G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West drops single “Mercy” featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz (Also inside: DJ Khaled-assisted “Theraflu”)
Mr. West is in the building. And so are his record label mates. Today Kanye West dropped the first official single off his upcoming album that promises to bring together the artists that are housed under his Getting Out Our Dreams record label. The track is titled “Mercy” and it features Big Sean who is Finally Famous and rising rappers Pusha T and 2 Chainz. Much like his previous G.O.O.D. Friday releases, ‘Ye gives ample time to his featured guests before popping with his own hard verses. The beat literally explodes when ‘Ye puts his grill to the mic. The reggae infused chorus is sampled from Super Beagle’s Dust a Sound Boy. Take a listen below, and download “Mercy” at the iTunes link provided. The G.O.O.D. Music compilation album–with raps and croons from other G.O.O.D. artists like Kid Cudi, John Legend, Common, Mr. Hudson, and Cyhi the Prynce–is expected to come out this spring.
BONUS! Yesterday Kanye leaked a slick new track called “Theraflu” produced by Hit-Boy and featuring DJ Khaled and DJ Pharris. You’re going to want to hear this one, too. West goes hard and gets some things off his chest, to say the least. The audio is embedded after the break, along with a download link and the racy, hilarious George Condo designed artwork. (Click here for more…)
Kanye West: ‘Watch the Throne’ coming this week?; unreleased track “Eyes Closed” leaks; The Muppets sing “Monster”; and more
Ever since Kanye West’s magnificent album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy released on November 22, things have been pretty quiet on the West front. Besides downloading the holiday-themed G.O.O.D. Friday joint “Christmas In Harlem” and watching a leak of the upcoming “Monster” music video hitting the ‘Net, fans have been sitting idly by rocking out to “Dark Fantasy” in anticipation of another major release dubbed Watch the Throne. It’s a collaborative album between rap gods West and his mentor Jay-Z. Originally ‘Ye billed it as a 5-track EP but after time he admitted enough tracks would be made to consider it a full-length album. Sweet music to fans’ ears. So what’s all the hub-bub about it spreading around the Internets today? Well… at a New Years Eve party in Las Vegas West (drunkenly?) announced, “Watch the Throne, coming in one week!” So what does that mean? One of two things, in my humble opinion: (1) The album will come out this week (highly unlikely since Ye’s Def Jam record label has not even confirmed its existence); (2) West was referring to a possible lead single called “Watch the Throne” (highly more likely). I’ve heard whispers that case #2 is the winner, and the album is looking at a March drop. Whatever the case, though, something is going down soon so be ready.
Update (1/6): Looks like I was right. Today ‘Ye posted a Twitpic of the elaborately designed lead single artwork and it’s called “H-A-M.” The track will drop 1/11/11, that’s next Tuesday.
Side note: The New Years Eve party I mentioned earlier… it took place at Las Vegas’ Marquee Nightclub and so many celebrities made an appearance. Besides ‘Ye and Jay Z, Rihanna, Diddy, 50 Cent, J. Lo and many others enjoyed the night’s festivities. Click here to browse through a gallery of hi-res photos from the party. And look after the break to watch some videos from it (one includes ‘Ye screaming the “one week” announcement).
Next up is an unreleased track featuring vocals from West and John Legend. ”Eyes Closed” made its rounds today, spreading like wildfire in an unfortunately tagged now tagless version. Sources say the track was originally intended to be included on Twisted Fantasy but in the end it didn’t make the cut. Rumor has it that the West-produced beat will be handed off to Snoop Dogg who will use it (with Legend in tact) for his upcoming record Doggumentary Music, due out March 8. Preview and download the track below. If the lyrics sound familiar to you that’s because you’ve heard that before in the BET Cypher video and West’s “Dark Fantasy” track.
Download: Kanye West – “Eyes Closed”
This news bit is short but sweet. Over at Amazon you’ll find a preorder page hyping a “G.O.O.D. Friday [Import]” audio CD. Is West prepping an album to publicize his free G.O.O.D. Friday tracks? There better be some bonus tracks or slick artwork and packaging or what’s the point?
Two more things. Today two video cropped out that are West-related must-sees. The first features classical vocalist Josh Groban belting out Kanye West tweets, and the other is a Muppets mashup of the Twisted Fantasy track “Monster”. Yes, Piggie Minaj makes an appearance. Watch the videos after the break. (Click here for more…)
After the release of “Chain Heavy” Kanye West put a stop to the G.O.O.D. Friday series and let his highly lauded album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy speak for itself. Last Wednesday, however, a leaked version of a sweet holiday rap hit the ‘Net and marked the return of new Yeezy material since the release of the new album. On Friday Kanye uploaded the mastered version of “Christmas in Harlem” to iTunes. The upbeat track features Teyana Taylor on the catchy hook, one cheerful verse from ‘Ye, and special guest G.O.O.D. Music’s Cyhi Da Prynce. Listen to the track below and download it at iTunes here.
Update: Shortly after the original song leaked, Kanye tweeted that another version would be let loose and this one features Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Musiq Soulchild, along with Teyana Taylor and Cyhi. Listen to the extended cut after the break, and download it right here. Notice ‘Ye has placed it in the G.O.O.D. Friday section of his website; this is likely the final GF track of the year, but it’s good to know he’s not through with doling out free music just yet. He provided album art with it, and I’ve posted it beyond the break. Happy holidays!
Mr. West is back with another G.O.O.D. Friday cut. And this one is special because we’ve been anticipating it for quite some time now. Kanye first performed a verse from it way back in July at the Facebook headquarters. With verses including lines like “I am the day Ice Cube met Michael Jackson / Keep him away, huh? Something might happen / This is the making of a masterpiece / So we broke out the chains and told ‘em master, peace!” and a heavy beat (pun intended) backed by a piercing theremin and Q-Tip on the keys, this has got to be one of the best Friday tracks yet. And it doesn’t hurt that fellow rappers Talib Kweli & Consequence (Tip’s cousin) round out the solid number with their very own verses. Preview and download “Chain Heavy” below. Hopefully “Mama’s Boyfriend”, the other track ‘Ye previewed at Facebook, is not too far off from release.
Look after the break to find last week’s G.O.O.D. Friday track “Looking for Trouble” (Featuring Pusha T, Cyhi the Prynce, Big Sean & J. Cole).
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “The Joy” (Featuring Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield & Kid Cudi)
G.O.O.D. Friday, ya’ll. This past week’s joint features Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Kid Cudi, and newcomers Pete Rock and the late, great Curtis Mayfield (his 1970s hit “The Makings Of You” gets sampled). Also sampled is Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes”. Preview and download below. Again, the cover art does contain nudity so hop after the break if you want the uncensored image.
Kanye West is working so very hard on finalizing his upcoming album My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasty–no wonder why last week’s G.O.O.D. Friday track landed on the ‘Net during the wee hours of Saturday morning. When he officially tweeted about the track’s release he called it “Don’t Look Down (The Phoenix Story)”, so make a choice when giving it a name in your music library. You know the drill by now: preview and download below! Note: The album art does contain nudity; hop after the break for the uncensored image.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Take One for the Team” (Featuring Keri Hilson, Pusha T & CyHi Da Prynce)
Another Friday means another G.O.O.D. Friday track. This one features the lovely Keri Hilson along with the newest G.O.O.D. Music label players Pusha T and CyHi Da Prynce. Preview and download below.
A G.O.O.D. Friday song without Kanye West on the track? Not so fast, pard’ner. Child Rebel Soldier, a rap group formed in 2007, consists of Pharrell Williams (of N.E.R.D.), Lupe Fiasco, and Mr. West. Up to this point CRS has collaborated on two other songs: “Us Placers” (off the Can’t Tell Me Nothing mixtape) and “Everybody Nose (Remix)” (off N.E.R.D.’s album Seeing Sounds). And now you know. Preview and download the latest CRS cut below.
Download: Child Rebel Soldier – “Don’t Stop!”
Thanks to a gang of hackers and bloggers Kanye West has decided not to release a new G.O.O.D. Friday track this week. On Wednesday an unfinished track off Ye’s upcoming album called “Lost in the World” leaked onto the Internet. Shortly after it made waves ’round the ‘Net Kanye shared the news via his Twitter account. “Due to blogs leaking unfinished songs from my actual album I’ve decided to pass of Good Fridays this week”, he tweeted. “It’s messed up that one hacker can mess everything up for everyone… I love to take a year to finish my songs and deliver them … to you guys in there most completed form… It would have seemed like since I give free music every week even the lowest form of human being would respect that enough not to leak unfinished songs from my real album…” I gotta side with Yeezy here. He’s been gracious enough to spend extra hours in the studio to deliver weekly hits for us; the least we can do is not leak songs that haven’t be certified as completed.
But there may still be hope! Late last night (10/1) Kanye tweeted, “For the real hip hop fans… even though I had to shift all my energy to mixing my album do to leaks. I’m trying to still deliver a new Good Friday song 2nt… Let’s pray!!!” Friday has come and gone and there’s no new G.O.O.D. Friday song to be found. Let’s keep on praying, huh?
Update: Around 4am Saturday morning Kanye posted single art for a new track called “Christian Dior Denim Flow”. It features Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, and Ryan Leslie. He tweeted, “Christian Dior Denim Flow GOOD FRIDAY… fuuuuck I need some sleep.” So is this the G.O.O.D. Friday song of the week? It appears to be that way, but there’s no download link…yet. Single art is pasted above.
Update 2: Kanye delivers! “Christian Dior Denim Flow” is here. Preview and download below.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “So Appalled” (Featuring RZA, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz & Cyhi the Prynce)
This past Friday brought another Kanye West track. “So Appalled” features familiar G.O.O.D. Friday vocals from RZA, Jay-Z, Pusha T, and Swizz Beatz. Cyhi the Prynce recently sighed to ‘Ye’s label over the summer. Preview and download the track below.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Lord Lord Lord” (Featuring Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson)
More like Good Saturday. At around 5am Saturday morning, ‘Ye pushed out the latest track in the G.O.O.D. Friday series. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, and Raekwon lay down their own verses and soul master Charlie Wilson provides an exceptional backdrop (per usual) during the chorus and all throughout this seven and a half minute laid back rap epic. Preview and download below.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Good Friday” (Featuring Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean & Charlie Wilson)
You know the drill. Another Friday comes along, ‘Ye publishes a new track. The appropriately titled “Good Friday” features vocal stylings from fellow G.O.O.D. Music artists Common, Kid Cudi, and Big Sean. Pusha T is expected to be inducted into Kanye’s music label any day now (update: it’s official), and famed soul artist Charlie Wilson is just coming for the ride. (Uncle Charlie reprises his role from the terrific “See Me Now” track.) Preview and download below. Note: Kanye’s blog is currently “under construction.” In its place is a new portal that provides you with cover art and download links for all G.O.O.D. Friday songs dropped to date. And speaking of cover art, this week’s is too much NFSW to post on the homepage, so click after the break to see it in full.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Devil in a New Dress” (Update: he also addresses an apology to Taylor Swift)
Early this morning (right past midnight eastern time) Kanye West dropped a new track off his upcoming yet-to-be-titled album. “Devil in a New Dress” features a background tune that is very reminicent of his old work (think The College Dropout and Late Registration). Though ‘Ye’s blood pressure doesn’t spike here (the song takes a detour from “Power“, the “Power” remix, and last week’s G.O.O.D. Friday track “Monster“), the Bink production grows on you after multiple listenings so give it a preview (and then download it) below. In a tweet Kanye described the track like this: “classic… instantly gave me a feel I’ve missed in music for so long.” At only 2 minutes and 52 seconds in length (plus there’s that abrupt ending) I have a feeling this is not the final version of the song.
Predictions for next week: Kanye still has “All of the Lights” up his sleeve (but I’m hearing that he’s waiting to perform it at the VMAs on September 12) and then there’s the Jay-Z collab EP waiting in the wings. Will the EP drop soon, or will we be handed individual tracks before it releases? Time will tell.
Download: Kanye West – “Devil in a New Dress”
Update: Kanye hinted at what’s to come next week. My predictions were a bit off this time. “We might drop 2 new Good joints next week!!!” he tweeted. “I got new joint with Pusha T and Big Sean… The Summer has to have this one …. I might drop it Tuesday if I finish my verse.”
Update 2: After releasing “Devil in a New Dress” Kanye West jumped onto Twitter to express all these thoughts that have clearly been bottled upside him for some time. Nearly one year after the Taylor Swift incident at the 2009 MTV VMAs, Kanye addresses a second apology to the country singer. Here are some choice quotes (erm, tweets) from his “stream of consciousness”:
“How deep is the scar… I bled hard.. cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world [Lady Gaga] … closed the doors of my clothing office.” “Remember in Anchor Man when Ron Burgandy cursed on air and the entire city turned on him? But this wasn’t a joke. This was & is my real life.” “I wrote a song for Taylor Swift that’s so beautiful and I want her to have it. If she won’t take it then I’ll perform it for her.” (Possibly at the VMAs?) “She had nothing to do with my issues with award shows. She had no idea what hit her. She’s justa lil girl with dreams like the rest of us.” “She deserves the apology more than anyone. Thank you Biz Stone [Twitter creator] and Evan Williams [Twitter CEO] for creating a platform where we can communicate directly.” “I’m ready to get out of my own way. The ego is overdone… it’s like hoodies.” “With new found humility … who am I to run on stage? I would never ever again in a million years do that. Sorry to let you down.” “It is distasteful to cut people off as a general rule. What’s the point of dressing tastefully if I’m going to act the complete opposite?” “Yes I was that guy. A 32 year old child.” “When I woke up from the crazy nightmare I looked in the mirror and said GROW UP KANYE … I take the responsibility for my actions.” “Why was it made into such a race issue. Taylor loves rap music… I love country music.”
After all this Kanye speaks directly to his haters: “I’ve hurt, I’ve bled, I’ve learned. I only want to do good. I am passionate I am human I am real. I wish I could meet every hater. I wish I could talk to every hater face to face and change there a opinion of me one conversation at a time. I wish they all knew how much I really cared about music and pop culture and art and peoples feelings. I wish they could accept that I’ve grown and only want to do good for the world. I want to help as many people as I can. I want to help starting with the music and ending with the smile. I want to win there hearts back so I can continue to bring my take on culture to the masses with a clean opinion. It starts with this… [Drumroll, please] I’m sorry Taylor.”
Take what you will from this apology of sorts, but it looks to me that ‘Ye is finally turning the corner here. He’s not holding back the music and he’s publically expressing himself like never before. I welcome the “new” Kanye with open arms. And I am really looking forward to this year’s VMAs.
Kanye West announces Jay-Z collab EP, drops “Monster” (Featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj) & “Runaway Love” (Remix) (Featuring Justin Bieber & Raekwon)
Kanye West promised new music every “G.O.O.D. Friday” and so far he has not broken that promise. On Friday August 27 Kanye released “Monster” and it features an all-star cast including Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Justin Vernon of indie folk band Bon Iver. All in all the track is tight, but you want to know who really kills it? Nicki Minaj, that’s who. She raps, “You could be the king, but watch the queen conquer.” She’s quick and has tons of spunk. Female rappers that go hard like this aren’t in abundance these days; I’m excited to see what she’s going to do next. In fact, all of a sudden I’m anticipating her debut album to drop. (Its expected release date is November 23, one week after Kanye’s yet-to-be-titled album hits stores.) Kanye made sure to mention how much he appreciated Nicki’s contribution to the track. He tweeted, “MONSTER… can we just talk about Nicki’s verse???????!!!!!!!!! I toooooooooooooooold yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll!!!!!!!!!!!!” Preview and download “Monster” below.
Speaking of Twitter… Nearly three hours before he posted the download link for “Monster” he shared this exciting news: “Me and jay bout to drop a 5 song album called ‘Watch the Throne’”. I guess we can consider this upcoming 5 track EP a mini-prequel to his studio album. Along with the download link he tweeted, “[This is] the second song off of me and Jay album!” It would not be too drastic to think that the first song off the EP is the “Power” remix since that song does feature Jay-Z, but ‘Ye left this up in the air for now.
Fast forward to today and now there’s another new song from Camp Kanye. Yeah I know, it’s not Friday just yet, so I guess we can consider this next song a special bonus. About two weeks ago Kanye tweeted that he was listening to Justin Bieber’s “Runaway Love” song from My World 2.0. The Bieb responded with gratitude. Next Kanye blurted out this: “Maybe we can do something together. Me, You and Raekwon.” Bieber’s reply? “Me, u, and the chef 2gether on a song = EPIC. haha.” Yeah, this collaboration actually happened. Kanye West, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, and teen sensation Justin Bieber (who happens to be signed to Def Jam Records with Kanye) are featured on a remix of “Runaway Love”. After listening to the track it appears that The Bieb might not have had a hand in making the mix. Basically Kanye laid Beiber’s vocals on top of the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit” (1993) beat. The remix includes one rather short verse from Kanye and two surprisingly explicative-free verses from Raekwon. And you want to know what? The song catchy, what with Bieber’s young Michael Jackson-esque sound, the Chef’s old school rhymes, and ‘Ye’s producing. It’s a nice treat for fans of so many different generations. Feel free to preview and download the track below.
Kanye West dropped the official remix to his super single “Power” over the weekend. The track features a verse from Kanye’s long-time collaborator Jay-Z and production by Swizz Beatz. Jay-Z opens the remix strong; he raps about living in the 31st century, makes a Norman Mailer reference, and says this: “In search of the truth, even if it goes through Taylor Swift/Tell her this.” Yes, this marks the first time a Kanye track alludes to the harsh “imma let you finish” Swift incident from last year’s VMAs. After Jay-Z does his thing, Kanye hops onto the record with two brand new verses. In them be brings up topics like social commentary (“Now we’re not all gonna be American idols/but you can at least grab a camera, shoot a viral”) and politics and war (Bring our troops back from Iraq, keep our troops out of Iran/So the next couple bars, I’ma drop them in Islam/They say as-salaam alaikum, say wa alaikum as-salaam/That’s no Oscar Mayer bacon, you should run and tell your mom/Now the question is, how we gon’ stop the next Vietnam/Keep Flex out of Korea, ’cause you know we drop bombs”). With about 2 minutes left, a Swizz Beatz produced sample of “The Power” by Snap! consumes the track and Kanye goes in for one more verse. He raps, “Don’t even think you can allude to the rumors/I’m immune to the booze, I’m a prude to you losers.” When the five minute 15 second track is about to end, Swizzy pops on to kill it: “Chill, ‘Ye, chill/Sh-t’s burnt up already/It’s over.”
Overall the remix is really great. It does away with the “21st Century Schizoid Man” sample and introduces a different but familiar flow for the chorus. In many ways the remix is bigger than the original track (Kanye opens up about more topics in the former), but they both hold their own weight. Be sure to preview the remix below; there’s also a download link for keeps.
Late last night Kanye shared some very exciting news. He promises to release new music every weekend until Christmas. On G.O.O.D. Fridays (G.O.O.D. Music is the name of his record label) new songs will be released; he specifies that they may come from him, Jay-Z, and other rappers. He released “See Me Now” (Featuring Beyonce & Charlie Wilson) last week for the fans, and he realized that the fans deserve new content on a regular basis. He tweeted: “I know yall need the music so I’m dropping 1 new song every weekend until Xmas. It may be my song it may be a new Jay song etc… I’m calling it good Fridays. Yall know every Friday yall gone have a new joint from our family. We look at the game completely different now. It’s about the fans. No more holding back. That’s why I dropped see me now… It wasn’t about me it was about the Summer the BBQs etc…“ Though Kanye has not mentioned what’s on deck for next weekend, many speculate that “All of the Lights”, the planned second single off his upcoming album that he previewed during his UStream chat, might be it. Kanye is also finalizing a remix to Justin Bieber’s “Runaway Love” with Raekwon, so that’s in the pipeline, too.
Currently Kanye is in Prague working Dark Twisted Fantasy, an artistic film that will accompany the untitled album when it releases November 16.