March 25, 2016


Kanye West & Rihanna's Taylor Swift–Baiting 'Famous' Is the First 'Life of Pablo' Single

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Kanye West said he's never putting The Life of Pablo anywhere but Tidal. He also said he's done making physical CDs. But he's still gonna do the radio thing at least once for TLOP.

Def Jam has reportedly announced "Famous" as the album's first single. While it's best known as the track with the controversial bars "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made the bitch famous," it's also a remarkable sonic feat with:

Rihanna opening things up with a Nina Simone hook
–Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" getting a front-and-center sample
Swizz Beatz doing his much-missed Swizz Beatzian hype-man act
–Nina Simone closing things out with that song of hers that Rihanna sang earlier, "Do What You Gotta Do"

In short, it's gonna remind people that Kanye's a hitmaker, not a Twitterer.

"Famous" is the first song fans noticed had been changed on Tidal, several weeks ago; it was weird, since only one line had been slightly altered. Now we can guess it might herald more changes to the Hot 97–bound track. (After "Famous," Kanye gave Frank Ocean his own track and brought Sia and Vic Mensa's parts back to "Wolves.")

For an inside look at Kanye West's Life of Pablo NYC pop-up shop—which reportedly grossed $1 million—check out Lacroix Scott's firsthand report.