Kanye West - Power

Kanye’s been doing his Good Ass Job for a bit down on The Island — it was originally announced as the follow-up to Graduation, until he ran into an 808 and a heartbreak. So ostensibly the next step in Ye’s educational/corporate-evolution titular trajectory album’s due this year, guests reportedly include Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and production pitch-ins from No I.D. On “Power,” the first single to leak from the sessions, it’s soul man Dwele (last seen working with Yeezy on “Flashing Lights”) throwing down while Kanye’s “tripping on all the power,” later on all the “powder,” and later “drinkin’ and drivin,’” and rhyming “power” with “Austin Powers,” and abomination with “Obama’s nation.” Granted those rhymes are more The Grade School Drop Out than post-Graduation, but as always the production’s the pull — a slightly sped-up group-vocal sample with handclaps to match (Sound Of The City pegs the sample as King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man“) — and this might be after Hearbreak, but shit is still dark in Kanye’s world. The song ends with Dwele’s crooning “Jumpin’ out the window, letting everything go…” and West’s punctuation: “Yeah this would be a beautiful death.” Someone keep an eye on Ye, yeah?

UPDATE 6/2: Stream the mixed/mastered version at Nah Right. Above “Power” portrait by George Condo via the relaunched kanyewest.com.

“Power” is due out 6/8 via iTunes, Good Ass Job is expected sometime after September of this year.

[Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty]

Comments (31)
  1. I’m liking it. Definitely a return to form after 808s, and yeah, a lot of his lines are dumb, but that’s just part of the deal when you’re talking about Kanye.

  2. I find it so hard to hate on this man because of his “award show etiquette” when he drops tracks like these. This is hot. Welcome back, Mr. West.

  3. Pretty solid. A good start to the holiday weekend.

  4. This is really cool. It seamlessly melds together the new synth style of hip-hop and the old sampling method.

  5. King Crimson! Digging deep, I like it.

  6. Man, this guy is such an overrated piece of trash. No flow at all.

    • Why listen or comment if you don’t give a shit about the artist?

      If you’re trying to be a douchebag, then you’ve succeeded. Congratulations!

      Please, enlighten us with artists you consider to be superior? I want to know so bad. SO bad.

      • dude, chill the F out. you sound like a lunatic. and here’s just one other artist whose lyrics and wordplay run circles around kanye: joanna newsom. and she doesn’t rely on image to secure her fame. unlike kanye whose image means everything.

        • Sorry, man. I get worked up sometimes, to say the least!

          I agree, she’s a wordsmith, few compare to her, but you can’t really compare her to Kanye.

          His flow isn’t outstanding, sure, but the man’s production skills are matched by very, very few. He’s a breath of fresh air for hip-hop/rap fans. Just because a shit ton of people enjoy him doesn’t mean he’s overrated.

          Not saying it’s your argument by any means but I can’t stand people one-line trashing artists without something to back it up. You did back it up, so fair enough. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, I just wish more people would back them up.

        • Are you srsly comparing Kanye to Joanna Newsom? That’s like saying the moon is better than football. Huh?

      • and you sound just as crazy comparing him Joanna Newsom. Even if you don’t like his lyrics, Kanye West is a fabulous producer. College Dropout and Late Registration are both classics. He may be a total douche, but he makes great, memorable music.

        • Bottom Line: I think Kanye has no lyrical skill. He is not that creative with his lines. Sometimes they don’t make sense. Think of Lil’ Wayne; he is truly gifted. His metaphors are wildly creative, and he coms up with some truly inventive phrasing and idea. Kanye’s flow is not smooth; it’s disjointed, forced, and choppy. Plus, as mentioned, he is a completely materialistic ego-maniac.

          So, ignore the Jo News comparison; I agree they are as different as black and white (lol pun).

          • Lil Wayne is just as materialist and ego-maniacal as Kanye. At least Kanye raps about something, Lil Wayne may have nice metaphors and punchlines, but most of his songs are literally about nothing. Also every time Kanye has had a song with Wayne he’s tended to make Wayne look bad. Your comments continue to show how little you actually know about hip-hop.

          • David Mania Worthington. You actually think Lil Wayne has better lyrics than Kanye? is that a joke? Thats why Lil’ Wayne used to have a ghost writer right? because hes amazing. I personally think Lil’ Wayne is overrated and his new album sucks to be honest. But back to Kanye, this song isnt amazing but if you listen to the College Dropout or Late registration his lyrics are incredible and hes VERY funny. Hes a smart rapper. He has lyrical ability, flow, smart rhymes, and a the beat making ability of no one ive seen in a while. In this song hes not creative at all, I give you that, but listen to all of his other shit before making assumptions lol. listen to “heard em say” and compare it to “shooter” lets see who wins

        • Hey man, just saying Kanye has shown to be a pretty creative lyricist. heres a list of some creative lines that kanye has said:

          “..now i can let these dream killers kill my self esteem, or use my arrogance as steam to power my dreams”- lAST call

          “I didnt play the hand i was dealt, i switched the cards….”- Last call

          “if yall fresh to death, then im deceased…” -selfish slum village

          “when it feels like livings harder than dying, for me giving ups way harder than trying…” – Champion

          “while yall was in limbo, i raised the bar up”- Glory

          “we saying the same thing like a synonym, I wasn’t really spiting game i was scrimmaging….I’m a chicagoan, til Chicago wins, til we blow like chicago wind, I don’t know whats better, getting paid or getting laid, I just know when I’m getting one the others getting away…” – This way

          “mayonaisse colored benz i push miracle whips…”- last call

          “we aint going no where, but got suits and cases”- jesus walks

          “felt like bad boys street team, i couldn’t work the locks (lox)- Touch the sky

          That entire magazine freestyle with mos def


          I’m just saying how aren’t these lines creative, and at the very least how can you say that he has NO LYRICAL SKILL. Even in this song he says some good stuff. I’m just saying take every quote into account. Lil wayne is pretty good though. o AND COLLEge drop out was better than anything wayne has releasedd.

      • I miss Method Man.

  7. the line is actually “colin powell’s austin powers–lost in translation with a whole fuckin’ nation.”

  8. It’s a shame hip hop died five years ago…

  9. It’s much better than I thought it would be.

    Kanye and Joanna should so some sort of colab :p.

  10. C’mon kids, the Kanye West you all write about knowing enough to be judge and jury on the man is called a ‘Persona’. Ego-maniac is pretty much par for the hip hop course, no?

    South Park was a year late, and a year later yr all that much later.

    ’808s and Heartbreaks’ was a great album. Maybe his best. Yes, it required more than one listening. These listeners who sampled it and passed it off missed one of the best albums of 08.

    The Oscars, Grammys, f$^ing MTV awards are bullshit and need to be treated as such. Without Kanye these shitty TV shows aren’t even worth noting.

  11. cosign dcapp, lil wayne is garbage

    Kanye produces his ass off, shits gold, makes it look easy. can’t freestyle (he took a sh*t on snl..still laughn) but he can most definitely write ish to make you rewind. And his delivery is pretty tits for someone started behind the boards. we can’t all be Oddisee.

    this track is solid. leary of guest producers..

  12. Also, David Mania Worthington, if Lil wayne is so good, why does he have to stop in the middle of his rhymes and laugh all the freaking time. The sht he says sucks and he constantly stops and breaks flow. BAM

  13. Oh, and I mean come on: the combination of this song and that picture–how can you NOT love this man?!

    Every time he does something ridiculous, I just have to grin, shake my head a little and be like, “Ohh Kanye …”

  14. Wayne = garbage , please strangle yourself now !
    I’m like the total opposite of a Ye fan but , I can’t say hes not talented ,
    and I am a HUGE Wayne fan , and I know he ill because so many people are there to talk shxt whenever someone mentions him .

    “if Lil wayne is so good, why does he have to stop in the middle of his rhymes and laugh all the freaking time.”

    Because thats what he does !
    I hope thats not why you don’t like him , because he laughs on his songs ? (SMH)

    Its funny how favorites can turn ppl into the biggest haters on the planet , not even realizing that his fan base is like a family tree that dates back to the 1200′s , LMFAO !

    So , a few thousand haters versus like a couple million lovers . . . yeah nuff said .

    (p.s. somebody should start paying all the ppl that can’t stand Wayne , because I understand how hard you work to leave crazy ass comments , post hate blog , and picket sign fees or whatever else you guys do . )

  15. this song is amazing… point blank period. especially if you listen to what he sampled and how he used it. and for you to honestly say that wayne is better than kanye is just stupid. i am a wayne fan, and have been since 99. not like these nut suckers who think carter was his first cd. but when you have songs by wayne such as phone home…which is the dumbest rap song of the last 10 years. you cant sit there and compare that to anything kanye has put out.

  16. Check out Southern Kingdom – The First Family of Righteous HipHop on youtube
    and their response to

    Kanye’s “POWER” video.

    It’s called



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