Track Of Note: Real Friends by Kanye West

Everyone I know, young and old, has an opinion on Kanye West. Most of these opinions are negative.

I can certainly understand why. He can be a hard person to warm to. When he makes headlines it’s usually for something rather idiotic (speaking for myself his actions usually come across as endearingly twitish  – when he isn’t legitimately being a dick). You can’t deny he doesn’t lack an ego and often seems to speak or act without thinking it through very much.

The small minority of people I know who don’t actively dislike West (two people) are the only ones who actually have taken the time to acquaint themselves with his music. This is a key point.

For all of the hoopla surrounding him as a person, it is undeniable that Kayne West is a musician of significant talent. And interestingly probably the most experimental musician selling millions of albums today.

While his delivery isn’t top level, he has written pages of provocative and perceptive lyrics and *shock horror* clearly has a sense of humour. He produces quality tracks as well as surrounding himself with A+ producers. That ego that puts him in the target of peoples derision is also responsible for crafting a series of heartfelt, brilliant albums.

With the February release of West’s new album (at time of print it’s still called Waves) he dropped two tracks in early January. One of those is the sublime Real Friends.

In an instant we are transfixed by a hazy melancholic, mid-tempo beat. Laid on top are emotionally raw raps about something I think we can all relate to.

I hate when a nigga text you like, “what’s up, fam, hope you good”
You say, “I’m good” then great, the next text they ask you for somethin’

In this increasingly fragmented world the authenticity of relationships with others is more vital than ever, yet I am sure we have all been let down by others we trusted.

But the spotlight is also turned on ourselves.

When was the last time I remembered a birthday?
When was the last time I wasn’t in a hurry?

I couldn’t tell you how old your daughter was
Couldn’t tell you how old your son is
I got my own Jr. on the way, dawg

How many times have we ignored people we care about, lost touch with. Not out of deliberate spite but perhaps the natural erosion of time.

That’s life brah?

 

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