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West’s seventh solo album briefly went dark on streaming services like Apple Music and Tidal overnight. When the album reappeared, a 20th, album-closing song, “Saint Pablo,” was tacked on. For now, the Spotify version retains “Fade” as its closing argument.
In April, Def Jam told MTV to expect ongoing construction work and sporadic road closures with West’s seventh solo effort, saying it would be an “innovative, continuous process… a living, evolving art project.”
As for “Saint Pablo,” it appears to be a song that West debuted in February at a Los Angeles night club. Featuring British crooner Sampha, and co-written by Jay Z, per the Tidal credits, “Saint Pablo” is a smooth-knocking, piano-accented gem bursting with chest-thump raps. Gun shots are sampled for optimum messiah-complex paranoia, and West’s ability to speak in uncomfortable truths shines in lines like “most black men couldn’t balance a checkbook, but buy a new car talking ’bout ‘how my neck look?'”
As art, The Life of Pablo has stayed in our earbuds through three seasons because it’s emerged as a thrilling RSS feed for dedicated fans.
Ramon Ramirez is the news director, and formerly the Dot's entertainment editor and evening editor. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Grantland, Washington City Paper, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Monitor.