After teasing a snippet of “Wash Us in the Blood” on Twitter, Kanye West released the full track on Tuesday with a video directed by Arthur Jafa. The scrappy, screechy single sounds like the child of a nail grating on the chalkboard and a police siren.
West starts “Wash Us in the Blood” by rapping in short, repetitive bursts, drawling the end of his lines; a sample of what sounds like a preacher adds a jolt of energy behind the rapper. As the song progresses, West begins to take aim at unnamed antagonists — “They don’t want Kanye to be Kanye/They wanna sign a fake Kanye, they tryna sign a calm ‘Ye” — before switching his attention to the media: “They wanna edit the interviews, they wanna take it to interludes/…You know that it’s fake if it’s in the news.”
Like much of West’s work, “Wash Us in the Blood” absorbed contributions from a slew of musicians. West co-produced the track with BoogzDaBeast, Ronny J, FNZ, and Dem Jointz; nine men are credited as songwriters on Spotify, including Travis Scott, who adds a characteristically woozy verse at odds with the beat’s unconstrained menace. On Twitter, West said “Wash Us in the Blood” was mixed by Dr. Dre.
“Wash Us in the Blood” is the first new music from West since his Sunday Service Choir released Jesus Is Born last Christmas. It’s been longer since listeners have been able to hear West rap — Jesus Is King came out last October.
“Wash Us in the Blood” is set to appear on West’s upcoming full-length, God’s Country. The album does not yet have a release date.