BEST NEW SONGS: KANYE WEST - FAMOUS
In Kanye’s mind, every year the Grammy’s are always about him. This year, our nation’s most captivating entertainer was kinda correct. Taylor Swift’s Album of the Year acceptance speech was more or less about him (we’ll get to that in a moment), and he dominated the post-show buzz by announcing that he won’t attend the 2017 Grammy’s unless he’s been promised beforehand that he’ll win the award show’s most prestigious prize. As someone who’s given Life of Pablo more time than it deserves, I can say decisively say that it won’t capture many, if any, awards. LoP is a sprawling, inconsistent mess and probably Ye’s weakest offering since 808s & Heartbreak, but it’s got some fantastic moments, like “Famous.”
Swift’s aforementioned Grammy acceptance speech was a thinly veil rebuttal to the opening line of “Famous”: “To all my Southside n****s that know me best, I feel like me in Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b***h famous.” While I’m sympathetic to people who are offended by the punchline’s misogynistic tones, I find myself in fits following the initial background “GAWDDAMN” that proceeds Kanye’s first verse. And as great as Kanye’s first few bars are, the highlight of the song may be a sample of Rhianna singing Johnny Rivers’ “1967,” off his breakthrough album Rewind, which came out in, you guessed it: 1967. The song’s sentimental classic, which sounds way better with RiRi behind the wheel, was written by Jimmy Webb, who was the Max Martian of his day. Martian of course worked with Taylor on 1989, which she won a Grammy for, and was thus able to publicly shittalk Kanye for his opening remarks on “Famous.”
All things are circular (probably?), and they all lead back to Kanye.
KANYE WEST “FAMOUS”
And of course here’s the Rivers gem you’ll find yourself humming for the next week.
JOHNNY RIVERS “1967”
Madlib’s beat on “No More Parties in LA” stole the Life of Pablo, but “Famous” will end up as the LP's most enduring cut.
About Calvin Paradise
Calvin Paradise manages to live a productive life despite a childhood of home schooling and suffering from what some doctors have called the worst case of Groucho Marx's Syndrome in recorded history.