Amid the whirlwind of debate around his support of President Donald Trump, Kanye West dropped a new track late Friday on Los Angeles hip-hop station Power 106 that plays like a political debate between himself and rapper T.I.
“Ye v The People” isn’t out on any official channels yet, but Hip Hop DX has posted a radio rip.
The lyrics, courtesy of Genius, represent a sincere and passionate conversation on U.S. politics and identity. The pair touch on police brutality, polarization and Trump’s vast unpopularity among people of color, and it doesn’t end with the two sides coming together. A sample:
I feel an obligation to show people new ideas
And if you wanna hear ‘em, there go two right here
Make America Great Again had a negative reception
I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction
Added empathy, care and love and affection
And y’all simply questionin’ my methods
What you willin’ to lose for the point to be proved?
This shit is stubborn, selfish, bullheaded, even for you
You wore a dusty ass hat to represent the same views
As white supremacy, man, we expect better from you
All them times you sounded crazy, we defended you, homie
Not just to be let down when we depend on you, homie
That’s why it’s important to know what direction you’re goin’ now
’Cause everything that you built can be destroyed and torn down
Kanye posted a series of tweets over the past week lending support to Trump ― although not 100 percent ― that nonetheless prompted the president himself to respond in thanks. (“Very cool!” Trump wrote.)
But the rapper’s messages also led to criticism from some of his closest friends; he posted texts from John Legend as one example. The singer tried talking Kanye out of voicing support for the president in part because ”[s]o many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color.”
Earlier on Friday, Kanye released the bizarre track “Lift Yourself,” that included several mentions of “poop” and was quickly identified as one big joke to proceed the release of “Ye v The People,” which, as far as we can tell, is very much not joke.