Bad News (Kanye West song)

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"Bad News"
Song by Kanye West
from the album 808s & Heartbreak
  • Roc-A-Fella
  • Def Jam
Producer(s)Kanye West

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"Bad News" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West, from his fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreak. It was produced solely by West.[1]


On West's SoundCloud profile, the track is one of the only three from the album that he's made available to be streamed in full, along with "Heartless" and "Paranoid".[2] The song contains a sample of the recording "See Line Woman" as performed by Nina Simone, who West has sampled numerous times throughout his career.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard voiced the opinion that the track: 'boasts one of the most memorable outros on the album'.[4] Pitchfork viewed "Say You Will" as having: 'a patient, defeated-sounding collection of choral vocals and drum machines' and described "Bad News" as using a 'similar trick' in comparison, but it having a 'much worse effect'.[5]

2015 Hollywood Bowl performance[edit]

The track was performed by West at the 2015 Hollywood Bowl, which marks the only time that he has ever performed it live.[6] During the performance, he compared the emotions of receiving bad news to an instance of being gunned down:[7] "You ever hear some really, really bad news, and it hits you like a gunshot?", before the sound of a gun cocking and firing followed by him dropping down to the ground and he then lay still, then got up afterwards.[8] In response to West's "over-the-top display of pain" during the performance, Lorraine Ali of the Los Angeles Times said "it was proof that no matter how big Kanye gets, he still isn't afraid of appearing entirely immature, if not embarrassingly nerdy."[7]


In July 2011, around three years after the song's release, PopMatters claimed that "Bad News" not being: 'considered amongst some of the most innovative hip-hop music ever made is criminal' and: 'songs such as this are the reason why 808s is so damn important to the evolution of pop music'.[9] Solange Knowles took to Twitter in April 2017 to request a video collage of the track and the Bad News scene from 1978 film The Wiz - she received many responses from fans, to which she was pleased about.[10]

Covers and remixes[edit]

R&B singer Trey Songz release a cover version of "Bad News" in 2009.[11] As well as this, it was covered by electronic singer Dillon in 2015.[12]

Indie singer Danielle Parente remixed the track in a song called "Fortress" in 2014.[13]


  1. 808s & Heartbreak. Roc-A-Fella Records (Media notes). Kanye West. 2008. 0-06025-1791919-8.
  2. "808s & Heartbreak by Kanye West". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. "5 Times Nina Simone Inspired Kanye". TV One. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  4. "Kanye West's '808s & Heartbreak' Turns 9: Ranking the Album's Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  5. "Kanye West: 808s and Heartbreak Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  6. "Kanye West performs 808s & Heartbreak in full for the first time - watch". NME. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ali, Lorraine (September 26, 2015). "Can we talk about Kanye West's uncharacteristically endearing '808s' show at the Hollywood Bowl?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  8. "Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak Live Show Is Proof Fam' Can't Kill Him". The FADER. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  9. "Hip-Hop’s Heartbreak: Kanye West – "Bad News"". PopMatters. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  10. "Solange's Twitter Followers Really Came Through With Her Kanye West Video Request". The FADER. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  11. Navjosh (January 30, 2009). "Trey Songz – 'Day N Nite' + 'Bad News'". HipHop-N-More. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  12. "Dillon - Bad News (Kanye West Cover) by stivewondersongs". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  13. "Danielle Parente "Fortress" (Remix) Kanye West "Bad News" by Danielle Parente". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved October 10, 2018.

External links[edit]

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