West back in creative mode

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - — Ger­rick D. Kennedy

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of his la­bel, Def Jam, con­firms that the rap­per, above, is work­ing on mu­sic.

For weeks there have been ru­mors that Kanye West is holed up in a moun­tain­top re­treat in ei­ther Wy­oming or Utah record­ing a new al­bum.

Now the CEO of his la­bel, Def Jam, is con­firm­ing the rap­per is in­deed work­ing on mu­sic — just don’t ask him where, be­cause he doesn’t know.

“I don’t know if that’s real or not, I read the same things you do,” Steve Bar­tels told Va­ri­ety in ref­er­ence to the re­mote record­ing ses­sions. “When we talk, we don’t re­ally get down to the gran­u­lar of where he’s go­ing and how he’s fly­ing there, we keep it much more on a broader level.

“Kanye is work­ing,” he added. “He’s al­ways very fo­cused, and our re­la­tion­ship with him is that we al­ways have great re­spect for him and when he’s ready to do some­thing or talk about some­thing, we’re there for him, we to­tally sup­port his vi­sion and his fo­cus, and that’s where we leave it.”

Bar­tels wasn’t def­i­nite when asked if he thought West would re­lease new mu­sic this year: “What’s great about our re­la­tion­ship is that I al­ways know when it’s go time — be­cause he wakes me up.”

West has largely re­mained out of the pub­lic eye fol­low­ing his hos­pi­tal­iza­tion late last year due to ex­haus­tion and sleep de­pri­va­tion. The episode hap­pened amid his Saint Pablo tour fol­low­ing on­stage rants about Jay Z, Bey­oncé and Don­ald Trump. He can­celed the re­main­der of the tour, and ear­lier this year he shut­tered his so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

Justin Lane EPA

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