Last night, Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz served up “Mercy,” the first single from the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation. As a follow up to “Theraflu,” the cut was Kanye’s second new appearance of the week, and offered a similarly exciting moment to the one from the night before when that Hit-Boy produced record was released. As part of a new series, X-Ray, breaking down some of the biggest singles as they hit the ‘net, XXLMag.com takes a look at “Mercy.” —Neil Martinez-Belkin, Ralph Bristout, Adam Fleischer and Calvin Stovall
When it comes to shit-talking braggadocio, this track’s got a crew of all-stars on hand. All come correct on “Mercy,” though nobody really steals the show, and Yeezy might’ve fared better by actually going in on the beat, instead of rhyming over a switched up sound for his section. Overall though, “Mercy” will be sure to build the momentum for all four MCs as the G.O.O.D. Music compilation LP approaches.
Lamborghini Murcielagos, chains the color of Akon, A-1 pericco (courtesy of Pusha’s “Duncan Heinz” line), lawyers and niggas in Jordans—those are just some of the references these four cocksure wordsmiths trickle throughout “Mercy.” The track is cooing with nothing but braggadocios and witty lines. The chemistry between the four seems fluid especially when G.O.O.D. outsider (for now?), 2 Chainz swag surfs on the track’s closing verse, spewing lines like, “Black diamonds backpack rhymin’/co-signed by Louis Vuitton Horse power/horse power, all this Polo on I got horse power.” Whether its Sean Don’s shining verse (“Built a house up on that ass, that’s an ass state/Roll my weed on it, that’s an ass tray”) or Pusha’s boastful entrée (“My Audemar like Mardi Gras, that’s Swiss time and that’s excellence/Two door preference, roof gone George Jefferson”), Yeezy and the team leave the track “melted like Dali.”
Kanye West built his production resume on his sampling talents, and though the Chicago native didn’t produce this cut, his influence is all over it, including with the distorted vocal sample littered throughout. The majority of the beat is handled by up and comer Lifted, who lets dark keys drive the his creation, balancing out the concoction with a steady snare/hi-hat combo. The beat gets simultaneously stripped down and riled up for Yeezy’s part, which feels more dance-influenced, with its thumping bassline, than the rest of the track. In the end, the production here is exciting enough to match the moment of the song and its authors.
This is not the first time fans have gotten a hyped-up Friday release from ‘Ye; he perfected this formula with 2010’s G.O.O.D. Friday series. The public may have seen this idea and presentation before, but the music is still next level. It’s fitting that Kanye could bring together this cast and execute the finished product this well. Still, Wednesday’s spontaneous release of “Theraflu” was a bit much more exhilarating both musically and dramatically.