I've recently been reading Shea Serrano's phenomenal New York Times best-selling The Rap Yearbook (a Hanukkah present from my wonderful girlfriend), in which he evaluates, ranks, and proceeds to meticulously break down "the most important rap song" from every year between 1979-2014. I would honestly, be flat out lying, if I said it hasn't largely affected the way I look at Hip-Hop singles in the grand scheme of the genre as a whole over the past few weeks; with that said, I would even go as far as to claim that Kanye's repeatedly upped, deleted, re-upped, deleted again, etc. double-header "Real Friends & No More Parties In LA" is quite arguably the most important Hip-Hop song of 2016. Its first 3/4's, "Real Friends," was collectively produced by Kanye, Frank Dukes, Boi-1da, and Mobb Deep co-founder Havoc and features a half-sung/rapped hook delivered by Ty Dolla $ign, while its latter 1/4 was hand-crafted by Stones Throw heavyweight, revered Jazz enthusiast, and overall human-beat machine Otis "Madlib" Jackson Jr. Now, I myself would personally like to assume that Kanye & Madlib were first introduced by their common cohort and collaborator Yasiin Bey aka rapper-actor Mos Def; Madlib & Bey have supposedly been concocting a mysterious Zamrock-based project for the past 3-5 or so odd years, although, to no widespread avail. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. West has been a long-time fan and supporter of Stones Throw's collective output, especially that of the late great J Dilla... having had the opportunity to produce a beat for "We F'ed Up" from Dilla's infamous ill-fated "MCA Album," otherwise known as unofficially released Pay Jay or Now-Again's long-rumored The Diary. Lest we forget, "Real Friends & No More Parties In LA" is reportedly just the first (or second, counting "FACTS") release attributed to Kanye's former My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy preceding G.O.O.D. Fridays revival leading up to SWISH.
"I could paint the scene of how I felt sitting there with Madlib, working on these tracks, and just hearing the textures. It was like, "something something / over the crib you left your Ray-Bans / My sheets still orange from your spray tan / No more parties in LA / No more parties in LA" — some sh*t. Matter of fact, now that you [the interviewer] brought this up, we might have to get some more Madlib beats for the next projects," Kanye enthusiastically gloated during an exclusive DVD extra from Stones Throw's 2014 film-length documentary, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton. Madlib's aforementioned Kendrick Lamar-featuring "No More Parties In LA" is built around a sample culled from Ohio Players keyboardist Junie Morrison's 1976 Soul-Funk deep cut "Suzie Thundertussy," which has previously been utilized by none other than master-swordsmen Ghostface Killah and even Kanye himself on Pusha T's Cruel Summer stand-out "New God Flow." "I haven't worked on it at all, but everything I've heard is phenomenal and it has nothing to do with any of the other records that were released before," G.O.O.D. Music President Pusha T recently revealed to Rolling Stone, concerning the fate of Kanye's as-yet-released series of post-Yeezus singles like "All Day," "FourFiveSeconds," "Only One," "Wolves," and recent New Year's treat "FACTS." However, it was in fact announced on the heels of "Real Friends & No More Parties In LA" that @kanyewest's endlessly teased, self-described Born In The U.S.A.-magnitude SWISH will finally see a world-wide release this upcoming "February 11 16." It's unclear as to whether or not Kanye's previously billed "several" collaborations recorded with Sir Paul McCartney, which were initially teased surrounding "Only One"'s 2014-15 roll-out, will ultimately end up appearing somewhere within SWISH or if they'll sadly just peter off into the aether.