Kanye Hit the Studio With a Wild Crew of Rap Royalty

There’s no such thing as a slow day in the Kanye West news cycle, but he’s been particularly busy in the new year, between high-profile dates with Julia Fox, studio time with a wide-ranging cadre of collaborators, and partaking in some Mad Lib-worthy celebrity group hangs. In fact, he did all three just on the evening of January 12 alone–and allegedly got involved in a fracas in Los Angeles, too.

Perhaps most notably, West is back in the studio. Footage posted on the 12th showed West with The Game, Pusha T and Mike Dean, and in the clip he’s asking DJ Premier if he’ll add record scratches to a song that’s coming out this Friday.

Alongside the familiar faces were some surprising names even by Kanye’s eclectic standards, chief among them the rapper Blueface, who has never worked with Kanye before. The same night, Kanye designer Tracey Mills shared a video of A$AP Rocky joining West in the studio (clearly vibing intently to some new music but, sadly, with no sound), alongside the aforementioned names as well as NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown seems to be focused on music following his bizarre, high-profile departure from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Page Six even reported that he and West may be working on records together.

Big Sean also may have been in attendance, which is noteworthy since West absolutely laid into him during his freewheeling appearance on the Drink Champs podcast. And popular Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo was also there; he previously shared screenshots of a text exchange with Kanye about the pair working together on DONDA 2. (Steven Victor confirmed to Complex at the top of 2022 that the sequel to DONDA was already in the works.)

But Kanye also seems to be getting back to his roots a bit, too. In the last few days of 2021, he was seen working with Scarface, whose 2002 album The Fix featured classic early West beats on “Guess Who’s Back” and “In Cold Blood.” (“Guess Who’s Back” notably paired Scarface with Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel, two mentors Kanye’s recently repaired his previously estranged relationships with. Imagine the musical reunion!)

Anyway, back to Kanye’s busy January 12. In addition to the headline-grabbing studio session, West was later seen, alongside Fox, hanging out with Brown, Madonna, Floyd Mayweather, Evan Ross, who shared photos of the group on his Instagram, and Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee. This morning Lee confirmed Ye played new music, including a collaboration with Cardi B. (Kanye reportedly filmed a music video with Cardi in Miami, at—where else?—a Balenciaga store.) Of course, all of this music as well as the proposed Donda sequel have to be taken with a grain of salt—the Kanye vault is littered with scrapped albums and collaborations.

The wild Kanye media barrage may have ended with a dark capper, as Los Angeles’ Fox 11 reported West allegedly punched and swore at a fan who approached his car asking for an autograph. The fan has apparently filed a police report and Kanye is under investigation for misdemeanor battery.

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