The 21-time Grammy Award winner unveiled the new music from the project – simply entitled Ye – at a listening party in Wyoming on Thursday.
He flew a whole host of celebrities and journalists to listen to the seven-track instalment in the mountains while gathered around bonfires.
West was reportedly introduced by comedian Chris Rock and was joined by the likes of actor Jonah Hill and fellow rappers Big Sean, Nas and Pusha T at the celebrity-packed event.
The 40-year-old star, who is regarded as one of his genre’s all-time greats, made Ye available online hours later. The album features appearances from artists such as Nicki Minaj, John Legend and Kid Kudi.
The star’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, also attended the listening party and later revealed West took the photo for the album artwork earlier that day on his mobile phone.
“Kanye shot the album cover on his iPhone on the way to the album listening party,” she tweeted.
Kanye shot the album cover on his iPhone on the way to the album listening party 😂🔥❤️🔥🙏🏼🔥
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 1, 2018
The artwork features a mountain landscape and a field with the words “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome” (sic) scribbled over it in bright green.
The highly-anticipated project – his eighth studio album – follows 2016’s The Life of Pablo and his treatment in hospital due to mental health issues later that year.
— J.D. (@jdotshots) June 1, 2018
Controversy has followed since his return to Twitter in 2018, where he said he was publishing a philosophy book “in real time” straight to the social media website.
He tweeted that President Trump was his “brother” and that they were both “dragon energy”, adding: “You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him.”
A backlash also followed an interview with TMZ during which he suggested slavery in America was “a choice”.
West references the episode on the album with the lyrics: “They said build your own, I said, ‘How, Sway?’ I said slavery’s a choice, they said, ‘How, Ye?’ Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day.”
You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
However, some fans appeared to look past the musician’s recent remarks.
“Yall two weeks ago: KANYE IS CANCELLED, I’m not listening to his new music. I. AM. DONE,” wrote one Twitter user, before adding: “Yall today:” with a gif of rapper Jay Z dancing, referencing their enjoyment of West’s new music.
Yall two weeks ago: KANYE IS CANCELLED, I’m not listening to his new music. I. AM. DONE.
— Matt #YE (@JustMattBentley) June 1, 2018
Hollywood’s Ryan Phillippe called Ye “kinda amazing”, while other fans called it a “piece of art” and the rapper’s “most hopeful and prettiest album”.
However some were not as pleased with what they heard. Comedian Akilah Hughes wrote: “This song is literally about when he tweeted that slavery was a choice. This is some lazy end of semester work is what this album is. #Ye.”
Source: independent.co.uk, theguardian.com, news.sky.com