Kanye West is known to have made some questionable comments in his time but his latest remarks may just be his most spiritual. The Real Friends rapper is due to release his seventh studio album on 11 February and has credited Robert Kardashian, late father of his wife Kim Kardashian, with helping to put the finishing touches to the record.
With the help of hip hop's elite including Kendrick Lamar and P Diddy, West, 38, has been hard at work in the recording studio trying to complete his anticipated album. Discussing the project with Real 92.3 radio DJ Big Boy, the rapper explained: "I'm only doing 2% of the work. God is doing the rest of the work.
"My mum [Donda West who died in 2007] had Teddy Riley change his flight and come back to the studio. Robert Kardashian is making sure all the deals is getting done. He's still doing deals for controversial black people from up in heaven." The comment about Robert and making deals for black people is in reference to the lawyer's involvement in the OJ Simpson murder trial and the accused's acquittal.
Religion appears to be the main inspiration for the currently untitled album, as West told Big Boy of the musical direction: "I'm trying to open up hearts, minds... This is a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it, but it's still a gospel album. It's the gospel, according to 'Ye.
"It's not exactly what happened in the Bible, but it's a story of this idea of Mary Magdalene becoming Mary." He added: "I played it for someone the other day and they said, 'good luck'. Man, I am offended by the word 'luck' for the amount of work that I've put in. This is a god's dream."
When the Grammy-winner announced he was working on his new album in 2015, the project was initially given the title So Help Me God. However, West subsequently changed it to Swish before settling on Waves in honour of the sound pioneered by hip hop star Max B. The rapper had a change of heart again as he scrapped the Waves title and asked his wife Kardashian to post a poll on Twitter to find out which name his fans preferred. In keeping with the religious theme of the album, So Help Me God won the poll with 46% of the vote.
Listen to Kanye West's interview with Big Boy on Real 92.3:
Explaining his decision to conduct a poll through social media, West explained: "I wanted to get people's opinion on how they felt. What I've really come to realise about being a celebrity or musician or someone that's on the other side of the Internet or TV is everybody is our family.
"With family, if something bad happens you're going to hear about it... We are everyone's family. What's really cool is when someone can tweet or comment or chime in or say the vibrations they felt about something – we can have this continuous conversation."
He continued: "There are so many times in my career that people thought I was going to be out of there but obviously I have made a family level connection that they played my music... We love any opportunity we have to involve all of our family in the creative process."
West's seventh album will premiere in full at the rapper's New York Fashion Week show at Madison Square Garden, New York on 11 February.