For a few days, Kanye West has been blessedly silent about Donald Trump has his newly deluded historical understanding. He’s reportedly been in Wyoming, finishing up the run of new albums he’s got coming out, and we can only hope that he stays too busy to show up on TMZ again, or to start his motivational word-salad tweets. But we’ve been hearing a whole lot of Kanye-related music. There were the two new songs, “Lift Yourself” and “Ye Vs. The People.” Yesterday, Christina Aguilera shared her new West-produced single “Accelerate.” And today, we hear West rapping alongside his younger peers Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert on the new song “Watch.”
Scott started his career as a producer under the G.O.O.D. Music imprimatur, and Uzi has said that West’s 808s & Heartbreaks is his single greatest musical inspiration. So on “Watch,” West is working with two rappers whose careers he helped make possible. But the song doesn’t feel like a trip inside West’s aesthetic. It’s a slightly weird trap song, with some big drums and some disorienting synth-flutters. Considering all the people involved, the song feels oddly low-impact. (West, notably, didn’t produce “Watch.” Instead, that job went to Playboi Carti collaborator Pi’erre Borne.)
In his verse, West mentions the drug problems that he’s been having in recent years: “Opioid addiction, pharmacy’s the real trap.” He also alludes to the way Twitter has received him in recent weeks: “One year it’s Illuminati, next year it’s the Sunken Place / They don’t want me to change / Nah, nigga, run in place.” And he rants about the “juice-to-vodka ratio” in his drink. Here’s the song:
West presumably recorded his verse before his right-wing flirtations reached their apex. He was teasing the song on Twitter more than a week ago:
Trav we gotta drop the track with me you and Uzi this week bro. Let's gooooooooooooooooooooooooo🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
“Watch” is out now at iTunes.