Although he has no plans of releasing SWISH, the long-awaited seventh studio album, anytime soon, Kanye West, for now, is having a G.O.O.D. time toying with our emotions.
And if it isn’t through his Yeezy Season fashion line or a 2020 presidential bid, then it’s pretty much everything he’s done thus far besides dropping that said follow-up to 2013’s Yeezus. Over the weekend, when he held court at the Hollywood Bowl in celebration for the groundbreaking opus that was 2008’s 808’s & Heartbreak, we were treated with yet another distraction — a G.O.O.D. one at that.
Of all the times to celebrate the classic, it’s unclear why West decided to do so now considering that 808’s seventh anniversary falls in December. He could have easily celebrated My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which celebrates five years in November, or even the now 10-year-old Late Registration.
Never one to pull a move that is expected or of the norm, this ceremonial event found Mr. West digging back into his coldest magnum opus that's become his own version of Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear and caused Elton John to call it a “masterpiece” that “changed music for the better.”
For what seemed like merge of Late Orchestration, his famous live-rendition of his 2005 sophomore album, and the Yeezus Tour, Ye performed back-to-back live performances of the album on Friday (September 25) and Saturday (September 26) with a string orchestra, an eight-person choir, along with special guests Jeezy, Mr. Hudson and Kid Cudi. The latter played an integral role in the 2008 LP, leading Kanye to even tell Complex in 2009, “Me and Cudi are the originators of the [808’s] style, kinda like what Alexander McQueen is to fashion… Everything else is just Zara and H&M.”
According to several reports, the 75-minute, 12-song sets stuck strictly to 808’s material, as they should, including “Bad News,” “Streetlights,” “Coldest Winter,” and “See You in My Nightmares.” Jeezy joined in for “Amazing,” while Mr. Hudson appeared for “Paranoid,” and Cudi, who parted ways with West and G.O.O.D. Music in 2013, returned for a rare rendition of “Welcome to Heartbreak,” Heartless,” and “Paranoid.”
With all that this album has done to shift the music space since its '08 arrival, from influencing current torchbearers like The Weeknd and Drake to cyborg-crooners like Future, Kanye really doesn't need a reason to honor such a beautiful sonic palette of music like 808. And whether or not these pair of shows were sort of consumer testing for SWISH, the fact that West reached back to an album that unarguably birthed a generation is a only G.O.O.D. sign of things to come — or so we hope.
Check out the fan-shot performances from the shows below.
"Say You Will"
"Welcome To Heartbreak" ft. Kid Cudi
"Heartless" ft. Kid Cudi
"Paranoid" ft. Mr. Hudson with Kid Cudi
"See You In My Nightmares"