Kanye West has finally delivered.
After months of skepticism and growing anticipation, the multi-hyphenate returned this week with the first installment of Vultures—his three-part joint project with frequent collaborator Ty Dolla Sign. They also did a sold-out live event at Chicago’s United Center, joined by many of the record’s contributors including North West and YG.
Fans have been waiting on the album since October 2023, when Ty shared a cryptic Instagram Story with the symbols “¥$”; the former is the currency sign used for Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, while the latter is, of course, the USD dollar sign.
About a week after the Instagram teaser, Billboard reported that Ye and Ty had a full-length project on deck and planned to release the effort before November. However, insiders claimed the duo had trouble securing a distribution deal in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in Israel, with some executives expressing concern over Ye’s history of anti-Semitism.
Fast forward to Dec. 8, when Ty took to Instagram to share Vultures’ 18-song tracklist, which included titles like “New Body” with Nicki Minaj, “Fuk Summ” featuring Playboi Carti and Quavo, “River” with Young Thug, and the Future-assisted “Paid.” The album’s title track immediately sparked backlash for the following lyrics: “How I’m anti-semitic? I just fucked a Jewish bitch.”
Fans got a taste of the album late last year when Ty hosted a listening party in Miami. The event was billed as a “rave” and was streamed live via YouTube. Kanye’s daughter North West—whom he shares with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian—not only attended the event, but flexed her rapping skills during a performance.
Ye and Ty would go on delay the album a couple more times in the new year, before finally confirming the project would drop on Feb. 9. Kanye dropped the news back in January when he also revealed that Vultures would be a trilogy with a staggered release. Volume Two and Three are scheduled to arrive on March 8 and April 5.
In the days leading up to Vultures Volume One, fans were blessed with the “Talking/Once Again” video featuring Kanye’s oldest child, North West. Shortly after, the hip-hop duo came through with the apocalyptic visual for “Vultures (Havoc Version).”
Vultures Volume One arrives nearly two years after Kanye unleashed Donda 2, which was released exclusively through Stem Player. He and Ty previously joined forces on tracks, like “Ego Death,” “Everything We Need,” “Real Friends,” “Only One,” and “Junya Pt 2.”
It seems Kanye is looking to support the trilogy with a world tour. He took to Instagram earlier this week to share a list of potential concert venues, including the Great Wall of China and the Giza pyramid complex.