UPDATE: Kanye West shared a behind-the-scenes video chronicling the making of his new collaboration with T.I., “Ye Vs. the People.” The clip, like the song, finds the two rappers debating West’s support of President Donald Trump, as well as crafting the track’s back-and-forth in the studio.
In the video, West claims that wearing a Make America Great Again hat is “like a fight for equality” and tells T.I. that he did not intend to hurt anyone by putting it on. T.I., in turn, urges West to consider the actual consequences Trump’s policies and rhetoric: “When you have lives lost, as artists that gives us an obligation to stand up against all of that kind of shit.” When West says, “Half the shit Trump does, I don’t agree with,” T.I. pushes him to explain what aspects he does agree with. West replies, “Just the ability to do what no one said you could do, to do the impossible is the most inspiring thing to me.”
The track pits West versus the people, with T.I. serving as the voice of the millions who questioned West’s Trump-loving, #MAGA hat-wearing tweets of the past week. “I know Obama was heaven-sent / But ever since Trump won, it proved I could be president,” the rapper declares in his opening.
“I feel an obligation to show people new ideas / And if you wanna hear them, there go two right here,” West says on the Four Tops-sampling track. “Make America Great Again had a negative reception / I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction / Added empathy, care, love and affection / And y’all simply questioning my methods.”
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T.I. fires back, “What you willing to lose for the point to be proved? This shit is stubborn, selfish, bullheaded, even for you / You wore a dusty ass hat to represent the same views as white supremacy / Man, we expect better from you.” T.I. later notes of West’s Twitter feed, “Starting to make it seem like Donnie cut you a check” and wonders whether West is in “the sunken place.”
West retorts, “Y’all be leading with hate, see I just approach it different / Like a gang truce / Like the first Blood to shake the Crip’s hand.”
West concludes the debate by telling T.I., “Alright Tip, we could be rappin’ about this all day, man, why don’t we just cut the beat off and let the people talk?”
“Ye Vs. The People,” which arrived hours after West’s semi-song “Lift Yourself,” has not formally been released yet on streaming services or digital music stores, although West called the track his new single in an on-air promo he cut for Power 106. Hear “Ye Vs. The People” below: