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HERE COMES KANYE (UPDATE)

Kanye West's new  G.O.O.D./Def Jam set, now called The Life of Pablo, is due to drop early on Friday. Early estimates for the digital-only first week are in the 275k range. 

The collection apparently features guests including Kendrick Lamar, Sia, Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign. You can speculate further based on the tracklist West leaked online. Ticket buyers for the fashion-show “experience” will reportedly be emailed a download link for the set once it’s officially released. What's more, the event will be livestreamed for Tidal users.

Kanye tweeted out the album's cover, credited to Peter De Potter, on Thursday.

Kanye will perform on Saturday Night Live this weekend (hosted by Melissa McCarthy), and is due to hit a number of late night and daytime shows in the ensuing period.

Formerly managed by Roc Nation, the irrepressible, unpredictable artist now manages himself. How will this arrangement affect the album rollout, marketing and promotion?

While thus far there’s no indication that Kanye will perform or otherwise appear on the Grammys—and his itinerary for the weekend before Music’s Biggest Night keeps him on the opposite coast until Sunday at least—anything could happen. And he could certainly use the occasion to issue new content whether he’s there or not.

Formerly managed by Roc Nation, the irrepressible, unpredictable artist now manages himself. How will this arrangement affect the album rollout?

Plenty of questions remain. Will Def Jam be working a single upon release? How will the digital download bundles be tabulated in his first-week total? Will the title-TBA album be available for streaming? Will Tidal get that exclusive as well, or will his successful wooing by Apple change how the album is delivered? Might Kanye instead hold off for at least a few weeks to focus consumers on buying the set? How long before a tour is announced?

Also, which Pablo is referenced in the title?

West’s challenging, confrontational 2013 set, Yeezus, bowed at #1 with 328k. 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy debuted with 495k and has sold more than 1.5m RTD. His 2011 collaboration with Jay Z was also a #1 and has sold 1.7m RTD. His career top-selling singles include "Stronger" (5.6m), "Heartless" (4.4m) and "Love Lockdown" (3.2m).

West dropped single “Facts” on New Year’s Eve, followed by “Real Friends” and “No More Parties in L.A.,” the latter featuring Lamar. Last year saw him release the multiplatinum track “FourFiveSeconds” featuring Paul McCartney and Rihanna (which was Top 5 at Pop radio and #1 at Urban) and “All Day” f/McCartney, Theophilus London and Allan Kingdom. “Parties” appears to be the only single of these included on the album.

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