kanye west

Kanye West – No More Parties in LA

Someone track down his cousin: Any fan of Kanye knows his muse works in fits and starts, and his output can be as erratic as a mood swing. Choosing to follow the dour “Real Friends” with “No More Parties in L.A.” is yet another exercise in extremes, which suits him just fine: a self-described “38-year-old 8-year old,” Ye chases after what’s motivating him no matter how eccentric the inspiration. Here he mentions “I was uninspired since Lauryn Hill retired” and “I know some fans who thought I wouldn’t rap like this again” in the same way he delivers a hilarious anecdote about an assistant crashing his matted Maybach. He also references his memorable line from The College Dropout’s “Breathe in Breathe Out”—“first nigga with a Benz and a backpack”—with “a backpack nigga with luxury taste buds,” a great callback to how ably Ye can so easily identify with two different class of rappers. 
Kanye still resonates after all these years by pulling you into his story, with vivid images about texting and driving and André 3000’s extended hiatus next to a line about “whole family getting money, thank god for E!” That ability to connect to listeners is what sells us on the problems and lifestyles of the very, very rich, to the extent where no matter how ridiculous some of his lines are (“any rumor you heard about me was true and legendary”) it feels like something we can relate to. Which is, of course, patently absurd.
And the fact that a six-minute song with a monster Kendrick verse and a painterly Madlib beat goes by in the blink of an eye reinforces how revitalized Kanye is after a spotty 2015, dropping these songs weekly (although this one was three days late) as if to prove he can still do it. Between “Real Friends” and this song is an air of the unfiltered rawness of “old Kanye” that makes you wonder if Swish will be as off-the-cuff, and, frankly, charming. We’re in for a doozy if it is. 

future

Future – Inside the Mattress

The mattress is a canvas. For most of Future’s career, vacuum-sealed packages and hastily-stuffed fistfuls of money have played on a continuous loop, while sex, love, and heartbreak take the foreground. (He hasn’t merged the bed’s many uses the way Havoc did with “Blow you off the atlas as if I caught you fucking my wife on my thousand dollar mattress,” but really, who has?) On “Inside the Mattress,” from his surprise mixtape Purple Reign, Future starts to mesh the personal and the less-than-legal, before breaking fully into a confession.
The song is produced by Nard & B, the Atlanta duo who have crafted some of Future’s greatest bloodlettings: “You Deserve It,” “Throw Away,” “News or Somthn.” It’s anchored by a line in the second verse: “Hit another city, and another city, I was just grooving/ I was trying to tell you I was losing/ I was gon’ tell you I’m improving.” That was the subtext of the run that started with 2014’s Monster and peaked last summer with Dirty Sprite 2—a cry for help under a whole lot of vitriol.
Later in “Mattress,” Future peels that cover away. “I never told the world about you,” he raps, admitting he would rather hole up in hotels than hit award shows. And the qualifier on all the depressive talk is a curious one. At first pass, “I wake up and do it way better tomorrow” sounds like a self-improvement mantra, but there’s no “try” or “hope” in there, just a mechanical upward spiral that hasn’t stopped, no matter the things that keep him up at night.