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RoboCop (song)

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Song by Kanye West
from the album 808s & Heartbreak
Producer(s)Kanye West

"RoboCop" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West, from his fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreak. It was produced solely by West.[1] The song was subject to a controversial leak in October 2008. A music video was recorded, but never officially released in full.

Composition and recording[edit | edit source]

The track includes a sample of 1998 song "Kissing in the Rain" by Patrick Doyle.[2] A-Trak revealed from working with West on the song that he has an approach to recording where he asks everyone, but is super confident with his vision and West would come up to anyone in the studio with him and be like: "What do you think of this? Okay, cool. How would you do those drums?".[3]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

The Guardian had praise for the 'terrific jackhammer rhythm' of "RoboCop".[4] When Pitchfork listed the album's sonic highlights, they pointed to the strings on it.[5]

Live performances[edit | edit source]

West performed the track for his 2010 live album VH1 Storytellers in February 2009 and transitioned into the performance of it from one of "See You in My Nightmares", then spoke about the musical influence live over the instrumentation that followed.[6][7] The song was performed by him at the 2015 Hollywood Bowl and West got the crowd to sing along appropriately to the line: "You spoiled little LA girl", since he was performing in Los Angeles.[8] This marked the first time that it'd been performed live since July 9, 2009.[9]

Controversy[edit | edit source]

An unfinished version of "RoboCop" leaked in October 2008, around a month before the featuring album was released and West took to his blog following on from this to insist that he wasn't responsible for it happening, as well as revealing that he's upset about the track leaking.[10] Earlier in the month that this happened, it had been revealed by Mike Dean that the song was expected to receive a 'magic touch' from Herbie Hancock prior to the release of 808s & Heartbreak and the leaked version obviously hadn't received this, due to West's displeasure with it.[11]

Music video[edit | edit source]

On August 8, 2014, a clip of the unreleased music video surfaced online, which West never officially released.[12] The video was recorded in Los Angeles after West had to persuade Amber Rose to fly there for the recording of it.[13] It includes her dressed as a robot and doing robotic movements, whilst West raps.[12]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

West released the Kendrick Lamar featuring promotional single "No More Parties in LA" on January 18, 2016, which sees West rapping the lyrics: "We need the turbo thots, high speed, turbo thots/Drop-drop-drop-drop it like Robocop" in reference to his very own creation around eight years after its release.[14] Kim Kardashian West listed "RoboCop" among her top 28 favourite songs by her husband in August of the same year.[15]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 808s & Heartbreak. Roc-A-Fella Records (Media notes). Kanye West. 2008. 0-06025-1791919-8.
  2. "Hear Over 100 Samples Kanye West Has Used". XXL. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  3. "A-Trak Shares Stories Behind Kanye West's "Gold Digger," "Stronger," & "RoboCop"". Stereogum. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  4. "CD: Urban review: Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak". The Guardian. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  5. "Kanye West: 808s and Heartbreak Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  6. "Kanye West VH1 Storytellers". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. "Kanye West performs for "VH1 Storytellers"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  8. "Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak Live Show Is Proof Fam' Can't Kill Him". The FADER. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  9. "Kanye West performs 808s & Heartbreak in full for the first time - watch". NME. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  10. "Kanye West Swears He Didn't Leak 'Robocop'". MTV. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  11. "Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak Album Preview: More Drums, More Singing, 'No Typical Hip-Hop Beats'". MTV. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Watch A Clip From Kanye West's Unreleased "Robocop" Music Video". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  13. "A History of Kanye West and Amber Rose's Relationship". Complex. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  14. "24 "No More Parties In LA" References Explained, So You Can Look Smart In Front Of Your Friends". Bustle. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  15. "Stream Kim Kardashian's playlist of her favourite Kanye West tracks". NME. Retrieved September 27, 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]

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