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Here's what went down at Kanye West's Wyoming listening party

The rapper invited the whole music industry to the mountains to hear his new album, YE

Last night, May 31, Kanye West caused a social media storm for more positive reasons than he has lately. The rapper invited hundreds of musicians, journalists, and influencers out to Wyoming, where he's been holed up making new music intermittently over the past few years, to hear the debut of his new album, reportedly titled YE.

The album listening party was also streamed live via the app WAV, but the record doesn't seem to be available to buy or stream elsewhere yet. While we wait, here's everything that went down at surely the biggest listening party Wyoming has ever seen. 

BASICALLY EVERYONE WAS THERE

Think of a hip hop artist – they were probably in Wyoming last night. Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz, Nas, A$AP Nast, Lil Yachty, Kid Cudi, and Pusha T were all there. Kim Kardashian West was (obviously) there. Chris Rock got an invite, as did style icon Jonah Hill.

The record is full of features: Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Cudi, Jeremih, Young Thug, 070 Shake, and Charlie Wilson all reportedly appear, along with Nicki Minaj in the coveted "voicemail interlude" slot. 

CANDACE OWENS WAS THERE, TOO

This woman believes Donald Trump is the saviour of the free world

CHRIS ROCK CALLED KANYE A "FREE BLACK MAN" 

Rock, who famously appeared on "Blame Game" in 2010, introduced Kanye at the listening party by alluding to West's recent claims that his wearing a MAGA hat and endorsement of right wing commentators is a result of "free thinking." Rock said, pointedly: "Hip hop is the first art form created by free black men...and no black man has taken more advantage of his freedom than Kanye West."

THERE WAS A CAMPFIRE

Because Wyoming.

THERE WAS MERCH

Kim and Kanye modelled the official merch for the event: hoodies and shirts emblazoned with an image of the snowy mountains and the word WYOMING. There was also a dad cap, with the location and date of the listening party embroidered on it. Created in collaboration with Bravado, the collection went on sale online shortly after the pary (along with the album, which will be delivered via email upon release).

KANYE APPARENTLY SHOT THE ALBUM ART ON HIS PHONE

THE ALBUM'S TOPICAL LYRICS COVER #METOO AND STORMY DANIELS

In the second track on the album, Kanye raps:  “Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too/Wanna pray for him ’cause he got MeToo’d.”

Later, on a different track, he delivers an extremely Kanye lyric: “If I pull up with a Kerry Washington, that’s gon’ be an enormous scandal / I could have Naomi Campbell and still might want me a Stormy Daniels”

He also directly addresses his most controversial and harmful recent comments, seemingly by saying, ‘hey, it could've been worse!’ with the following line: “I say ‘slavery a choice’ / They say ‘How, ‘Ye?’/ Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day”

OUTSIDE OF WYOMING, FEELINGS WERE MIXED

If Kanye knows anything, it's how to create a huge cultural moment. The hype around the Wyoming listening party was reminiscent of his glorious unveiling of The Life of Pablo at Madison Square Garden in 2016 – except, this time, there was a slightly bitter taste.

For those not excitedly posting about their trips to Wyoming, there were mixed feelings about seeing all this social media hype around Kanye's album when, not so long ago, many journalists were critquing him for aligning himself with Trump and spreading misinformation. Candace Owens' presence at the event was a stark reminder of his recent statements and actions – to some, it seemed hypocritical of the music industry to forget so quickly. 

Others simply poked fun at the social media noise, and the influencers who proudly boasted of their tickets to Wyoming all over their timelines. See some of the reactions below.