Kanye West may forgive, but he never forgets. In Ty Dolla $ign’s long-awaited collab with Kanye, FKA twigs, Skrillex, and serpentwithfeet, Ye samples his infamous IG rant videos in which he called out Drake!
First, Kanye West comes back to announce a new album and release a new video. Then, his friend and frequent collaborator, Ty Dolla $ign released his long-rumored collaboration with Ye, FKA Twigs, serpentwithfeet, and Skrillex. “Ego Death” hit the streaming services on July 1, and it even sample’s Kanye’s infamous 2018 Instagram videos in which he called out Drake for saying he slept with Kim Kardashian before she got with Ye. “Hold on, this train going by,” Ye said in the videos, a line that Kanye says before kicking into his verse (at the 1:50 mark.)
Lotta people be thinkin’, but I’m just a sayer / Artists can’t perform the Super Bowl, but it’s okay for the players? / All these half-way movements, need a whole lot improvement / Everybody wanna talk, everybody wanna type /Ain’t nobody finna do sh-t.”
It’s taken a while for “Ego Death” to finally arrive. This song was first heard during Ty’s 2019 Coachella set, where he previewed it in full before playing it on a few shows. An August 2019 profile in Spin mentions it, explaining that “Ego Death” is a song that “expands on ‘Fade,’ West’s homage to Chicago house music that Ty wrote, along with Post Malone and about a dozen others, for The Life of Pablo.”
During that profile, Ty also explained how Kayne influenced his upcoming album. “I had a meeting one time with Kanye and played him the album,” Ty told Spin. “He was like, ‘Bro, nah. You need to do what you do. Add more bass, add more drums, add more … the real shit, that’s what no one else is doing.’ That conversation definitely inspired me and made me go back and go crazy with the live instruments.”
“Ego Death” comes on the heels of “Wash Us In The Blood,” the new song/video from Kanye and Travis Scott. In the video, directed by Arthur Jafa, Kanye’s song is paired with footage of police brutality, Breonna Taylor dancing, a clip from the video capturing Ahmaud Arbery’s death, Black people wearing masks while struggling to breathe, and more instances of violence and destruction. It ends on a clip of North West dancing, a moment of peace after so much violence and death.
Kanye’s song, from his forthcoming God’s Country album, sees Ye go harder than 2019’s Jesus Is King. The song still represents Kanye’s new spiritualized perspective, but his delivery is more aggressive. He even takes a shot at his unnamed adversaries on the track. They don’t want me to Kanye / They don’t want Kanye to be Kanye / They wanna sign a fake Kanye / They tryna sign a calm Ye / That’s right, I call ’em Calm-Ye,” he raps, per Genius. “So I let it fly when I’m in the booth (Ah) / The devil a liar and I been the truth / Livin’ ’cause nobody livin’ / And nobody gettin’ it, doin’ it different.”