“Provide a new coffin / You don’t see murder like this, this often,” Kanye West raps, in a new song previewed by Adidas today (May 24).
West can be heard in a commercial over quick-cutting, close-up footage of the soccer field, the sort featured in videos for songs that FIFA actually chose as anthems for this year’s World Cup (Pitbull‘s “We Are One (Ole Ola),” Shakira‘s “La La La (Brazil 2014)”). But here, there’s unresolved tension. In one scene (above), mounted police stand before a crowd as if anticipating a riot. And the Yeezus star never appears, forcing viewers instead to focus on the disconcerting imagery in both the ad and his lyrics.
In a longer audio clip of the untitled song (it’s tough to tell whether it’s the entire track or not), West’s lyrics are more explicit: “You see sharks in the water, and they try to do nothing but put cocks in your daughter / Don’t say anything about what ‘Ye said / Don’t move, motherfucker / Play dead.” To the nervous instrumental, all grimy synths and rattling percussion that build but never detonate, West can be heard sucking in his breath, though he refuses to lunge.
Instead, he almost seems to crack a smile. “Yeah we cool motherfucker, yeah ay yeah / ay yeah,” he raps. He sucks in his breath again. The music cuts off, and he repeats what must be the song’s hook: “God level.”
At a time where details of his follow-up to Yeezus are accumulating but rarely hinting of how it will shape up — “[M]ostly a mixture of soul samples and tamed Yeezus-esque darkness… nothing abrasive,” a source recently said to Billboard, the most illuminating detail revealed thus far) — the holding pattern that West creates here feels cruel if not unbearable. And for that reason, it’s the one song you must hear today. See the Adidas commercial up top, then check out a longer version of West’s song at SoundCloud.
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