Kanye West References His Slavery Comments on New Song “Wouldn’t Leave”
Last month during Kanye West's erratic viral marketing campaign for his record label's slate of new releases, the rapper and producer visited TMZ's office and offered some thoughts about the enslavement of African-Americans, namely his belief that their enslavement was their own choice. Yeezy addressed the remarks, as well as the outrage that followed and his wife Kim Kardashian's reaction, on the song "Wouldn't Leave" from his new album Ye.
As a refresher, the G.O.O.D. Music CEO told TMZ, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. Like, you was there for 400 years and it was all of y'all?"
Kanye attempts an explanation on "Wouldn't Leave." The song is a tender number, full of empty space, carried by not much more than a kick drum and plaintive piano chords. PartyNextDoor, Jeremih and Ty Dolla $ign contribute their vocals, which culminates with the singers harmonizing with a sample of Reverend W.A. Donaldson's gospel choir.
Over all these spiritual trappings, Yeezy raps a verse that presents his slavery comments as a personal crisis, due to the fact that their controversial nature threatened his wife Kim Kardashian's livelihood. He also compares fleeing slavery to starting your own fashion company.
"They say, 'Build your own,' I said, 'How, Sway?'/I said, 'Slavery a choice,' they say, 'How, Ye?'/Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day/Now I'm on fifty blogs gettin' fifty calls/My wife callin', screamin', say, 'We 'bout to lose it all!'/Had to calm her down 'cause she couldn't breathe/Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn't leave," West raps on the first verse.
Later in the song, Kanye defends his provocative comments and tweets, claiming, "I got the mind state to take us past the stratosphere." From his perspective, the problem is his messaging style. Yeezy acknowledges, "When I'm thinkin' like George Jetson but sounding like George Jefferson/Then they questioning my methods then."
Eventually, Kanye admits, "Even if, publicly, I lack the empathy/I ain't finna talk about it, 'nother four centuries."
West's new album Ye is streaming now. You can listen to "Wouldn't Leave" below.
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