Kanye West feat. Bon Iver and Gil Scott-Heron
"Lost in the World"
The latest leak from Camp Kanye is less a song than an inspired chunk of Nineties-style DJ mixology. It begins with Bon Iver — the Wisconsin-bred folkie who collaborated on nine songs for West's upcoming album — singing a revamped version of "Woods," his haunting, Auto-Tuned meditation from 2009. Vocal rounds swell into a gospel chorus, fat 4/4 drums kick on, and there's Kanye pledging, "If we die in each other's arms/Still get laid in the afterlife." (Trés romantique!) Then, Kanye peels away the lushness, switching to a conga beat and sampling Gil Scott-Heron's 1970 "Comment #1" at length. Scott-Heron's radical poetics about a nation "now blood and tears instead of milk and honey" are a perfect contrast to the gorgeous heartbreak of Bon Iver, and overall, "Lost in the World" is the sound of a hip-hop icon on a wild creative bender: dizzying, sometimes baffling, perpetually spectacular.