On September 18, 2012 Kanye West released his seventh album in collaboration with G.O.O.D. Music, his record label. Featuring John Legend, R. Kelly, Big Sean, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and more, the album is an exciting mixture of different musical styles.
“Mercy” was the first single released, featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz. It is a song that celebrates each rapper’s ego and talent, which Kanye never fails to provide. “Most rappers taste level ain’t at my waist level/turn up the bass ’til it’s up-in-your-face level/don’t do no press but I get the most press, kid.” The lyrics say it themselves; they wear their pride loud and clear. Each artist conveys the same message of being the best and ignoring the haters in their own way. The song is undeniably catchy and gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. Swerve.
“The Morning” is a song performed by Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, Cyhi The Prynce, Kid Cudi and D’Banj. Cyhi The Prynce has one of my favorite sets of lyrics on the album: “15 I was pushing carts at K-Mart/by 21 they said I’d be inside a graveyard/can’t wait to get that black American Express/so I can show them white folks how to really pull the race card.”
This is one aspect of this album that I really enjoy, the fact that among the powerful beats and brilliant combinations of instruments there is always a message about race, class, religion, or confidence that rings true.
Lyrically, “New God Flow” is my favorite. Kanye knows that he has not always been well liked and addresses it in relation to his race. “Went from most hated to the champion God flow/I guess that’s a feeling only me and Lebron know/I’m living three dreams, Biggie Smalls’, Dr. King’s, Rodney King’s/cause we can’t get along, no resolution.”
The song also speaks towards how hard it was for all of these musicians to become as successful as they are. “Picture working so hard and you can’t cut through/that can mess up your whole life, like an uncle that touched you/what has the world come to, I’m from the 312/where cops don’t come through and dreams don’t come true.” It features Pusha T and Ghostface Killah and is one of the album’s strongest tracks by far.
The collaborations and duets between John Legend and Teyana Taylor on both “Sin City” and “Bliss” are also incredible. John Legend’s voice is beautiful in contrast to each song’s composition and Teyana Taylor as the second vocal really brings the songs to the album’s forefront.
The album is a musical masterpiece and is clearly a collaboration between all of these talented artists. It is sure to be a hit following the success of “Mercy” and Kanye’s solo albums.