Kanye West, who — because he’s Kanye — hit us with an airing of grievances against Nike in song form at New Years (“Facts“), came back to us with a new song last Friday along with a snippet of another.
The full song released is titled “Real Friends,” and was produced by Kanye with a sample by Frank Dukes and Boi 1da and drum programming by Havo. It’s a meditation on he’s grown apart from people as time the demands of adulthood set in. Not to mention the pitfalls fame has had on his personal relationships.
The snippet is from “No More Parties in LA.” It features a Kendrick Lamar intro, and was produced by Kanye in collaboration with the highly esteemed Madlib.
Sidenote: I love that he’s so aware of the ripping culture that he acknowledges it, and seemingly uses it to his advantage.
The new tracks were met with relief from virtually all of the Kanye fans I know.
Kanye is an artist whose work is really impacted by his life. For example, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy resonates deeply with those who have experienced the heartbreak he translated into those songs.
Over the past few years, a lot has happened in Kanye’s life away from music. He’s gotten married, become a father to two kids, and grown his business empire.
I argue that the manifestation of all that change in a short period of time was the Yeesus album, which was very scattered and disjointed, particularly on first listen. I correlate that to what he possibly was feeling internally during that time, which is relatable. Everyone feels a little lost and overwhelmed when things in their life change quickly, even when those changes are positive.
But now, things are starting to stabilize — and a by-product of that stability is greater clarity of vision.
These two new songs are clear in focus and are cohesive with one another. That signals to me Kanye isn’t flailing as much. He’s settled into the new routine of his life and, selfishly, that probably means a great album is on the way. Or I could be being overly optimistic, but I hope I’m not.🙏🏾 Either way, it won’t be long until we find out.
He concluded his Friday afternoon tweetstorm with an album title and projected release date: Swish – February 11.
Listen to “Real Friends” and the “No More Parties in LA” snippet on Soundcloud.