This morning, Rolling Stone uncovered the original demo of Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” a standout from his Yeezus album last year. RS tracked down a musician named Ben Bronfman (yes, he’s related to Edgar) who works with a collective called Teachers and was contacted by Kanye in 2012. ‘Ye needed beats, and Bronfman hashed out a couple ideas, one of which was a song called “Cold Cruel Winter.” That beat eventually became “New Slaves.”
What’s interesting here is how Kanye’s minimalism is illustrated from one track to the next. Perhaps aided by Rick Rubin, ‘Ye clearly stripped the original of it’s accoutrement and ended up with the simple yet powerful “New Slaves” beat. Clearly, less is more.
Hear the original demo up top.