Kanye West dropped his much-awaited debut studio album (Vultures Volume 1) as a member of the super duo ¥$ with Ty Dolla $ign on February 9. While the rappers’ joint album release party – Vultures Listening Experience at United Center, Chicago – scheduled ahead of the record’s arrival was met with massive applause on February 8, the following show appeared to be a dud.
After the first sold-out Chicago show, fans witnessed a disappointing run at the Vultures NY Listening Experience at the UBS Arena, New York, on February 9. The Mirror reported that the venue remained half-empty as weather conditions didn’t seem to approve either. Making matters worse, the audience present for the show had to face a two-hour delay.
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New Kanye West Album listening show flopped?
Heavy smog at the venue resulted in low visibility of the stage. Any concert or public show event is only made a grand hit by loud fanfare. However, Ye’s New York Vultures listening party event was barely half sold out. The Mirror revealed that while the lower section of the indoor arena was half-filled, the upper seats barely had any audience.
On the other hand, all those who had shown up for the show after all were met with discomfort. Many attendees had to engage in deep breathing exercises. The report also confirmed that even though Kanye West fans had taken their seats hoping the show would kick into motion by 10 pm, they didn’t spot the coveted artist on stage even 45 minutes later.
When the rapper finally approached the stage around 11 pm, he jumped into an awkward dancing display with his Vultures album songs playing in the background. Eventually, West and Ty Dolla $ign’s song Talking / Once Again featuring North West started playing and was received by cheers. Unlike her initial appearance at the Chicago show, which was a big hit, North West was nowhere to be seen at the NY venue at the time.
So, why wasn’t the show sold out? Reports state exorbitant ticket prices skyrocketed as high as $300 each, even for seats far off the stage. Even his Chicago listening party show’s livestream on Thursday was cut off abruptly after he said the word “antisemite” as he rapped one of his lyrics. Although the stream resumed soon after that, it’s yet to be confirmed whether it was purposely done for dramatic effect.
Yet another incident that left the audience with their eyebrows raised in puzzlement was Kanye’s performance of Yeezy’s Back. The song was a ripped-off version of the Backstreet Boys hit Backstreets Back. It again led his audience to question whether he had permission to sample the song, especially since he was caught in a similar controversy of having sampled Black Sabbath’s Iron Mask despite receiving a negative answer to his request. Ye’s actions were met with a disapproving response from the band’s lead vocalist, Ozzy Osbourne, who in his X post claimed to “WANT NO ASSOCIATION WITH” Ye in his X post.