Remember when Kanye tweeted the proposed roster for his YEEZY SOUND label? Believe it or not, it's been over a year since then and his musical output hasn't been this high in years. There's his own new record, production for Lil Nas X and Tyler, the Creator and, amidst all that, the first full-length LP on that new label, which has been renamed YZY SND because why not.
Unlike those other high-profile works, though, YZY SND's debut offering is relatively low-key. Dreams Still Inspire is the return of cult hip-hop duo Abstract Mindstate, who haven't released any music since the mid-2000s and are best remembered for working with Kanye just as his career was taking off; ironically, those joint efforts was some of the group's final releases.
Daphne "E.P Da Hellcat" Mitchell and Greg "Olskool Ice-Gre" Lewis founded Abstract Mindstate in Mississippi in the late '90s, eventually returning to their native Chicago. There, the duo became part of the local scene, which included everyone from Lupe Fiasco to Twista to Chilldrin of da Ghetto. Kanye began producing for Abstract Mindstate while they worked on their debut (and only) LP, We Paid Let Us In!
He later rapped on Abstract Mindstate's "Welcome 2 Chicago" single and contributed additional beats to their (never released) follow-up, Still Paying. Lewis later moved from the artist to A&R side of the biz, helping Kanye get GOOD Music off the ground.
The story behind Abstract Mindstate's Dreams Still Inspire is pretty interesting, to say the least. In 2018, 'Ye phoned up Lewis for help during his marathon of albums in 2018 — that's the chaotic summer when Kanye oversaw Pusha T's Daytona, Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E., Kids See Ghosts' debut LP and his own ye — and then pushed for Lewis to reunite Abstract Mindstate for YZY SND.
Mitchell — now a certified behavioral health professional — was flown out to Calabasas and the three-year on-and-off recording sessions began. 25 songs have been whittled down to 14 (including introduction and skits), all produced by Kanye and issued as part of a package that YZY SND is describing as "Adult Contemporary Hip Hop."
This is actually the first time that Kanye has produced all of the songs on an album that wasn't his own since Common's 2005 LP, Be. Fun fact: he even did all the cratedigging for Dreams Still Inspire's samples. He also appears on the album alongside Luka Sabbat, Jonquia Rose, comedian Deon Cole, and fellow YZY SND member Tony Williams.
Check out the full tracklist below and stream the debut single, "A Wise Tale," via your preferred streaming service. Dreams Still Inspire debuts on August 6 with an accompanying documentary to follow.
Dreams Still Inspire
- Salutations (Intro) ft. Jonquia Rose
- I Feel Good
- A Wise Tale
- Yeezy Sound (Skit) ft. Luka Sabbat
- Move Yo Body ft. Tony Williams
- Social Media
- Lambo Truck Podcast (Skit) ft. Luka Sabbat
- Expository Mode
- My Reality
- Sound Off The Alarm
- Voice Mail (interlude) ft. Deon Cole
- The Brenda Song ft. Kanye West
- I Know You