The highly anticipated single from Kanye West’s album, So Help Me God, was released to iTunes on March 2nd, 2015. The song was premiered during an insane performance at the 2015 Brit Awards and fans, including myself, have been waiting for the CDQ ever since. So does the song live up to the hype? Yes. From the pulsating guitar of the opening to the fantastic end vocals by Sir Paul McCartney, this song shoots for the stars (and doesn’t fall and land on a cloud). The first single from So Help Me God, “Only One,” also featured McCartney. But this song is much, much different than their first collaboration.
From the opening line – “How long you n***** ball? / All day n****” – you can tell just how explicit this track is. In fact, the “N-word” is used 44 times and counting. Despite this fact, the lyrics are well written in my opinion. Yeezy boasts of many things, including his eye for fashion and his wife’s butt. One of my favorite lines is also the funniest in the song: “You a fake Denzel like the Allstate n****.” This line is a reference to actor Dennis Haybert who is featured in many of Allstate’s ad campaigns and bears a resemblance to Denzel Washington.
Kanye has to remind listeners just how popular he is by reminding you that people pay “20 Gs for the Yeezy’s off of eBay.” My only slight complaint with Kanye on this track would be the delivery of the lines. They should be more aggressive and passionate in my opinion. In between these verses, Allan Kingdom does a great job singing the rhythmic bridge. Theophilus London has vocals on parts of the song as well, but Sir Paul McCartney’s vocals shine the most.
Following the insane breakdown and Kanye’s instructions to “get low” and “stay low,” the beat cuts off and the song transitions into a whistle backed by an acoustic guitar. McCartney whistles the same melody of the electric guitar used throughout the track. This tune actually dates back to 1970, having been originally used in a previously-unreleased McCartney track titled “When the Wind Is Blowing.” The melody came to McCartney while waiting in a hospital’s waiting room after the birth of his daughter Mary. He saw a print of Picasso’s “Blue Man with Guitar” on the wall and was inspired to create the melody. So, in a way, Pablo Picasso helped create “All Day.” After the whistling, an electronic beat comes in along with McCartney singing “well well well / let me run / let me run to see who came undone.” This ending sounds like a completely different track but is absolutely amazing.
Hard and gritty, “All Day” has a completely different sound than “Only One” and “Wolves” do. Although it’s hard to compare such different sounding songs, it is arguably the best track released so far from the album. Kanye seems to be bringing a lot to the table on So Help Me God and it should be interesting to hear the rest of the album and how the songs fit in.