To the surprise of everyone, Kanye West dropped his latest album The Life Of Pablo on late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, after his appearance on Saturday Night Live. And perhaps to the surprise of no one, one of Yeezy's tracks is called "I Love Kanye." Aside from the obvious, what is "I Love Kanye" about? It isn't necessarily just a nod to how much he loves himself, but more like a song addressing his critics and an ode to how his career has evolved over time. The always self-assured rapper debuted the track during a performance at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 11 (when the song was called "Feedback") and performed it during a sketch with SNL castmember Kyle Mooney, who tries to rap battle him, but can't win because, well, this is Kanye West we're talking about here.
According to the "I Love Kanye" lyrics on Genius, the track begins with the words "I miss the old Kanye / straight from the gold Kanye / Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye." And right there, you get a glimpse of common Kanye West criticisms coming out of his mouth. When West hit the mainstream in 2004 with his album The College Dropout, he was praised for his unique sound — the songs on the album sampled "chopped up" soul and R&B classics. For instance, his hit song "Through The Wire" samples Chaka Kahn's 1985 single "Through The Fire." But since then, his career has naturally evolved, and so has his sound.
The "I Love Kanye" lyrics move from the comments on his music to the comments about him making news, saying "I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye / The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye." West has made a lot of headlines over the years — Yeezy Season 3 and this album drop are only the latest ones — and sometimes his comments — like his latest about a Taylor Swift reference in one of his tracks — have rubbed people the wrong way, perhaps giving him the reputation of "bad mood" and "always rude" Kanye.
But this being Kanye, he's able to turn it all around and make it super meta. The song closes with these lyrics:
What if Kanye made a song about KanyeCalled "I Miss The Old Kanye," man that would be so KanyeThat's all it was Kanye, we still love KanyeAnd I love you like Kanye loves Kanye
Not only does Kanye reference "I Love Kanye" in the lyrics to "I Love Kanye," he also references the meme "I love you like Kanye loves Kanye" just in time for Valentine's Day. Mind-blown, head-exploding genius right there — and Twitter agrees.
Listen to the rap below, on SNL.