Kanye West: So Help Me God
While it may only be March, 2015 has proven to be a very busy year for an already busy man: Mr. Kanye West. Not only is he killing the fashion world with his Yeezy x Adidas ready-to-wear collaboration and the February release of the eagerly anticipated adidas Yeezy 750 Boost, but also he’s already released 4 tracks plus the cover art for his latest album, So Help Me God. We must now acknowledge, however, the striking contrast between this title and his last album, Yeezus. While we all rolled our eyes when he released Yeezus, whose title clearly rhymes with Jesus – I think our heads nearly popped off when reading the track list, which included the glaring track entitled, “I Am A God.” When discussing this track in 2013 with BBC, the brazen rapper even stated, “Where just like that, when someone comes up and says something like, ‘I am a god,’ everybody says, ‘Who does he think he is?’ I just told you who I thought I was! A god! I just told you. That’s who I think I am.” Not to discredit the immense creative abilities of Kanye, but it’s possible that his ego from two years past just may have surpassed his album sales. It seems that while 2013 was the peak of Kanye’s love for Kanye, 2015 has brought him back down to earth. Yes, perhaps his marriage to the equally self-loving lady Kim Kardashian and the birth of his daughter North (or cuter, Nori) have served him well. The earliest release on the upcoming album, a track entitled “Only One,” was even dedicated to baby Yeezy. In this collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney on the keyboard, Kanye sings (not raps) this tune from the perspective of his mother up in heaven. Heartfelt for sure, here we see a glimpse into the squishy teddy bear that Kanye may be. The next track, “Wolves,” was co-produced by Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat. In his first performance of the track, Sia and Vic Mensa joined him on the SNL stage, making for a heavy, passionate show. “Wolves” is a haunting auto-tune-infused track that begins with eerie incisions by Sia’s unmistakable vocals. Kanye joins in, chanting “Lost out, beat up, dancing,’ down there, I found you, somewhere out, ‘round ‘round there, right right there.” Soon after, Vic Mensa enters with his conversely soulful voice, singing lyrics like “don’t fool yourself, your eyes don’t lie, you’re much too good.” Kanye accompanies these two with his own ad-libs and deep, low vocals, the song finishing with the line “I’m just way too bad for you.”
Third is “All Day”, which Kanye performed for the first at the 2015 Brit Awards. Surrounded by a mob of men dressed in black hoodies and blowing fire all across the stage, this was the perfect introduction the first upbeat track we’ve heard from Kanye in a while. A gritty, hype beat supports the catchy vocals that beam lines like, “how much time you spent in the mall? All Day.” This is definitely my favorite release thus far, just a few seconds into the performance I was bopping up and down in my seat, just dancing stupidly. Yeezy also welcomed Allan Kingdom and Theophilus London on stage to perform the track with him, introducing an additional dimension of hypnotism to the already entrancing song. Finally, the most recent release on So Help Me God is a track entitled, “Awesome”. Well, it’s not as much a release as it is a leak, and although the original source has taken it down, it has already found its way to multiple other sites and platforms. “Awesome,” isn’t a tune about how awesome Kanye is, but rather, it’s a love ballad to his wife Kimmy K. A stark contrast to the ballsy “All Day”, “Awesome” falls much more in line with the soulful tune “Only One”. Aww, I guess our Yeezy has a soft spot for his women after all. From his 2005 throwback dedicated to his beloved mother, “Hey Mama”, to now, Kanye has certainly demonstrated his ability to love and foster that love through music.
So Help Me God does not have a release date yet, but the anticipation can only build from here. The first four tracks form a wide array of speculation and possibility for the rest of the album, and a promising one at that. Check out live performances of “All Day” and “Wolves” below, and keep up with CV to learn more!
“All Day” at the 2014 Brit Music Awards
“Wolves” feat. Sia and Vic Mensa