The first thing I thought about when I first finished listening to Kanye West’s latest release, “Lift Yourself,” was how back in the early 2000s, before iPods were even a thing, it was the trend to download songs from LimeWire. We’d spend at least half an hour downloading a song for it to end up being a recording of Bill Clinton talking about how he did not have sexual relations with that woman.
The song seemed promising when it began with a sample from the band Amnesty’s 1973 track “Liberty.” The lyrics Kanye chose of this sample seem to involve liberty and self-enlightenment, two ideas Kanye seems to have been upholding with his controversial political tweets. He is all about “free thought” and not being controlled by others.
But, why, Kanye, why? What was the point of making a song that ends with you repeatedly saying, “Poopy-di scoop / Scoop-diddy-whoop / Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop.” I get it. You have millions of dollars to waste. You’re such a lyrical genius.
The track was apparently a jab at Hot 97’s Ebro Darden, who he has had beef with after Darden made comments about the conversation they had in 2016. Darden says Kanye told him he just wants to lead with love, to be about love. Darden told Kanye he’s a liar because the people he is aligning himself with don’t lead with love.
In the video, Darden reveals that Kanye said, “I do love Donald Trump.” Darden points out the fact that Kanye was silent throughout Trump’s first year of presidency. He made no comments about all the negative and ignorant things Trump has been saying about people who are oppressed in America.
Kanye then called Darden live on the air. He repeatedly told Darden that he loved him, that he just called to tell him he loved him. He was obviously trying to make it known that he heard what Darden had to say and although he wasn’t confrontational, the fact that Kanye called into the radio station to say those things was slightly passive aggressive.
Kanye can believe in what he wants and express it. He states he wants people to be able to express their opinions, even if it's not popular. But since he made his opinion public, he has to deal with the fact that people are going to express their own opinions and disagreements with him.
“Lift Yourself” is Kanye’s way of telling people that even though for the the past two years he’s been on a break and has surrounded by controversy about his mental breakdowns, marriage to Kim Kardashian, and such, he’s back.
His fans expect perfection from him. Does this song undermine all expectations for his upcoming music? Is it deep offering nothing of importance? Is he encouraging the listener to lift themselves up? Kanye’s love for Trump could also be fake. He could be setting up us for something wildly unexpected.
For now, we will have to wait and see what Ye has in store for us.
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