Kanye West only had one good verse in 2015, and even that was a feature – on Tyler the Creator’s Smuckers. Initially hyped and ultimately forgettable was the order of the day for Kanye in 2015 – All Day, his verse on Vic Mensa’s U Mad and Big Sean’s Blessings were hardly the work of the same man who’d created My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
So, the hype was dead, and that trend was set to continue into 2016 with New Year’s freestyle Facts – Ye was clearly focusing on his shoes and fashion lines. We’d never have guessed that it would be Kim Kardashian who came through with the return of GOOD Fridays – new music every Friday (or Monday?) until the album comes out in February. And with this new track No More Parties In LA, Kanye has proven that he’s back to caring – getting a feature like Kendrick on an instrumental by Madlib is a hell of a power play. The pressure’s on – can Ye keep up?
When Ye claims that “the writer’s block is over, MCs cancel your plans”, you’d better believe
Oh yes, yes he can. Kanye hasn’t rapped like this since 2010, maybe not even since 2005’s Late Registration. According to Kim Kardashian, he wrote all his lyrics on this song while on a plane from Italy, and most of these lyrics are better than some other rappers have come up at the high point of their careers. So when Ye claims that “the writer’s block is over, MCs cancel your plans”, you’d better believe.
Of course there are problems – it’s mixed terribly, so the vocal samples in the beat occasionally drown out the verses, particularly about halfway through Lamar’s vocals, and some might find having a single beat run for six minutes a little monotonous. But ultimately, these are minor issues, and if this ends up on the final version of SWISH, So Help Me God or whatever Kanye is calling his album this week, the mixing will almost certainly have been fixed. Yeezy season isn’t just approaching – it’s well and truly here.