Another week, another Kanye tune. The latest track is entitled “The Joy”. One thing I’m starting to get a little concerned about is that many of the tracks that have surfaced recently are a bit overstuffed with guests. Case in point: “Joy” is credited as co-starring Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson, Pete Rock and Curtis Mayfield. Can’t we just call this a Kanye and Jay record? Mayfield (obviously) appears via sample, while Uncle Charlie’s contribution is brief and negligible. Cudi’s appearance is totally unnecessary to the record and should probably be edited out of the song entirely in the event the song gets a commercial release. Pete Rock produced the track-why should this garner him a featured artist credit?
At any rate, the song itself is OK. It’s taken a couple of listens to grown on me. Kanye’s definitely improved as a technical rapper, although it’s hard to say whether he’s truly evolved as a lyricist. To my ears, his lyrics had more emotional resonance and individuality at the outset of his career. Jay is typically brilliant (how many emcees get better as they age?) and Pete Rock’s beat is par for the course for him, although the Curtis sample (which Monica and Missy Elliott used just a couple years ago) is a bit obvious. When you’re one of the best hip-hop producers of all-time, I’m assuming you can go a little deeper into the sample well than this.
Check out the song as well as the official tracklisting for Kanye’s album after the jump.
Track listing for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is:
‘Gorgeous’ (featuring Kid Cudi & Raekwon)
‘All of the Lights’
‘Monster’ (featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver)
‘So Appalled’ (featuring Jay-Z, Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz and RZA)
‘Devil in a New Dress’
‘Runaway’ (featuring Pusha T)
‘Hell of a Life’
‘Blame Game’ (featuring John Legend and Pusha T)
‘Lost in the World’
‘See Me Now”‘