Ye” and “Gandhi,” (just like YEEZUS was of “Ye” and “Jesus”). Yandhi was originally projected to arrive a couple of months after his collaborative album with Kid Cudi Kids See Ghosts and the eponymous ye. But after two delayed releases, fans are less and less sure when Yandhi—in its entirety, fully prepared by Kanye—will come to light. How many revisions has Yandhi endured at this point? Will he ever be done?
We’re not giving up hope. There’s no reason to. Especially since Kanye is reputed for his heavy revision process, a his creativity one of a control freak’s, it makes him who he is. And when collaborators and producers keep talking about the project, opening up to Hypebeast and Complex about the making of Yandhi, we can’t help but forgive him for taking his time, teasing us. Because it sounds like the product is doing to be something of legends.
The album artwork for YANDHI, leaked by Kanye West’s Instagram last September.
Last month, French Montana spoke of the gospel influence on Yandhi. Not to mention, Kanye West collaborator Ronny J revealed a fascinating feature of the incoming Yandhi. One which is so interesting, dominant, and strange, that it must be true. “You gotta be really present wherever you’re at [with Kanye] …it’s best to be present because then you can just come up with new things,” Ronny J said.
“For example, he had different studios set up outside in these little villa things and there was times when we would record vocals and record certain things and we would get the nature sounds in it, as well. You actually gotta be there and be present for that to actually be authentic. You could YouTube some ape sounds or monkey sounds or some bird sounds, but to actually be there on the Nile river? Not everyone gets to do that.”
What do we have now, after a year of waiting? Talk, and leaks. Ye’s collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign and Nicki Minaj, “New Body”. A collaboration between Kanye, Ty, and the late XXXTENTACION titled “The Storm”. A song titled “Alien / Space X”. And snippets of others. What do these leaks confirm? Two things. One, the songs are the same as the ones he debuted to The Fader last year, leading us to believe Yandhi has been near-completion for awhile now. And two, people really, really want the music.
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The leaked music is unlikely to be what we finally hear on Yandhi, as we all know Ye would never let those leaked tracks stand as the finished product. After his constant revision of TLOP, fans can anticipate that even after Yandhi is up on streaming services, it’s subject to change.
So, Will Kanye West release YANDHI in 2019? With the onslaught of leaked material, his inner circle discussing the album to the press, and Kanye keen and quiet for it all, we think it’s definitely possible, if not likely, that fans hear the long-awaited YANDHI in 2019. At the *very least*, we should hear Ye himself open up about the project, as he rarely endures a music leak without speaking on behalf of his work.