With the return of Kanye West in full effect, SOHH reached out to the rapper’s Def Jam labelmate Ne-Yo to get his reaction to the new “Power” anthem.
From Ne-Yo’s perspective, Ye will be back on top this summer.
“I feel like Kanye is one of the smartest dudes in the music business,” Ne-Yo told SOHH. “And I say that to anybody. He caught a little bit of flack behind that Taylor Swift situation or whatever and so he moved away from it, let the fire die down and came back with something undeniable. That ‘Power’ record is ridiculous to me and he’s back on his thing, he’s talking sh*t and that’s what Kanye do. It’s one of those records that you hear one time and you’re like, ‘Yeah, Kanye’s back.’ I feel like the summer is about to be something crazy.” (SOHH)
Ye’s “Power” collaborator, Dwele, recently shared his experience working on the new record.
“I got there [to the studio], and ‘Ye had an idea for what he wanted for the song,” Dwele explained when describing the song. “So that’s all his creation. Pretty much all I did was my thing: I added harmonies and lent my instrument for the joint…I think it’s dope. I think [the record] is doing what it’s supposed to do, as far as letting people know he’s back to rapping. He got some bars on that joint. I enjoy it. It’s one of those joints. I roll down the windows and ride out to it. I usually don’t play stuff that I’m on, but that song bangs.” (MTV)
The song’s producer Symbolyc One recently said “Power” was initially intended for Chicago rapper Rhymefest.
“When I first did the ‘Power’ beat, It was originally intended for a collaborative project that Rhymefest and I talked about doing together, but since he was still working on his El Che project, I never sent it to him. So the beat just stayed on my desktop. One day Rhymefest told me to send him a few beats over and he will try to play a few for Kanye [West]. Originally, I wasn’t going to put that ‘Power’ beat in the beat batch because I used similiar drums as Kanye did on ‘Crack Music.’ So I was [thinking] he’s definitely not gonna pick this one however I sent the beat anyway. Then a couple weeks later I received a text from ‘Fest saying, ‘Kanye is loving your stuff, he said he’s about to change your life.’ Two days later I was on a flight to Hawaii to meet Mr. West. The rest is pretty much history.” (Hip Hop DX)
The track exploded onto the Internet late last month.
On “Power,” the first single to leak from the sessions, it’s soul man Dwele (last seen working with Yeezy on “Flashing Lights”) throwing down while Kanye’s “tripping on all the power,” later on all the “powder,” and later “drinkin’ and drivin,'” and rhyming “power” with “Austin Powers,” and obamanation with “Obama’s nation.” Granted those rhymes are more The Grade School Drop Out than post-Graduation, but as always the production’s the pull — a slightly sped-up group-vocal sample with handclaps to match — and this might be after Hearbreak, but sh* is still dark in Kanye’s world. The song ends with Dwele’s crooning “Jumpin’ out the window, letting everything go…” and West’s punctuation: “Yeah this would be a beautiful death.” Someone keep an eye on Ye, yeah? (Stereo Gum)
Check out Kanye West’s “Power” below: