|Song by Kanye West featuring The Game|
|from the album Late Registration|
|Released||August 30, 2005|
The Record Plant
Chalice Recording Studios
|Genre||Political hip hop|
"Crack Music" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West from his second studio album Late Registration (2005), which features fellow rapper The Game. J. Cole released a freestyle over it in September 2011.
Composition and lyrics[edit | edit source]
Release[edit | edit source]
Take the word nigga. I don't like the word, and I made an attempt to change it on this new song 'Crack Music.' I tried saying, ‘This is crack music, homey,' but it just didn't have the same impact.
Recording[edit | edit source]
Shortly before the release of the album, West revealed in an interview with Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian that the track was recorded after "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" and explained that he was trying to record something different from the song by saying:
All this is saying is, OK I see now, the 'hood does not quite want Shirley Bassey yet, so let me still give them this. Crack Music was made after Diamonds. After black people were like, 'I don't know about this one.' It was like me reaching too high for the cookie jar.
Williams believed that Game had a verse on it at one point.
Critical reception[edit | edit source]
Pitchfork felt positively towards "Crack Music", describing it as 'a blustery martial stomp' and complementing: 'its soaring choir and biblically extended outro'. Rolling Stone viewed the track as showcasing West's 'hard-ass politics'.
Live performances[edit | edit source]
On West's 2006 live album Late Orchestration, the song was one of 12 tracks performed live by him. During the performance, West censored the chorus to: "That's that crack music, crack music/That real black music, black music", rather than using "nigga" like Game does in the album version.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
In an article published in 2015 by Noisey about how: 'Late Registration turned a College Dropout into a superstar', ten years after it had been released, "Crack Music" was pointed out as the album's: 'purest collision of Kanye’s black radical consciousness'. When publishing an incomplete list of times that the rapper had shown political views throughout the history of his career in 2018, Vanity Fair paid reference to how lyrics from the track show when West: 'tapped into a handful of ways black populations are exploited'. Julia Craven of HuffPost branded the song as her 'favorite example' of how West's: 'ability to lace together tales of black triumph and black people’s ability to make the best with what we have helped me' in a 2018 article about we no longer see West 'boosting the self-esteem of black folks'.
Personnel[edit | edit source]
Information taken from Late Registration liner notes.
- Songwriters: Kanye West, Willard Meeks, Jayceon Taylor
- Producers: Kanye West, Jon Brion
- Recorders: Anthony Kilhoffer, Andrew Dawson, Brian Sumner
- Mixer: Andrew Dawson
- Assistant Engineers: Richard Reitz, Matt Green
- Additional vocals: Tony "Penafire" Williams, Keyshia Cole, Charlie Wilson
Alternative versions[edit | edit source]
Remix[edit | edit source]
|"Crack Music (Remix)"|
|Song by The Game featuring Kanye West|
|from the album Ghost Unit|
|Released||November 4, 2005|
|Genre||Political hip hop|
On Game's 2005 mixtape Ghost Unit, a remix of "Crack Music" was released which had him as the lead artist and West as the featured one. The verse laid down by Game in the remix may have been originally part of the album track, since Tony Williams thought he did have a verse on it.
Poetry Style[edit | edit source]
|Song by Kanye West|
|from the album Freshmen Adjustment 3|
|Released||May 29, 2007|
References[edit | edit source]
- "J. Cole - Freestyle (Over Kanye's "Crack Music")". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- Late Registration (Media notes). Kanye West. Roc-A-Fella Records. 2005.
- "Kanye West: 24 Political References in His Lyrics". Billboard. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- "10 Things You Didn't Know About Kanye West's "Late Registration"". Complex. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
- "Tony Williams of GOOD Music Talks Most Memorable Studio Sessions With Kanye". Complex. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- "Interview with Kanye West, the cockiest man in rap". The Guardian. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- "Kanye West: Late Registration Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- "Late Registration". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- "The 25 Best Kanye West Verses OF ALL TIME!!!". Complex. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- "Crack Music (Live At Abbey Road Studios) by Kanye West". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
- "How Kanye West's 'Late Registration' Turned a College Dropout into a Superstar". Noisey. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "An Incomplete History of Kanye West's Political Views". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- "Saying Goodbye To Kanye West And His Music". Eagle. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- "Ghost Unit - The Game". AllMusic. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- "Freshmen Adjustment 3 Mixtape by Kanye West". DatPiff. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
[edit | edit source]
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