If there is one thing that is predictable about Kanye West, it’s that he is very unpredictable.
The eccentric Chicago rapper has proven over and over again in the public arena that he moves to the beat of his own 808. When it comes to music, Kanye is the same way. ‘Ye is known for being a tireless perfectionist. He is also erratic as hell. When those powers combine, you get a musical genius who, for one reason or another, has scrapped or shelved a project or
two six in his career.
Anyone remember that Kanye and Drake album that was supposed to be coming out? Or what about the Cruel Winter album that appears to be in the deep freeze. And is Yandhi still a thing anymore?
The latest report is that West’s new album, Jesus Is King, which was slated for release on Sept. 27, might be getting pushed back. The existence of the LP was first revealed back in August, when ‘Ye’s wife Kim Kardashian shared the tracklist and release date on Twitter. In mid-September, Yeezy confirmed the album would come out on the announced date during a free concert in Batesville, Ind. Yet, according to the latest news on the album, fans will have to wait longer to see if JIK is worthy of being praised.
There is no indication that Jesus Is King has been scrapped. Hell, it could come out while you are reading this article, but we wouldn’t be totally surprised if it was pushed into limbo. With Kanye, anything is possible. With that in mind, XXL examines six Kanye West projects that were once promised that may never see the light of day.
Good Ass Job was initially announced by Kanye in June 2003 as the final album in The College Dropout tetralogy before The College Dropout even dropped. It was slated to follow the 2007 LP Graduation. See what he did there.
“I’m calling the next one Late Registration,” he told MTV then. “I’ve got this song ’Hey Mama’ I did three years ago that I’m saving for that one. Then my third album is going to be called Graduation. And the fourth is Good Ass Job.”
However, following the release of Graduation and the death of his mother, ‘Ye changed directions and followed up with 808s & Heartbreak. In June 2010, he announced via Twitter that he would no longer be dropping Good Ass Job.
The G.O.O.D. Music compilation project Cruel Summer (2012) was a hit for the label, featuring big tracks like "Clique," "Mercy" and "New God Flow." So, naturally, the follow-up, Cruel Winter, was highly anticipated. CW was first teased a few weeks after Summer dropped but remained a point of confusion among G.O.O.D. members, with some saying it was a thing of rumor and others confirming its existence for the next few years.
“Champion,” the lead single off the forthcoming posse project, was released in 2016 and features Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Quavo, Yo Gotti and Desiigner. The wait was on. A few months later, Travis Scott revealed he was executive producing the album, which would be coming in early 2017. Then, nothing. The most recent update on the album came from CyHi The Prynce in February 2017, who revealed on Twitter the album was still coming.
The possibility of a sequel to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s joint album, 2011's Watch the Throne, sounded like a reality in 2013 when West’s frequent collaborating producer Mike Dean confirmed the follow-up. Hov even talked up a part two. However, when Jay and 'Ye's relationship soured in late 2016, everything was put on hold.
He doubled down a month later, but that was the last we’ve heard about the prospects of the project.
“We’re just working on music, working on a bunch of music together, just having fun going into the studio,” West said in an interview with Vogue. “We’re working on an album, so there’s some exciting things coming up soon.”
Since then, the two rappers haven’t exactly been seeing eye-to-eye, with underlying beef that bubbled over into the public in 2018 and 2019. The chances of the project coming out now are probably slim to none.
Just weeks after releasing The Life of Pablo, Kanye quickly got to work on what would be his next album, Turbo Grafx 16.
"My next album is titled Turbo Grafx 16 as of now," he tweeted in February 2016. "Just on some super nerd vibes… one of my favorite gaming systems when I was a kid," he added, further explaining the personal meaning behind the title. "Blazing Lazers was probably my favorite game on that console...My boy Mali that I spoke about on the song 'Drive Slow' actually had a Neo Geo in real life bro."
West worked with Kid Cudi, Migos, Vic Mensa, Lil Yachty, Big Sean, Mike Dean and more on the project.
Later that year, Kanye had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized. When he returned to music-making status, he continued work on the album. Similar to the Hawaii sessions for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West shipped several artists out to an isolated spot in Wyoming in 2018 to work on the project, including Travis Scott, Nas, Drake and more.
But it appears West had a change of heart. When the new album was released, it was simply called Ye. Kim Kardashian revealed the fate of Turbo in an interview with Entertainment Weekly saying, "He scrapped his whole album and redid it in the last two weeks and just came up with all new songs."
“I hate it, luckily we are talented beyond measure and can always cook up more,” Pusha-T commented on the bootlegs. “But I honestly hate it for the sake of making an event of a song or project, it ruins all that we have in store for u guys.”
Kanye has since announced the album Jesus Is King, leaving it unclear if he plans on putting out Yandhi at all. The songs from the Yandhi album ended up on iTunes as ringtones but have since been taken down.
Status: Unknown, probably scrapped