“I am the day Ice Cube met Michael Jackson…”
Welcome to the first ever Sunday edition of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Friday series. You never should rush an artist hard at work, so the Hip-Hop world waited patiently for ‘Ye’s latest drop while other big news hit (J. Cole’s new mixtape, Jay Electronica signing with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, etc.). We can now count Q-Tip amongst the revered 90’s producers to work with Kanye, courtesy of this excellent offering “Chain Heavy.”
For all his classic work with Tribe and other artists (Nas, Mobb Deep, etc), Q-Tip is still somewhat underrated as a producer. The Renaissance album went a long way to raising his profile, and this track will likely do the same. The Abstract combines otherworldly, Star Trek like chimes with traditional string instruments like cellos, and piano notes. The bass and drums thump hard. So even though this is not a traditional boom bap track, it’s a definite head nodder that reminds of Kanye’s work on College Dropout and Late Registration.
Kanye drops two verses sprinkled with Afrocentric pride and the Chicago emcee’s trademark boasting. He doesn’t commit to either side, so you equally gets bars that bemoan white flight and Twitter racism mixed with froppish quotes about his new diamond teeth (“My teeth real diamonds/ What’s the cause of the fronting?”). The flow is smooth and engaging, but the early Kanye feel of the beat makes you wish he really went back to the more socailly insightful ‘Ye we heard on those earlier albums.
Talib Kewli’s recent voice and breath control have been the subject of concern amongst some fans. It’s not an issue early on, as Kweli weaves together commonalities between boardroom ambition and street corner juxing. Towards the end, Kweli begins to ramble somewhat just as Consequence comes in. His verse uses “chain” constantly as a buzzword, and the narrative is about accosting a man dealing with his old flame. It’ll remind you of some of those scenes out of Baby Boy.
This is the sound many were expecting from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, after the news hit of the likes of Pete Rock and DJ Premier being involved. But it seems these type of songs may be reserved for ‘Ye’s Jay-Z collaboration Watch The Throne. Tell will reveal all, and we’ll all be listening intently.
KANYE WEST X TALIB KWELI X CONSEQUENCE “CHAIN HEAVY”