Kanye, feeling new 'freedom' after admitting to personal debt, plans second album of year

Kanye West dances during his Yeezy Season 3 Collection presentation and listening party for the The Life of Pablo album on Feb 11, 2016.
Kanye West dances during his Yeezy Season 3 Collection presentation and listening party for the The Life of Pablo album on Feb 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Rap superstar Kanye West, saying he felt a new freedom after admitting to personal debt, on Wednesday announced his second album of the year.

Earlier this month, he put out The Life Of Pablo, breaking conventions by releasing it via streaming and fine-tuning it even after its release.

Reflecting on his recent experiences in a flurry of postings on Twitter, he wrote with no other details: "New album coming this summer."

"The world needs a guy like me. The world needs somebody to not be scared and tell his truth," said West, who is not known for his modesty, has pursued fashion design and declared his intention to run for president in 2020.

The 38-year-old rapper, who is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian, earlier revealed that he was US$53 million (S$74 million) in debt and seeking funds to "bring more beautiful ideas to the world". He encouraged fans to subscribe to Tidal, the streaming service led by rap mogul Jay Z on which West exclusively released The Life Of Pablo, and vowed never to put the album on other platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

On Wednesday, West said the debt had been "my biggest shame" and that he was now free from his "slave mindset". "I'm happy and free and proud and confident. I'm not crazy. I'm free," he wrote.

If history is a guide, West may take his time to reveal details of his album.

He repeatedly revealed different titles and tracklists before releasing The Life Of Pablo, which he first played at a fashion show at New York's Madison Square Garden and later put out on Tidal.

The album immediately drew controversy for the track Famous, in which West suggests he made pop star Taylor Swift famous and that she should have sex with him.

Swift, without naming West, urged young women to stand up to people who seek to take credit for their success in a speech accepting the Grammy for Album Of The Year for her blockbuster 1989.

West - who at 21 Grammys is tied for 10th place as the most accoladed artist ever - returned on Wednesday to his frequent criticism of the music industry's top awards.

He said the awards were "completely out of touch" with taste and declared: "If I'm not at the show next year then there is no show."

He won wide acclaim starting from his reflective 2004 debut album The College Dropout but had not released a full album since 2013's harder-edged Yeezus, although he managed to stay constantly in the news.