Kanye West couldn’t stay away. G.O.O.D. Friday may have come on Saturday afternoon, but that’s much better than West’s earlier statement that he would be canceling this week’s installment due to album leaks. For October’s first track, West is joined by a few singers (John Legend, Leslie), two spitters (Pusha T, Lloyd Banks), and an experimental emcee (Kid Cudi) for “Christian Dior Denim Flow,” an ode to the enraptured intoxication that can only be done to a man by a female.
The track is introduced via a acapella rendering of the street-corner styled chorus, which seamlessly blends the voices of John Legend, Kid Cudi and Ryan Leslie. Subdued string instruments followed by a screwed refrain (“All the models to the floor right now!”) and rolling drums serve as Kanye West’s introduction. He plays with his vocals for his verse, using distortion to give his voice the feeling that it’s coming out a fading radio signal. The rhyme is pointedly hedonistic, and heavy on name-dropping as ‘Ye makes his desire known for several models and socialites.
Pusha T carries Kanye’s theme for a few bars before discarding it for more personal and creative musings. He notes the recent huge look he got performing “Runaway” at the VMAs (“Oh you was watching/Who the fuck wasn’t?/Me skip across that stage in five dozens…”). Kanye’s zone with G.O.O.D. Friday is also apparently rubbing off on his team, as Pusha boldly declares his G.O.O.D. Music family as the leaders of Hip-Hop music (“Let’s be clear and let’s be fair/The best thing is music is being offered here/It’s a round table full of bosses here…”).
An extended drum interlude precedes Ryan Leslie’s verse, which takes aim at a female who’s lost her soul in the midst of the glamour and glitz. With Leslie’s attachment to various women over the years, it’s possible that the verse is a composite of several of them (“I done seen drugs and money run the whole game/A good girl, lost in the city life…”).
Lloyd Banks storms in right after with arguably the song’s best verse. Unlike the others, he takes a keener eye in turning the criticism to himself instead of focusing on the track’s female adversary theme. Regarding his work, Banks admits that for a significant stretch he was unfocused.
“Nigga make some money before you comment/Meant to snap awhile ago but who knows where the time went,” Banks rapped. “Probably dime chicks, whips what a pity/Now I’m back/Like a nine milli, run New York City.”
Banks’ flow is the sharpest out of all the emcees. It’s impressive that he was able to work a faster flow over the slower drum arrangements of song, as he didn’t have the luxury of the quicker drum kick heard on Kanye’s opening verse.
The only noticeable misstep here was placing Kid Cudi in the closer position after Lloyd Banks. Cudi is not lyrical, but does well in incorporating melody as a staple of his rhyme schemes. But here, he comes off underwhelming in how he approaches the beat after someone like Banks. The contrast is very glaring in hearing Cudi mumble through several bars. It’s possible he wouldn’t have fell flat if he had been placed in the middle.
That aside, fans have once again been blessed with an album-quality track for free. There’s live instrumentation, electronic effects, soul/gospel-tinged crooning, and Hip-Hop drums. Whatever you fell in love with Kanye for, he’s brining all those influences together on these G.O.O.D. Friday releases. Pusha T said on the song that this is the best thing going in music today, and you’d be hard-pressed to argue with him at this point.
Until next week Friday… or Saturday.
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, John Legend, Ryan Leslie, and Kid Cudi “Christian Dior Denim Flow”