I can’t decide whether I love or hate “Saint Pablo.”
In the midst of editing The Life of Pablo, in time for it’s official worldwide streaming release (perhaps thanks to Scooter Braun) as of yesterday, March 31, Kanye West released a new song rumored to be featured on his upcoming album (upcoming, as in his eighth studio album, not another edited version of The Life of Pablo which is coming, too ) Turbo Grafx 16, titled “Saint Pablo”.
The song, formally known as “Closest Thing to Einstein,” premiered during Yo Gotti’s The Art of Hustle listening part in Los Angeles on February 23. I tweeted excitedly for its official release once, but I’m debating deleting the tweet. (No, not really. I’m against delayed-regret deleting as much as Chris Brown is for it.) I’m torn on the simplicity of Kanye West’s flow, laced with repetitive statements at times (“I know I’m the most influential/ That TIME cover was just confirmation/ This generation’s closest thing to Einstein”) — this isn’t entirely new for ‘Ye, he’s known to repeat almost until ingrained, but since there’s so much of him lately, I would’ve liked something a hint refreshing.
Also, British singer-songwriter Sampha, who’s featured on “Saint Pablo,” is a natural treasure; he’s as rare as the blood moon we all tried to capture on Instagram and failed. You must handle him with care, and lay his brash vocals, as impassioned as his lyrics, over a complimentary beat, and Jay Z’s “Where I’m From,” which “Saint Pablo” samples, isn’t entirely favorable.
Kanye West headlines, Kanye West tweets (from him and of him), Kanye West edits, and Kanye West dancing in Kim Kardashian’s Snapchats — there’s a lot of Kanye West these days that, I must admit, I waited a day to listen to “Saint Pablo.” I didn’t feel a strong sense of urgency to listen to “Saint Pablo” compared to the other times ‘Ye has released new material.
As soon as I want to not love the song though, I do. I’m a sucker for the honesty Kanye West expresses, rapping about the media inexcusably questioning his mental health, his “personal debt,” and the weight on his shoulders to care for his family — his entire family. ‘Ye opens the first verse by rapping, “My wife said I can’t say no to nobody/ And at this rate we gone both die broke/ Got friends that ask me for money known’ I’m in debt/And like my wife said, I still didn’t say no. He faces his issues head on and publicly—and majority of the time cleverly.
And now I’m back to loving “Saint Pablo.”