I’ve been in New York this week for some ESPN day job stuff and didn’t really get a chance to do anything music related, as I’ve been so busy working and hanging with some great co-workers. That changed on Friday when I took the day off to explore the city a bit and visited my people at UMG and WMG. After a long day, I headed back to my hotel and noticed Twitter was a buzz with Kanye’s amazing rollout of his “New Slaves” video projected on to 66 walls across the world, including one in Brooklyn. At first, I thought it was the only NYC showing, but after checking their schedule, I noticed the last showing of the night was a few blocks from my hotel but was supposed to start 5 minutes ago.
Having worked in the industry for 13 years, I’m fully aware of hip-hop time, so 5 minutes ago really meant it was going to start in about 15. Tossed on some clothes and jogged down to the 5th Ave Prada store (right across from Trump Tower) and sure enough, there was a crowd of about 50-75 people waiting for the showing. Within minutes, a large black truck pulled up and crew dressed all in black hustled to pull off the tarp covering the cargo bay and unveiled the projector and speakers (seriously looked like something a Batman villain would do in Gotham City). After a quick set up, they showed the piece, which is, of course, just as dope in its style and content as it is in its guerrilla marketing rollout. Yeezy is back and spitting that real.
After playing it, the crew said they would run it back in about 15 minutes. They left and came back like clockwork, but after setting it up, waited a good 10 minutes before showing it a 2nd time.
Turns out, Kanye himself was on the way to watch this showing as he is in NYC for Saturday Night Live later tonight. He stood behind us with a phone up, as if he was filming like everyone else. Right after it ended, he hopped in his Maybach and drove off. And then he made us pancakes (…Chappelle Show reference).
Shout to everyone in the crowd that night. Real cool atmosphere as all us Yeezy fans were excited to see his new work and be a part of the rollout. Shout to Global Grind and XXL for picking up my video and tweets, and any other sites that have posted it.
And shout to Kanye for the realness. #YeezySeason