Sample Saturdays: “Freestyle 4” by Kanye West

Kanye West has dominated this series due to his smart use of samples (and my bias). His latest album, The Life of Pablo, has been the most talked about album since he aired it at his Yeezy Season 3 showing. The album features juxtaposing gospel samples, 808s and raunchy lyrics. It’s an avant-garde “gospel album” that goes along with its album cover; a family vs. the video honey. Kanye’s paradox of a mind is battling between the two lifestyles of being in a marriage/family and the sex-filled industry (indicated by the repeated words Which One on the bottom half of the cover). Track 8, Freestyle 4, stuck out the most with it’s high pitched violins and piercing aura. It sounds like a leftover Yeezus track with it’s Death Grips influence. The producers stripped the Mambo Miam Miam sample from the original song, “Human” and added bass and adlibs to create Freestyle 4. West, Hudson Mohawke and Goldstein produced the track but the sample belongs to Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory of Goldfrapp. Goldfrapp is a British electronic duo who released “Human” on their debut album Felt Mountain. This sample is recent due to the original song being released in 2001. The track “Human” mixes samba beats with a high shrill violin piece, the combo of opposite sounds most likely attracted Kanye to the song. Freestyle 4 is erratic, funny and random. The looping of the sample makes the song even better: Listen to the sample below.

aafleur recommendation: Listen to the sample first

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