The CEO Of Def Jam Gave An Encouraging Status Update About Kanye West’s Next Album

Senior Music Writer
06.07.17

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The last we heard anything about Kanye West’s next album, he was holed up in some mountaintop resort somewhere in Wyoming making beats with Pusha T. It’s a tantalizing image to be sure, but we need more info than that. Well, recently, Variety sat down with the one person who might know better than anyone besides Yeezy himself how things are coming along with his next project, Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels.

Obviously, Bartels wasn’t going to spill all the beans, but what he did say was encouraging.

“When we talk we don’t really get down to the granular of where he’s going and how he’s flying there, we keep it much more on a broader level. Kanye is working, that’s been widely reported. He’s always very focused, and our relationship with him is that we always have great respect for him and when he’s ready to do something or talk about something, we’re there for him, we totally support his vision and his focus, and that’s where we leave it. I check in with him from time to time just to see how he’s doing. What’s great about our relationship is that I always know when it’s go time—because he wakes me up.”

As to whether or not Yeezy might put something out this year? “You never know,” Bartels said. “He’s always working, so maybe so. It’s never something we’re pushing—it’s always led by the creative side.”

Probably the best tack to take when it comes to an artist who has yet to throw up a brick in his career.

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