Since ‘All Day’, Kanye West has focused on fashion rather than music and took a year before dropping his new song, ‘Facts’, on his Soundcloud on 31 December – ever the showman. While one would have thought his time away from music would leave his return revitalised and riveting, the fact of this matter is: it’s terrible.
The track starts promisingly; with a sample from Father’s Children’s 1989 hit ‘Dirt and Grime’ that is reminiscent of Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy stylings. However, what follows is monotonic, stock piano-fuelled filler with West yelping shockingly poor lines in an exasperated tone. The hook – if you can call it a hook – is a reference to Drake and Future’s 2015 hit ‘Jumpman’ where West claims his own Adidas line has overtaken that of the famed Nike Air Jordan franchise (who Drake is involved with). Boasting that he “ain’t dropped the album but the shoes went platinum” perfectly encompasses West’s newfound passion for fashion that seemed to have completely softened his hard-edged rapping and production skills that his previous work showed.
It cannot be stressed how disappointing this track is; West sounds completely inexperienced, and the focus and determination that made his previous albums what they were have evaporated. The Drake references here come so thick and fast that West sounds nervous; he should be. Symbolically, this record is akin to him breathlessly struggling, weighed down by his trainers and drafts of his 2020 Presidential address, while Drake coolly goes at him with a flamethrower.
Listen to the song on Soundcloud here.