Friday, January 22, 2016

Song of the Day #255 - Kanye West - Facts

Yeezy Yeezy Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman!

GOOD Fridays are back! They're back!! And although it's 9pm EST on a Friday right now and still nothing, I have faith we're likely to get a track by the end of the weekend, at least. We're three for three so far. It really seems like Kanye is just flying down the court, about to let loose a massive half-court jumper, and... swish!!!! Ahhh, what a great time to be a Kanye fan. What a time to be alive.

"Facts" came out on New Year's Eve and it took me a few days to listen to it, firstly because I was wholly burnt out from various festivities, but then even after that I was hesitant. The discussion around this track was... mixed, polarized; sure, there was the chorus of praise from the #KanyeDefenseForce, but they'd always be there, and some of it was extremely vitriolic, calling it "brainless" and "pandering" and "derivative", and I started really wondering about the nature of fandom, like, if Kanye really was about to drop a brick, would I even be able to tell? Would it just clunk uselessly on my hollow skull? Ahh, I was really burnt out from New Years, if that was how I was thinking.

When I heard it though, it was like... you idiots. Do you really not get this? Do you really think this is an actual lead single from Swish? GOOD Friday was always a mix of early versions, singles, remixes, and stuff that would have never seen the light of day otherwise. The song makes it really clear from topical references (Kimoji, Cosby's charges) that it was recorded the day it was released. I can only conclude that the people complaining about these tracks were something infinitely worse than blind fans: blind haters, contrarians who hypothesize an impossible context and categorically dismiss anything that doesn't fit it.

To be fair, no one could have expected a song like this. This is a song only Kanye could make, only at this time, and only this way. It's a NIKE DISS TRACK. It's Kanye looking at "Jumpman" and saying "I want to do that too, that looks fun". Isn't that immediately obvious from the opening line? It's sorta similar to how Lil B adopted it and absorbed the style and sensibility into his own world. This is Kanye rapping about his personal world in the way that any other rapper would, but his world is so completely insane that it ends up something unlike any other rapper. Let's break down the highlights:
-Throwing shots at Nike, a multi-billion dollar international corporation, as if they were some other rapper
-Talking about his 2020 election promise, which is so insane it might actually happen
-Brags about the 10k fur coat he bought his daughter (clarifying that Travis Scott's 3500 was actually understating it)
-Talking all sorts of insider shit about fashion beefs that we can't even understand
-Saying he's the "grey poupon" to DJ Mustard (lmao??)
-Talking about how his wife's emoji app made a million dollars a minute, which it literally did
-Demanding that Adidas up the production of his fashion line
-Talking about opening a hotel, just 'cause
-Bringing it all back to Chicago

And, of course, it's riddled with Street Fighter II samples?? And at the end, when we get the Metro Boomin tag, it's just so clutch, it's like Kanye looking directly at Drake and saying "you know your gigantic hit? I can just do it. I can do it just like that. The same thing but way bigger"... like, I think just comparing the two songs is maybe the most clear way to define what makes Kanye special. ALSO, this is key: YOUNG THUG'S VOICE APPEARED ON A KANYE TRACK!! FOR THE FIRST TIME!? BUT HOPEFULLY NOT THE LAST!!!!

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