Who Will Survive in America

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"Who Will Survive in America"
Song by Kanye West
from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
GenreSpoken word
  • Roc-A-Fella
  • Def Jam
  • Kanye West
  • Jeff Bhasker

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"Who Will Survive in America" is the final track of the standard edition of American rapper Kanye West's album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.[1] It is built on a sample of "Comment No. 1" by Gil Scott-Heron.

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

The piece, featuring no vocals from West himself, serves as the album's coda and its composition is built on a sample of Gil Scott-Heron's 1970 recording "Comment No. 1", which is also sampled in fellow album track "Lost in the World" as a transition into "Who Will Survive In America".[2][3] "Comment No. 1" is a blunt, surrealist piece delivered by Scott-Heron in spoken word about the African-American experience and the faded idealism of the American dream. Scott-Heron's poem, which criticized the 1960s Revolutionary Youth Movement for failing to recognize the more basic needs of the African-American community, is edited to a reduced version on the track that, according to music writer Greg Kot, "retains its essence, that of an African-American male who feels cut off from his country and culture".[4] By contrast, Sean Fennessey interprets it as "a too-serious denouement for an album that is more about the self’s little nightmares than some aching societal rejection".[5] West had previously sampled Scott-Heron on "My Way Home", a track from his 2005 album Late Registration.[6]


  1. Denney, Alex (November 19, 2010). "Album Review: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella)". NME. New York. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  2. Powers, Ann (November 23, 2010). "Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". Los Angeles. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-27. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Amidon, David (November 21, 2010). "Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". PopMatters. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  4. Kot, Greg (November 17, 2010). "Album review: Kanye West, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  5. Fennessey, Sean (November 17, 2010). "Kanye West, Finally Unraveled". The Village Voice. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  6. Late Registration (Media notes). Kanye West. Roc-A-Fella Records. 2005.

External links[edit]

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