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.
The controversial rap star allegedly suffered a breakdown towards the end of 2016, but after receiving treatment for his personal troubles, West has returned to the recording studio and is now preparing to release new material. West has largely remained out of the public eye following his hospitalization. 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.
“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 was’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.”
Kanye West is said to have received support and counseling from Caitlyn Jenner after his breakdown. West would spend hours on the phone with the I Am Cait star or at her Malibu home. Kanye West and Caitlyn Jenner have formed a close friendship on the back of their respective struggles with depression.