Powered by the momentum of two recent, critically acclaimed albums, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne, his collaborative album with Jay-Z, the notorious Kanye West has not rested, and is set to release his latest compilation any day now. If you follow those in the know (read: me) on Twitter, you’ll already have been introduced to some of the leaked lyrics, many of which focus on his impending fatherhood. (In case you’ve been living under a rock, ’Ye and Kim Kardashian are expecting a baby in July.)
Rumors that the new album is titled Her Beautiful Dark Twisted Fetus are unconfirmed, and insiders say it’s more likely that West will go with the title No Work for a Child, a take-off of his infectious hit single (with Jay-Z) “No Church in the Wild.” Indeed, the first lyrics we received were from the new title track, which opens the album with these ambiguous lines: “Lil’ babies with their moms / What’s a mom to a kid? / What’s a kid to applaud? / What’s applause to a non-performer, who don’t perform for anyone? / Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no work for a child.”
The structure of these lyrics will sound familiar to any fan of “No Church in the Wild,” and the new song certainly relies heavily on its predecessor, with a few notable exceptions. Soft bongos have replaced the throbbing drums that were the signature of the original, and the opening lines, performed by Frank Ocean on the original track, are, curiously, performed by famed children’s singer Raffi. What West is actually getting at in these opening lines is up for grabs, though it may suggest a certain pressure on his newborn child to perform, only to remind himself (alright, alright) that children can’t be put under the same expectations as megastar rap-gods like himself.
The maturity of these opening lines is almost as impressive as what comes next. Read more »