Why Kanye West’s “Feedback” Has The Most Meaning On The Entire ‘The Life Of Pablo’ Album
Kanye West has been teasing The Life of Pablo (in its various incarnations of varying realism, from SWISH to Waves to The Life of Pablo), and with Yeezy Season 3 it's finally here. Early on Thursday, during a rehearsal for the fashion presentation, a viewer posted a minute-long clip of a new Kanye West track he called "Good News" to YouTube. As West streamed his album over the course of Yeezy Season 3, it became clear that "Good News" was actually a track entitled "Feedback" which West had teased would be track four of The Life of Pablo. Since the track sort-of premiered on YouTube prior to the show, we've had some time to think about what Kanye West's new track "Feedback" might really mean — so here are some hypotheses.
The Life of Pablo has some pretty crazy guest stars (I wept openly when Chance the Rapper featured on the first track "Ultra Light Beams," and then there's Rihanna on "Famous"), but "Feedback" is all West. It's essentially an ode to fame and success, about starting from the bottom and ending up on top of hip-hop, fashion, fame, and life — and how West shares the riches, "like a ghetto Oprah."
West opens with a reminder:
Ayy, y'all heard about the good news? Y'all sleeping on me, huh? Had a good snooze?
After all, it has been nearly three years since his last release, even if he's been teasing The Life of Pablo since practically forever. Then he moves into a scathing criticism of his haters — there's no such thing as a sell-out, he says.
Money never made me Make me do something? Nah, can't make me Even if the money low, can't pay me Even if the money low, can't play me
"Feedback" also gives us one of the closest hints at what the album title might really mean. West sings:
Pablo bought a Roley and a rottweiler Seem like the more fame, I only got wilder
Pablo Escobar owned one of the most decadent Rolexes around, according to The Guardian — and it seems likely that a kingpin would purchase a guard dog on earning a certain level of notoriety. West name-drops a number of illustrious forebears who inspired or set a precedent for his success, including varied personalities like Steve Jobs, Jay Z, Michael Jordan, Oprah — and even Batman. And he closes with a call to share in his success:
Wait a second, everybody here, I'm the ghetto Oprah You know what that mean? You get a fur! You get a fur! You get a jet! You get a jet! Big booty bitch for you! Woo!
It's a song that's unabashed in its success, an anthem to the luxuries of finally making it in all the various circles in which West has immersed himself. It echoes the special thanks he gave at the end of the Yeezy Season 3 presentation to Carine Roitfeld, one of Kim and Kanye's first high-fashion sponsors. "Feedback" might be West's own "Started from the Bottom." Now the whole team here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally reported these as the lyrics to "Freestyle 4." However, these are the lyrics to "Feedback" and the article has been updated accordingly.