The outspoken hip-hop performer teamed up with several dozen nude models to introduce his new album 808s & Heartbreak at an L.A. listening party Tuesday night.
"I like the idea of nudity because I realize it's society that told us to wear clothes at a certain point," said West, 31, addressing about 200 guests when his 50-minute album concluded.
"The irony for me [as] somebody who's talked about so many labels – Louis Vuitton this, [Mercedes] Benz that, this girl looks good – [is that] now it's time to deliver ideas in the most naked form possible."
Only Heels and WigsWhile the album, due Nov. 25, blasted over speakers inside a vacant art gallery, artist Vanessa Beecroft's installation of women – who wore nothing except for black stiletto heels and curly brunette or blonde wigs over their faces – stood in a triangular formation in front of a glowing neon-light background, occasionally sitting down on the concrete floor or bending over, all while curious audience members watched and listened from just a few feet away.
West’s new album features big, broken, explosive beats and vocals that are all heavily manipulated using Auto-Tune, a studio pitch-correction device. Recorded in Hawaii last month, 808s & Heartbreak can be described as a more experimental effort for the 10-time Grammy winner, who is best known for his mainstream commercial hits like "Jesus Walks" and "Stronger."
"It's from my heart. I don't give a f--- if someone rates it 'hot' or 'not.' It doesn't matter to me at this point," West told his guests, who included Jay-Z, Jimmy Kimmel, Will.i.am, L.A. Reid and deejay Steve Aoki.
"I can only request that other people who make real art won't dictate their passion based on what is 'hot.' … I'm here to bring sensitivity that cannot be judged."
West also revealed that he plans to release another album in June 2009. "I have more music to do," he said. "It will be from my heart."