Bobby Shmurda aside, 2014 proved a fairly dull year for hip hop music. Hardcore hip hop heads will wince at such a statement, religiously citing Travis Scott, Schoolboy Q, and that J. Cole released 2014 Forest Hill Drive to much deserved critical acclaim late last year — but that stuff didn't catch commercial attention. Meanwhile, Nickelodeon hip hop migrators will point to Iggy Azalea's commercial success The New Classic and its twerking qualities. But, as we know, Azalea’s music, is not hip hop music.
In come Kanye West, who, within hours of 2015, resumes his self-proclaimed assent to hip hop greatness with “Only One”. Featuring vocal— and perhaps some instrumental — support from Sir Paul McCartney, “Only One” is a melancholic ode to Kanye’s late mother Donda West and a true hip hop track, without a single rap.
Honouring 808’s & Heartbreak tradition, Kanye laces the track with auto-tune and decides that he would prefer to sing for the entire song. A concoction much scoffed at back in 2008, the concept of a rapper singing with auto-tune is now clearly just as hip hop as buying a 109 room house and letting the whole world know you are rich - note Rich Gang, Young Thug, Migos, Tyga, French Montana, Drake et al.
The realness of “Only One” also adds to its hip hop credentials. Originally a subculture with a fine tradition of affording the talented the right to make creative statements, whether political or emotional, nobody worthy their hip hop salt can therefore legitimately scoff at this track, its arrangment, or its lyrical content. If you believe you can, comment below.
I was in Whistles a few weeks trying to find a pair of cool shoes that had sold out online in my size, when I stumbled across this BEAUTY! I tried on the light blue jacket and instantly felt like million bucks! I am very tempted to go back to Whistles and part with my cash.