July 7, 2016


Bon Iver & Kanye West Reunite for Francis and the Lights' 'Friends' Video

Francis and the Lights has dared to go where Future and Desiigner have yet to tread, parlaying his startling sonic likeness to Bon Iver into a collaboration. One with Kanye West, too, who tapped Bon Iver/Justin Vernon for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne and Yeezus.

The Francis/Bon Iver/Kanye collaboration, aptly titled "Friends," arrives in video form. Robot & Frank director Jake Schreier helmed the one-shot clip, which opens on Very Serious Kanye before turning to Francis Farewell Starlite (that is his name) busting some spastic solo moves, then hitting some light, lovable choreo with Vernon. Kanye shows up again at the end, Kanye-ing in the corner.

"Friends" gives writing and production credits to Cashmere Cat, Vampire Weekend alum Rostam Batmanglij, Ariel Rechtshaid and Benny Blanco. How did Kanye score that "featuring" credit, though? Through production? It'll take a scientist to deduce whether he's actually contributing anything verbally here, although his finesse with AutoTune would've made this a no-brainer vocal trio.

Whatever, though; song's fantastic.

Francis and the Lights got big shine on Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book, where he contributed to "Summer Friends" and, alongside an actually audible Kanye, "All We Got." Francis produced the latter; he also producer-ified Das Racist's excellent "Celebration" and Drake's immortal Thank Me Later cut "Karaoke."

Watch an episode of Fuse's digital miniseries The Kanye Effect, digging into his power as a producer: