Kanye West Has Started Changing His Old Material, Too (Unless He Hasn’t)

Carl Williott | April 18, 2016 3:00 pm

Back when Kanye West‘s label officially announced that The Life Of Pablo would be a “living album” with various updates across all streaming platforms “in the months to come,” I had quite a few pressing questions about the logistics of all this. And one was: Would this open the door for him to go back and rework past albums, too? Well, apparently we now know the answer.

A Twitter listener directed SPIN to the Apple Music version of Yeezus track “Send It Up.” About 90 seconds into the 2013 song, as West raps “It’s so packed I might ride around / On my bodyguard back like Prince in the club,” the beat drops out completely. I can tell you as a Yeezus obsessive that this most definitely didn’t happen on the original version. And as of this writing it happens on the Apple Music version (listen here) but not on the Spotify version, which you can hear below.

So now, a new question: Do we really think Kanye took time away from updating TLOP, and working on the rush-job follow-up, to make a minuscule change to a song that’s almost three years old? It’s entirely possible! Kanye has done more absurd things! It’s also possible, though, that this was some sort of glitch on Apple Music’s part — wouldn’t be the first time they did something strange with Kanye material.

UPDATE: Kanye vocals at the beginning of “Black Skinhead” have also been slightly changed on the Apple version, so who knows how many other little revisions are hiding in this album, and possibly his others.

UPDATE 2: HNHH points out a 2013 KanyeToThe thread which tracked changes on the various Yeezus releases, and it seems to indicate that the above changes were actually made to the album in 2013, but after the physical release. Which means only Apple is streaming the version with those final, post-physical updates. This is all very confusing and tiresome and if it catches on with other musicians it might actually get people to yearn for the CD days.