Unless you decided to go on an Internet-free sabbatical in the past week there’s a good chance you’ve heard something about Kanye West’s sixth album, Yeezus, which comes out June 18. Actually, there’s a chance (though a slim one) you could’ve heard a sample of the album without the aid of the World Wide Web Friday night, when the rapper debuted the music video for Yeezus‘s angry and unflinching first single, “New Slaves,” by projecting it on the sides of buildings in 66 different parts of the world. Kanye announced the screenings early Friday evening, shortly before his face briefly adorned the walls of seven spots in the Chicagoland area—from Northwestern University down to the University of Chicago.
Kanye being Kanye, it took no time for this thing to go viral, and before the visuals for “New Slaves” hit Wicker Park you could already watch the whole thing on YouTube—or, more accurately, you could easily track down some grainy iPhone footage of the clip. The quality on those YouTube videos clearly isn’t great—fortunately Ye performed that track and another called “Black Skinhead” on Saturday Night Live the following night so fans and gawkers could experience the charged songs in crisp HD—but I can’t imagine providing pristine sound was at the top of Ye’s list when it came to organizing the “New Slaves” viewings. (Though given Kanye’s audacity and his flair for the ostentatious perhaps he did have it in mind to provide high-quality sound, even if he didn’t end up delivering it.)