Here’s Every Name-Drop on Yeezus

Slate's Culture Blog
June 14 2013 6:44 PM

Here’s Every Name-Drop on Yeezus

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Kayne West

Photo by 13thWitness/Getty Images for Samsung

Yeezus rose early: To the delight of many music lovers, Kanye West’s much anticipated new album was leaked this afternoon prior to its upcoming Tuesday release date.

As expected, Yeezus as a whole is dark and rife with pathos, with West evoking everything from the anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” to the violence in his hometown of Chicago. But if you extract a list of all the people, places, brands, and pop-culture icons mentioned by the rapper on the album, the subject matter starts to look a little less intense. Michael Douglas, Deepak Chopra, and Chewbacca? All make appearances in Kanye’s lyrics. And the rapper also finds time to give a shout-out to Bobby Boucher, Adam Sandler’s character in The Waterboy.

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Unlike Watch the Throne, which featured West and Jay-Z rapping shamelessly about their lush lives, the proper nouns on Yeezus are more often used for punning or weaving together complex lines (“Your feelings like Zulu, then nothin’ is a Shaka”), rather than as an extravagant shopping list or sheer braggadocio. Nonetheless, seeing them all together does help sketch Kanye West’s endlessly fascinating cultural landscape—and, in a sense, ours. After all, Kanye understands culture. He is the nucleus.

Every Specific Person, Place, and Thing Mentioned on Yeezus
2Pac
300
7-Eleven
Alexander Wang
America
Baptists
Bentley
Benz
Beyoncé
Big Poppa
Blackberry
Bobby Boucher
Brad (Pitt)
Capricorn
Catholics
CCA
Chicago
Chief Rocka
Chiraq
Chi-town
Chewbacca
Cochran 
Corolla
Cosa Nostra
The D-League
David Grutman
DEA
Deepak Chopra
Don C.
Elvis
Fight Club
Forever 21
God
The Hamptons
Ibn Diamond
Indiana
Instagram
iPhone
Jay-Z
Jeromey “Romey Rome
Jesus
Joe Brown
King Kong
Leos
Louboutin
Maybach
Michael
Michael Douglas
The New World Order
’Nolia
Porsche
Prince
Pyrex
Range Rover
Rat Pack
Rio
Romans
Shabba
Shaka Zulu
Star Wars
Swaghili
Timbs
Trojans
Tron
Virgil
Yeezus
Yeezy

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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