SONG FEATURE: Kanye West - Real Friends


G.O.O.D Fridays are back again! This is the series in which Kanye drops a new single every Friday and basically justifies your existence for a short while. He dropped the first in what will be an ongoing series, most likely until his full length album SWISH drops on the 11th of February. The last time he did this was in 2010 for his release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and we all know how great that album was, so maybe SWISH will be amazing, unlike the worries of internet bloggers who are scared Kanye might drop a bad album

So he released the track Real Friends with some vocal performances with Ty Dolla $ign and a snippet for No More Parties In La featuring Kendrick Lamar and produced by Madlib.

This song shows us a side on Kanye that hasn’t really been present for a while; we are so used to the braggadocios Kanye that tracks like this and Only One, released last year, really show that behind all the bravado, is a man, a man with problems and vulnerabilities. Kanye on this track is thoughtful, introspective and emotional; describing how fame has ruined friendships that he once had, and the ties with his family. He tells us how people come out of no were with a text asking for something, he feels like these friendships have being ruined by his fame, as now they only want to use him. He even gets specific on this track where he describes an incident in which his laptop was stolen, claiming that “I had a cousin that stole my laptop that I was fuckin' bitches on/Paid that nigga 250 thousand just to get it from him”.  But Kanye doesn’t just blame his family or friends, he realises the part he had to play in this downfall, asking himself “When was the last time I remembered a birthday?/When was the last time I wasn't in a hurry?”

Ty Dolla $ign plays an interesting role in this song, his autotuned voice fits well into the simple beat and he signs from the perspective of Kanye’s former friends, really fleshing this song out more.

The beat on this song is really slow, simple and sad, with some sombre piano keys being played in the background. A very simple beat, but a very effective one, as it really drives home what Kanye is talking about on this track. 

The flow on this track is also very reminiscent of some of Kanye’s earlier output and wouldn’t have been out of place on an album like Late Registration. People have been championing this song as a return to form for Kanye, so the fact the flow fits that idea well, doesn’t surprise. 

I do love when Kanye brags about himself, but it is also nice to see the vulnerable side of Kanye. The side that lets us in a little bit, lets us know that even though he is rich and successful, he still has problems of his own.
Will This Track Be On SWISH: Highly Unlikely.

Written By: Rhys Prka

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