July 28, 2010 -- Leave it to Kanye West to break the mold when it comes to breaking out new material.
At Facebook's Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters, the rapper hopped on a conference table Tuesday to debut tracks from his upcoming fifth album. No band, no back up emcees, no DJ, no sound system -- just West in a dapper black suit against a stark white wall.
West's new music proves he hasn't mellowed since the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards outburst that sent him into seclusion. (Exhibit A: his current single, "Power.") Lyrics from the first, seemingly untitled, rhyme he performed at Facebook feature his signature bravado and apt plays on words:
"Kill the hypocrisy/This is an aristocracy. I'm Socrates/But my skin more chocolatey."
"I'm in a speed boat/In my boat shoes. ... Might walk in Nobu with no shoes/He just walked in Nobu like it was Whole Foods!"
"If you fall on the concrete/That's your asphalt."
While performing a song about hating his late mother's boyfriends as a 5-year-old child, West got visibly emotional.
"I'm my mama's boyfriend/I'm her little husband/I was the man of the house when you wasn't," he shouted. West went on to rap about wanting to run his mother's lovers over with his bike -- clearly, his aggressive streak started young.
West took a more political tone with another song, likely called "Chain Heavy." He referenced Hurricane Katrina ("they tried to tell me my chain broke the levee") and racism thrown at him following that VMA confrontation with Taylor Swift ("I got called n****r on Twitter so many times ... This is the making of a masterpiece/So we broke out the chains and told our master, 'Peace.'"
Kanye West on Twitter
Speaking of Twitter, West started tweeting on the micro-blogging network today, saying that he's "taking meetings in Silicone Valley" before correcting himself, "Lol I spelled Silicon wrong ( I guess I was still thinking about the other type of silicone ITS A PROCESS!! : )"
West also tweeted that he's "bouncing a couple of titles around" for his album, rumored to drop Sept. 14. Though he seems enchanted with Twitter right now, he hasn't forgotten about that other social network.
"To all my friends at Facebook," West wrote on his blog today, "Many times in life I've had to deal with moments of doubt. And as it's been a minute since I've performed any fresh material in front of an audience, this could've been one of those moments ... but it wasn't. Your energy was a gift so electric, so genuine, that it really helped me give my best. The energy was so inspiring I had to keep going!"