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Say You Will (Kanye West song)

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"Say You Will"
Song by Kanye West
from the album 808s & Heartbreak
Producer(s)Kanye West

"Say You Will" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West, from his fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreak. It was produced solely by West.[1] A remix was released in 2015 featuring Caroline Shaw. Despite never being released as a single, "Say You Will" has developed a significant legacy within the time after its release.

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

Wiz Khalifa rapped over the track's instrumental for his song "Say U Will", which still includes vocals from the original by West.[2] Drake released a remix of it titled "Say What's Real" for his mixtape So Far Gone (2009).[3]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

The song was described by The Guardian as being: 'a slow jam built around a simple radioactive pulse'.[4] Pitchfork had praise for the outro, describing it as being: 'a patient, defeated-sounding collection of choral vocals and drum machines'.[5]

HotNewHipHop placed "Say You Will" at number 21 on their list of West's 50 best songs.[6]

Live performances[edit | edit source]

West performed the track for his 2010 live album VH1 Storytellers in February 2009, where it appeared in even more ratcheted form down than the album version.[7] On February 22, 2012, a video recorded in Australia of him freestyling to it live surfaced online.[8] When the song was performed by West at the 2015 Hollywood Bowl, he sang to a woman painted gold at center stage and fireworks accompanied the performance to underscore the heat linked to the music, created before marriage and fatherhood.[9]

Covers[edit | edit source]

Mobius Band released a cover version on their 2009 EP EMPIRE OF LOVE.[10] As well as, "Say You Will" was covered by R&B singer Trey Songz, who also covered fellow Kanye songs "Runaway" and "Love Lockdown".[11]

Remix[edit | edit source]

A remix of the track featuring Caroline Shaw was uploaded by West to his SoundCloud in October 2015, alongside a new song titled "When I See It".[12] The cover art for both is a photo of flowers, which is actually part of a body of large still-life images released by photographer Nick Knight.[13]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

In May 2011, around three years after the release of 808s & Heartbreak, PopMatters described the song as proving: 'to be the absolute, no-doubt-about-it perfect way to begin an album smothered in, well, echoes and loneliness'.[14] Kim Kardashian West listed it among her top 28 favourite songs by her husband in August 2016.[15] An article was published by Rachel Jackson of Odyssey in September of the same year with an in-depth analysis of "Say You Will" as West's most influential song.[16]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 808s & Heartbreak. Roc-A-Fella Records (Media notes). Kanye West. 2008. 0-06025-1791919-8.
  2. "Wiz Khalifa - Say U Will by Love' Jay". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  3. "February 2009: Drake remixes Kanye West's 'Say What's Real' for his own..." Capital XTRA. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  4. "CD: Urban review: Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak". The Guardian. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  5. "Kanye West: 808s and Heartbreak Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  6. "Top 50 Best Kanye West Songs". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  7. "Kanye West – VH1 Storytellers". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  8. "Kanye West "Say You Will Freestyle" Video". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  9. "Kanye West Turns '808s & Heartbreak' Into High Art at Hollywood Bowl". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  10. "Free Download: Mobius Band Cover Kanye West". SPIN. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  11. "Trey Songz Remixes Kanye West's "Runaway"". Idolator. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  12. "Kanye West launches surprise tracks 'Say You Will' (feat Caroline Shaw) and 'When I see It'". NME. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  13. "Kanye West's "When I See It" and "Say You Will" Cover Art Details". Complex. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  14. "Hip-Hop's Heartbreak: Kanye West - "Say You Will"". PopMatters. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  15. "Stream Kim Kardashian's playlist of her favourite Kanye West tracks". NME. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  16. "Why Say You Will is Kanye's Most Influential Song". Odyssey. Retrieved October 27, 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]

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