Is Kanye West a SoundCloud rapper now? It seems like the visionary rapper’s opened up shop on the popular streaming service by sharing two new tracks this afternoon. (The account has existed for years, but these new songs are the first bits of music that have been uploaded.) Neither West nor SoundCloud has confirmed the account’s legitimacy, but frequent collaborator Travi$ Scott shared a link to the account on Instagram with the caption “It starts.”
It’s not quite accurate to call either song “new,” as they’re both building on previously released material. “Say You Will” is a truncated, reworked version of the 808s & Heartbreak opener released back in 2008, one that features Pulitzer Prize-winning performer Caroline Shaw. “When I See It” is West’s AutoTune-addled take on a beat he made for The Weeknd’s “Tell Your Friends,” which was released earlier this year on the latter’s Beauty Behind the Madness. Artist, photographer, and West collaborator Nick Knight supplied the melting floral artwork for each song; it’s reminiscent of the cover of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies.
This new material fits into recent displays of 808s nostalgia by both West and the music community at large. He performed the album in full two September nights in a row at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and the album’s been critically reconsidered in recent months thanks to its impact on the sound and emotional tenor of contemporary hip-hop. But these two new songs don’t seem linked to West’s mysterious new LP Swish, which is still lurking somewhere in the mist without a tracklist or release date. It remains to be seen whether or not this release is going to kick off renewed musical activity on West’s part or remain a throwaway for devoted fans.