The song begins as a tender ballad, with piano and harp melodies ushering it in. “It’s been a long ride, but I made it here with love,” she sings. “Said I’ve been up and down, I’ve been through it all/ Took a while to know my heart.”
Following the heartfelt intro, triumphant horns and a slinky beat bring up the tempo and fuel the themes of empowerment. “Oh, you gotta love yourself/ If you really wanna be with someone else,” Blige soulfully sings on the chorus. “You gotta feed yourself/ Before you feed somebody else/ You gotta stay open, and don’t be foolish/ ‘Cause everybody don’t mean you well.”
Later, West enters with his fiery verse. “I decided not to use my color as a handicap/ He a designer, artist, producer, and he rap,” he spits. His next few bars discuss his rise, the need to be courageous amid violence and avoiding complacency.
“Came from the Chi and wow, look what the fuck they found,” he raps. “A young legend, comin’ to shut the summer down.”
Strength of a Woman will be released on April 28th via Capitol. Along with West, the album features Missy Elliott, Quavo, DJ Khaled, Kaytranada and Prince Charlez.