On Friday, Kanye West dropped two surprise new songs. The first, "Lift Yourself," appeared to be West purely trolling us. After promising that the track would include fire emoji bars and give Hot 97 radio DJ Ebro Darden "closure," following a recent interview on the station where the 41-year-old artist proclaimed "I love Donald Trump," what we heard on his website was a song that... was not that at all.
While "Lift Yourself" does have an admittedly great beat fitting of the revered producer, there's almost no lyrics at all, until almost the end of the song, when Kanye mutters a few incomprehensible "bars" that can pretty much be summed up as "poopity scoopity." No, really.
The second track, "Ye vs. the People" -- a collaboration with rapper T.I. -- which premiered out of nowhere on L.A.'s Power 106 radio station, is kind of... the opposite of "Lift Yourself" in every way.
The beat, which to be fair, is obscured by constant radio noises and the DJ's refraining "POWER 106," is, to put it nicely, much less pleasant to the ears than "Lift Yourself." However, lyrically, "Ye vs. the People" has much more to offer.
"Ye vs. the People" is basically an argument between Kanye and T.I., where the Life Of Pablo rapper tries to clarify his recent political rants on Twitter, while T.I. represents the blowback from Kanye's fans and famous friends alike, who have been genuinely disheartened by his support of Trump, even going so far as to say 'Ye is threatening his own legacy.
"I know Obama was heaven-sent/ But ever since Trump won it proved that I could be President," Kanye starts off the track, further complicating exactly what message he's trying to send. Later, Yeezy raps, "Bruh, I never stopped fighting for the people."
"See that's the problem with this damn nation," Kanye continues. "All Blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain't made it off the plantation."
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T.I. pushes back on that notion, arguing, "F**k what you choose as your political party/ You representin' dudes who seem crude and cold-hearted/ With blatant disregard for the people who put you n***as in. So don't you feel an obligation to them?"
This prompted Kanye to respond with something similar to what he's tweeted, which is to suggest he's added "empathy" to the "Make America Great Again" call of many Trump supporters.
"I feel an obligation to show people new ideas/ And if you wanna hear 'em, here go two right here," he rapped. "Make America Great Again, had a negative reception I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction. Added empathy, care and love and affection/ And y'all simply questionin' my methods."
"What you willin' to lose for the point to be proved?" T.I. asks at the tail end of the song, which, full disclosure, became a little tough to hear.
"All them times you sounded crazy, we defended you, homie," T.I. appears to tell Kanye. "That's why it's important to know what direction you're goin' now/ 'Cause everything that you built can be destroyed and torn down."
In probably the most telling line of the song, Kanye acknowledges his long period of reclusiveness before recently reappearing.
"You think I ain't concerned about how I affect the past? I mean I had stayed in my closet about a year and a half," he rhymes. "Then one day, I was like, F**k it, I'ma do me'/ I was in the sunken place and then I found the new me."