It’s been a wild couple of weeks for Kanye West fans, and the roller coaster doesn’t seem to be slowing down. West’s unexpected Twitter embrace of Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens a week ago; his not-entirely unexpected Twitter embrace of Donald Trump; and the all-too-expected opportunistic embrace of Kanye West by conservatives who, in more normal times, would be decrying rap music as the death of western civilization were seizing up so many headlines it was getting hard to remember what Kanye West was all about: Music.
That all changed Friday, when Kanye released a new track responding to his critics. One critic in particular: West announced on Twitter that his song “Lift Yourself” would bring Hot 97 host Ebro Darden closure after Ebro called out Kanye’s behavior on-air.
The song, now available on West’s website, shows just how seriously West took Ebro’s criticisms. Here are the complete lyrics:
But they don’t really realize, though.
This next verse, this next verse, though?
Watch, this some shit, go:
Scoop di-di whoop!
Whoopty scoopty poop!
Poopy scoopty scoopty whoop.
Whoop di-di scoop, whoop poop!
Poop di-di, scoop whoop?
Scoop di-di whoop,
Whoop di-di scoop,
Whoop di-di scoop poop!
Despite its near-comprehensive catalog of words that rhyme with “poop,” “Lift Yourself” apparently didn’t represent West’s complete thoughts on the matter, because a few hours later, he released “Ye vs. the People,” a collaboration with T.I. that played on a loop on Los Angeles’ Power 106 Friday before being released to iTunes and streaming platforms. The song is a sort of interview-in-verse in which T.I. asks West what the hell he’s thinking wearing a MAGA hat and West does his best to defend himself. Given that allying yourself with Donald Trump is a “Let’s Start a Land War in Asia!”-level dumb move, it’s not too surprising that T.I. comes off better than Kanye:
This shit is stubborn, selfish, bullheaded, even for you,
You wore a dusty-ass hat to represent the same views
As white supremacy, man, we expected better from you …
Have you considered all the damage and the people you hurt?
You had a bad idea and you’re making it worse.
Meanwhile, West responded with bog-standard conservative talking points:
See, that’s the problem with this damn nation,
All blacks gotta be Democrats, we ain’t even made it off the plantation.
The nonsensical idea of a “Democratic plantation” has a long history among black conservatives—George Schuyler used the phrase in a 1965 column that complained about blacks supporting Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 (while delicately not mentioning that the other option was Barry Goldwater)—but this is perhaps the metaphor’s first appearance in mainstream hip-hop. Amazingly enough, it’s not the most ahistorical idea in Kanye’s song. Here’s West’s bizarre retelling of the MAGA hat incident, in which Kanye’s awesomeness was enough to overpower the meaning of a Donald Trump hat:
Make America Great Again had a negative reception,
I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction.
What actually happened is that Donald Trump immediately used Kanye’s image to raise money for more of the same old direction. Meanwhile, West has seemingly moved on to stranger pastures: On Saturday, he tweeted a text message conversation implying that his new album would be called “Love Everyone” and would have a photograph of the plastic surgeon who operated on West’s mother the day before she died on the cover: