We went to Kanye’s insane live album release in NYC and here’s what happened

kanye west madison square garden tidal adidas life of pablo pabloye
Back in January, Kanye West described his upcoming album, The Life of Pablo, as a gospel album. Yesterday, he held a massive church gathering at Madison Square Garden (MSG) to preview the new album and put on a fashion show for his Yeezy Season 3 collection with Adidas. The Life of Pablo leans more towards classic gospel than Yeezus, but not by a lot.

Yeezus was a jumbled attempt at experimentation that sounded like a well-produced rock album with an artist whose infatuation with singing smothered his own significant talent. The Life of Pablo sounds like its sensible cousin; an unhinged look at an artist with a clear vision to mix iconoclastic lyrics with ridiculously bombastic production. This album was made for arenas and speakers with volume knobs that go to 11.

The religious overtones framed the message of a few songs from The Life of Pablo more than they defined the entire album, as with Yeezus. Kanye isn’t proclaiming he’s a god, but he does compare himself and wife Kim Kardashian to Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary meeting in the club on the crowd favorite Wolves. To the entire crowd’s surprise, Frank Ocean came out of his self-induced exile since his classic 2012 debut album Channel, Orange to sing on the song’s outro. So, Yeezus proved he can make miracles happen.

Decked in a red long-sleeved shirt from his collection (being sold for $90), Kanye stationed himself on the far right behind his laptop, guiding the congregation through the album in front of a large sheet that blanketed the stage. Eventually, the sheet was removed, revealing a smattering of statuesque models, as the sounds of a choir chanting acapella on album intro Ultra Beam Light filled the arena. Gospel legends Kirk Franklin and Kelly Price lent vocals to the song, which elicited one of the biggest rounds of applause in the show.

At this moment, a man sitting next to me looked at the woman he was with and uttered, “is this real?”

The entire event was indeed surreal. The Kardashian clan, along with Caitlin Jenner, was dressed in all white outfits from Kanye’s new Adidas line, and stuck out like sore thumbs sitting among the crowd. At one point, Kanye even directed the crowd to say “amen” to the Kardashian family, which inspired a chorus of subtle boos. The strangest moment was the “F*&k Nike” chant that reverberated throughout the arena. Yeezus may just have given Adidas a few thousand new disciples.

There were moments of disjointed energy due to the structure of the show. The models staring emotionless around the arena were mirrored by the crowd at large as he sang the lyrics “If  I fuck this model | And she just bleached her asshole | And I get bleach on my T-shirt | I’ma feel like an asshole.”

Near the end, Kanye went into an expected rant about how hard it was do get this event done before thanking Adidas for footing the bill and making his grand proclamation seem a bit meager in comparison. But once he passed the cable connecting the sound system to the numerous people in his entourage, the grand spectacle quickly devolved into a bland house party.

Mexican drug lord Pablo Escobar was so powerful in Columbia that in 1991 the Columbian government allowed him to have the prison in which he was to serve a five-year prison sentence built to his specifications. The name of the prison: La Cathedral. While Kanye did not build Madison Square Garden, watching this grand spectacle for an Adidas apparel line and an album, paid for by the world’s second-largest sportswear manufacturer, almost seemed to prove he commanded similar reverence as Escobar.

With Kanye adding five more songs to The Life of Pablo‘s final track list and promising to release the album later today, we’ll soon all be able to live life like Pablo.


Don’t expect to see the new Dell XPS 15 with OLED display until April

There could be a delay in the release of Dell's new laptops with OLED panels. A new tweet from Dell executive Frank Azor suggests that these new devices might not come until a month later.

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

From Roma to Isle of Dogs: Here’s where to watch 2019’s Oscar nominees online

The 2019 Oscar field is a strong one, and if you missed some of the films in theaters, you may be in luck: Several of them are available on popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO.

Where to catch the encore of Marshmello's Fortnite concert if you missed it

EDM star DJ Marshmello performed a different sort of concert today: one held live in-game in Fortnite. The concert was held in Pleasant Park, where the usual football field was transformed into a stage and a massive dance party broke out.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Schubert left Symphony No. 8 unfinished. A smartphone’s A.I. just completed it

We all know computers can be used to make music, but can artificial intelligence be used to not only generate music, but complete one of the most famous unfinished symphonies of all time? Huawei has used its A.I. to find out.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

Spotify could terminate accounts of listeners using ad blockers

Bad news for those who block annoying ads on Spotify -- the company has updated its Terms of Service to explicitly ban ad blockers. Consequences for users found circumventing the rules include suspending or terminating your account.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.

Donald Glover is (somehow) first rapper to win a Grammy for Song Of The Year

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has become the first hip-hop artist to win Song Of The Year, an award that had illuded countless other popular rap artists for decades.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

The 25 best love songs on Spotify for your wooing pleasure

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, but love is forever. If you're hoping to impress your significant other -- or if you're trying to procure one -- we put together a list of the best love songs for your wooing pleasure.

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.