Rick Rubin Speaks On The Making of Yeezus, Says It Was Mostly Unfinished Two Weeks Before Release
According to Rubin, Kanye asked for his help on finishing the album less than a month before it was due to be turned in and needed more help than the prolific producer expected:
Kanye came over to play me what I assumed was going to be the finished album at three weeks before the last possible delivery date. We ended up listening to three hours of partially finished pieces. The raw material was very strong but hadn’t yet come into focus. Many of the vocals hadn’t been recorded yet, and many of those still didn’t have lyrics. From what he played me, it sounded like several months more work had to be done. I joined the project because after discussing what he had played for me, he asked if I would be open to taking all of the raw material on and help him finish it.
Kanye was apparently not stressed about the impending release date in the face of a largely unfinished album as Rubin recalls in a recording feat that the producer of albums by LL Cool J, Metallica, Johnny Cash, The Beastie Boys and many others deemed “remarkable”:
We were working on a Sunday [the same day West attended a baby shower for girlfriend Kim [Kardashian] and the album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. He said, “Don’t worry, I will score 40 points for you in the fourth quarter.” In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto. A remarkable feat. He had total confidence in his ability to get the job done when push came to shove.