It’s been over a year since Kanye West released new music. The BBMA winning gospel album, JESUS IS KING, is the last project we’ve received from the rap genius. Instead of being in the studio, fans, stans, and concerned voters have seen Kanye West building his campaign for the 2020 presidential election. In this process, “Nah Nah Nah” was released. How does it all fit into Kanye’s master plan? Let’s dive in.
Kanye’s aggressive and in-your-face rapping takes center stage in “Nah Nah Nah.” Paired with the heavy bass in the beat, Kanye is attempting to hype up listeners and assert his dominance. The basic flute melody in the beat allows the track’s focus to lean more on Kanye’s flow and lyrics. To create more of a foundation for his lyrical presence, Kanye resorts to simple repetition in his background vocals. The phrase “get it” repeats, lacing the first pre-chorus, while other phrases and ad-libs echo throughout the track. This, as well as the occasional filters on his voice, probably takes the place of a feature, something the old Kanye would never forget. Now, as a controversial presidential candidate, who wants to hop on a track with Kanye West? We're struggling to see the creative genius so far in this track, forcing us to give this a 3/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
It doesn’t come as a shock to hear Kanye’s newest track, released just two weeks before the presidential election, is filled with political jargon. While most of this jargon is dispersed throughout meaningless lyrics or nonsensical phrases, listeners can’t help think about Kanye’s campaign. With a rap vocabulary of “veto,” “overthrow,” and “presidential candidate,” it becomes obvious that Kanye wants listeners to see him as a real political power. Unfortunately, the quality of his lyrics don’t bring any logic to the table. Instead of a consistent and well known stage presence, Kanye seems to have transformed to present a new blissfully ignorant persona in this track. There are no ties to the old Kanye in his lyrics. They’re flat, dull and repetitive. In fact, the entire hook seems to be nonsensical. Kanye, if you’re reading this, what does “Overthrow, send the drones in/all the maneuvers, feeling closed in,” mean? Though the beat sets the stage for Kanye’s lyrics, they don’t live up to the hype. Instead, we’re left with an over-performing and underserving track with no substance. Whoever this new Kanye is, the wannabe president who rhymes "in" with "in," isn't living up to his lyrical capabilities that gave him the platform he abuses today. Stick to what you're good at Kanye. For your declining rhyming skills, we're giving this a 2/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
THE ART BEHIND THE SINGLE:
Kanye West is one of the most influential rappers in the industry, and for a good reason. His projects are highly collaborative, filled with colorful imagery, powerful political statements, and wordplay. Somehow, “Nah Nah Nah,” doesn’t live up to these traits. It’s commanding, yet bland. It’s loud, but says nothing. It’s Kanye but it’s not, at the same time. There isn't a lot of artistry coming from Mr. West. So where did he go wrong with this track? Our theory is that this track was a marketing tactic for the election. Perhaps Kanye thought that his catchy hook consisting of overly-confident sentences would empower voters and remind them to write in Kanye. At the end of the day, he received more than 50,000 votes. Was this Kanye’s best track? Nah. But, as most of his music does, it gets the people going. Although this is a meaningless track, we're rating it a 6/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale. We have to find the small victories sometimes and at least Kanye had a creative marketing idea.
As a long time Kanye West fan, “Nah Nah Nah” has me questioning my loyalty. To the artist formerly known as Kanye, we “miss the old Kanye, straight from the go Kanye... set on his goals Kanye.” Come back.
Kanye West's "Nah Nah Nah" receives a 4/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale overall.
Think we were too harsh? Listen to the track below and let us know your opinions in the comments.