Kanye West has found yet another way to draw attention to Yeezus, an album that already experienced landmark sales and a high-profile marketing campaign. This time, he took to Twitter to launch a debate: “The 2nd verse of New Slaves is the best rap verse of all time … meaning … OF ALL TIME IN THE HISTORY OF RAP MUSIC, PERIOD[.]”
To recap, the second verse of “New Slaves” discusses preoccupations, from West’s point of view: Rappers eye Maybach keys as they fail to read their record contracts. Reporters try to trail him and his family, as they further attempt to link him (and other rappers) to the Illuminati: “See they’ll confuse us with some bullshit, like the New World Order.”
Throughout, West spells out what he sees through all these distractions: These New Slaves are the United States’ growing and primarily black prison population. While rap has recently and increasingly drawn similar connections — see: Killer Mike‘s “Reagan” — “New Slaves” may be the only song to have debuted on Saturday Night Live and been fact-checked by the ACLU. Still, West’s Twitter call amounted to a few sound points, if not some scoffing.
A fan who (rightly) pointed to Eminem’s verse in Jay-Z’s “Renegade”:
@kanyewest I think arguably eminem has the best verses of all time on renegade .. Also 50 cent had some great verses on get rich…
— s.c (@STEVECORLEONE) July 20, 2013
A fan of deep rap cuts:
— Soft Reeds (@softreeds) July 20, 2013
A music critic who has a point, but forgot that “Paris” sampled Blades of Glory:
.@kanyewest I think the Waterboy reference kind of undercuts the seriousness of the song. you should’ve said “YOU CAN DO EET” instead.
— Al Shipley (@alshipley) July 20, 2013
Do you think Kanye West’s “New Slaves” contains the best rap verse of all time? Share your thoughts (and other, potential contenders) in the comments.
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