It’s been a minute since I was excited about Kanye West releasing new music. Watch The Throne was probably the last. I’ve been a Kanye fan since 2000 when I saw he produced “This Can’t Be Life” on Jay Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia so I will always want him to drop classics as often as possible but recently I’ve employed my fall back game when it comes to the release of random singles.
I’m not about to front today like I was supered geeked about The Life of Pablo. Truth be told, I wasn’t going to believe ‘Ye was dropping an album until it was playing on my Beats headphones through whichever streaming service (Tidal in this case) had first rights.
I woke up Sunday morning reading tweets, Facebook statuses and Instagram posts about a return of the old Kanye and I got excited. Don’t me wrong though, I’m a firm believer in Hov’s “Nigga’s want my old shit, buy my old album” credo. I love when artists grow, experiment and transition. Selfishly though, in my Kanye fandom, I’ve longed for a return to the newness that was Kanye in the early 2000s.
Whether that longing proves to be a pipe dream is yet to be discovered but whatever happens, I’ll always have “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.”
While I find it foolish to label an album classic after one day of listening, my philosophy on grading songs allows for a shorter review time. The formula is simple: if after two back to back spins (four in a row) I still want more…it’s a classic son.
So that’s what “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” is.
First things first — the sample; a jazzy rendition of “Father I Sretch My Hands” led by Pastor T.L. Barrett supported by an energetic children’s choir. I mean, I know I haven’t been in church in a stretch but I don’t remember the songs sounding this good. Typical gospel songs are heavy on the vocals and rather light on the instrumentation but Barrett’s version of this song is quite soulful.
The samples lives for about 16 seconds before it gives way to a beautiful buildup facilitated by the voices of the children’s choir. Future’s voice let’s two things be known: 1) Metro Boomin’ was involved in thus process and 2) your ears are about to receive audio blessings.
Then the beat drops.
Fight the temptation to get over consumed in the beat and appreciate this Kid Cudi appearance for a second; it’s been a while.
Then there’s Kanye who just wants to feel liberated. I’ll let his lyrics speak for themselves.
I’ll revisit a review of the entire album after more digestion. For now, this song will continue to be played at ignorant levels each morning.