Headed into Philly on a whim with my buddy Mike last night (Friday), speeding down 676 and over The Ben Franklin Bridge. Kanye's site listed 22 new projection cities across America/Europe, including 3 planned Philly locations; Eastern State Penitentiary's guerrilla-style showing was listed as 10:30-11:30. I called up my girlfriend once we got there, which was around 11:10 and only waited about 10-15 minutes longer amongst a group of roughly 100+ people trying to decide which side of the street to stand on. A black panel van with some sort of New York labeling pulled up and after knocking into someone's truck, pulled out a generator and started setting up as the crowd got more and more restless, starting to block the oncoming late night traffic. Kanye's so damn obnoxious... like who would really think to project their face on building sides across the world from 9-12 @ night!? It's almost like he's gotten progressively crazier since The College Dropout, instead of mellowing out as he's a soon-to-be-father. "New Slaves" was preceded by a TRON-looking grid before counting down with snapshots of old advertisements, strewn across Eastern State Penitentiary's 184-year-old Fairmount Ave. facing stone front.
Once again, it's pretty wild/awesome that a largely unreleased track that's so openly racist and features lines containing the blatant misuse of words like nigg*s, dick, fuck, pussy, bullshit, etc. can simply play for nearly 3 minutes in the middle of the city on a brisk May Friday night without ANY police interruption whatsoever! From what I understand, The Franklin Institute and Barnes Foundation weren't exactly happy about "New Slaves"' impending take-over; a spokesman stated, "[We] have no knowledge of tonight's planned projections [and we] do not want the projection(s) on the side of The Franklin Institute & The Barnes Foundation," which were scheduled to happen sometime between 9-10:45. The video's final frames segues into a shot of text that simply reads, "JUNE EIGHTEENTH," a date that just so happens to be Kanye's new album (Yeezus') long-rumored and only recently confirmed release date. Mac Miller, J. Cole, Goodie Mob, and Quasimoto are all releasing new material that very Tuesday in an honest attempt to chart. I think I'll end this one with a few shock-worthy bars from Mr. West himself, "You see, it's leaders and there's followers / But I'd rather be a dick than a swallower."