“Love! / I don’t get enough of it/All I get is these vampires and bloodsuckers/All I see is these niggas I made millionaires/Milling about, spilling they feelings in the air….” Jay-Z
To say Kanye West has been on his grind is an understatement. With smoke still in the air from his concluding verse on the “Power Remix,” ‘Ye is back at it with a new all-star track aptly titled “Monster.” The song is the inaugural offering of his new weekly G.O.O.D. Friday music series, where he will release a new track every week for the rest of the year.
After a vocally distorted intro reminiscent in style of Prince’s 80’s work, Ross does a well executed Biggie impersonation to serve as Kanye’s intro. West is at his cocksure best with lines dripping in wretched excess and overt sexual imagery. There are many crass line, but coming out of Kanye’s mouth you always get the feeling there’s an implied “wink, wink” behind his shit talking (“Have you ever had sex with a Pharaoh?/Eh, put the pussy in a sarcophagus/Now she claiming that I bruise her esophagus/Head of the class and she just won a Swallowship..”).
Jay-Z stops by again for his second consecutive ‘Ye guest spot. Like the “Power Remix,” he takes aim at more serious commentary, this time directing his sharp analysis at disgruntled past associates. You would think tracks like “What We Talkin’ About” would close the book on the matter, but as long as former friends keep releasing disses (like Beanie Sigel’s recent “Haters” freestyle); Jay will make it a point to get the last word. Referencing pop culture’s current craze with all things vampire, Jigga dresses down his adversaries as lifeless bloodsuckers who took advantage of his love and sincerity. While Jay does reference the business angle, this verse offers a new perspective in acknowledging that at one time he had love for these individuals beyond music, something his former friends claim he didn’t have.
“Everybody wanna know what my Achilles Heel is/Love!/I don’t get enough of it/All I get is these vampires and bloodsuckers/All I see is these niggas I made millionaires/Milling about, spilling their feelings in the air…”
Nicki Minaj gets the coveted final spot and doesn’t disappoint. In light of Irv Gotti’s recent comparison of her to Lauryn Hill, Minaj had a lot to live up to alongside these heavy hitters. The self-proclaimed Barbie attacked the mic by combining precise wordplay, her trademark pitch alterations, and varying her flow from soft and delicate to loud, highly accented bars. The variations give her words strong effect, and like Jay-Z’s veiled jabs gives you the impression her ire is directed not just at critics, but peers who have recently challenged her worth as an emcee.
“Let me get this straight/Wait, I’m the rookie? /But my features and my show’s 10 times your pay?” she heckles in a mock sweet voice. “50k for a verse, no album out! /Yeah my money so tall that my Barbie has to climb it…”
Kanye West isn’t the first artist to adopt the song a week format (see Crooked I’s Hip-Hop Weekly), but this “Monster” offering has put a superstar stamp on his series and raised expectations of what to expect for the remainder of the year.
Even monsters have their good points.
Kanye West feat. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver “Monster”