The main sample in this song presents itself in a unique fashion, as it’s not only important in the aspect of giving Kendrick something to rap on, but in emphasizing the story that Kendrick is telling. The lead sample in this song comes from The Alan Parsons Project’s song, “Old and Wise.” This song elaborates a theme of remorse and reconciliation in the last moments of life. Kendrick takes the meaning behind this song to a completely new level, by removing the remorseful tone and replacing it with a protective, caring theme. “Keisha’s Song” is more than anything a warning; elaborating to his little sister the dangers of becoming a prostitute. Kendrick speaks from a knowledgeable, mature view, hence Old and Wise.
In the production of the instrumental, Tae Beast took the sample and slowed it down drastically, creating a mellow, emotional composition that perfectly combines with Kendrick’s tone and motif.
In the following official Producer Genius SoundCloud breakdown, you will hear the sample played first, followed by it’s appearance in the song (both at the original speed and slowed down to the final speed.)
Kanye and No I.D. DELIVERED on this beat. The main component to this beat is a chopped piano sample, originally coming from Marcos Valle’s “Bôdas De Sangue.” This is the second time that Ye and Pusha have worked with this sample, the first being their collaboration, “New God Flow” (check out the Producer Genius annotation for that track here!)
The first time this track was released to the public was on October 9th, 2012, almost a year before the release of the album it was featured on, My Name Is My Name. (October 8th, 2013) Somewhere in that year-long span, the production was revamped; the drums became hard hitting, and the siren in the interlude was removed.
In the official Producer Genius SoundCloud breakdown, the sounds are ordered as follows:
0:00-0:10 Piano sample, Marcos Valle’s “Bôdas De Sangue"
0:10-0:18 Piano sample chopped
0:18-0:26 Scream sample from “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves” from the movie, Amar Akbar Anthony
0:26-0:36 Scream sample played in "Pain"
0:36-0:41 Drums on original version
0:41-0:46 Drums on album version
0:46-0:57 Interlude on original version
0:57-1:07 Interlude on album version
In one of the many gems from the diamond mine that is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Bink! flips a smooth, soulful sample: Smokey Robinson’s version of the classic Carole King song, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow? Add in a beautifully composed guitar solo, electric guitar progression, a fine-tuned piano, and strings, and then you have one of the best beats of the past 5 years.
In an interview with VIBE, Bink! briefly spoke on the history of this beat. As quoted directly from the article:
Almost immediately after Bink! played his first instrumental for ‘Ye, he knew that the record that would become “Devil In A New Dress” was a keeper. “The reaction I got from him after I played the beat for the first time was real intense,“ Bink! remembers. "I mean 'Ye just doesn’t react to music if it’s not genuine.”
Looks like we weren’t the only people who had that reaction after hearing this beat.
Below is an official Producer Genius SoundCloud breakdown of the track. First off, both of the portions of the song that were chopped are played. Then, they are played together, in sequence, at the original tempo. Finally, the sample is sped up to the final 79.6 bpm, and EQ’d to bring out the beautiful bassline.
T shirt by APC & Kanye West. The “hip hop t shirt” was a feature in the capsule collection that sold out in minutes, I was in Barcelona at the time still drunk and happened to order me one. It’s made with 100% egyptian cotton, I love the feel of it because I know it was designed by a god, it feels amazing on my 6 pack. My back used to hurt but knowing that Kanye West touched this solved all my back problems.
These black tights are my girlfriends, I love the feeling of lycra, it gives me extra support and makes my ass look dope
Nike Flyknits (the same ones that Kanye talked about on the Breakfast Club)
I would consider this #minimalism, but my cute face is way too cute for it to be considered that.
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