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Before Kanye West was tabbed to close last Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, word had already begun to circulate on the Net that he had a new single and album in the works.  Indeed, both rumors are true, as the Chicagoan is preparing for a December 16 release of 808’s & Heartbreak, his fourth studio album in the last five years.  West’s name was in the spotlight last week, but unfortunately it wasn’t solely because of his new singing style or the throwback grey digs he donned at the awards.  The same day that Def Jam released a supposedly mastered version (we are still suspicious) of West’s new single, Love Lockdown, the musician and his manager were arrested at LAX after an altercation with a member of the paparazzi, and charged with felony vandalism.  Ironically, it was West who found himself behind bars by the end of the day.

Update: Kanye has provided a newly-mastered version of Love Lockdown.

Kanye West

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