Gone (Kanye West song)

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"Gone"
Song by Kanye West featuring Cam'ron & Consequence from the album Late Registration
Recorded 2004–05
The Record Plant
(Hollywood, California)
Genre Hip hop
Length 6:02
Label
Writer
Producer
  • Kanye West
Late Registration track listing

"Gone" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West from his second solo studio album Late Registration. Produced by West and featuring guest vocals from Cam'ron and Consequence, the track contains samples of "It's Too Late" as performed by Otis Redding.

The song gained newfound fame in 2013 when a woman quit her job and created a video featuring interpretative dance set to the song. The clip, which went viral and received millions of views, led "Gone" to debut within the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 eight years following its release.

Song analysis[edit]

"Gone" was written by Kanye West, Dexter Raymond Mills, Jr., Cameron Giles and Harold Willis. It was recorded at The Record Plant in Hollywood, California and mixed at Chalice Recording Studios in Hollywood.[1]

The song contains some of the most elaborate orchestral arrangement expressed on Late Registration. The composition begins with a vocal sample of "It's Too Late" by Otis Redding and a two-chord piano ostinato, followed by a simplistic funk beat. As the song progresses, its structure gradually morphs and develops more and more musicality. Overtime, the composition assumes ten violins, four violas and four cellos in the midst of verses, all of which initially come in brief staccato bursts that simply punctuate the rhythm but eventually expand and consolidate into a fully formed string section by the arrival of the harmonic choruses. After its third verse, the song enters an instrumental passage before returning with a fourth and final verse from West, where the rise and fall of his voice is intricately emulated by the fluctuation of the string orchestra.[2]

Reception[edit]

Contemporary music critics were positive in their assumptions of "Gone" upon its appearance on Late Registration in 2005. Spin singled out "Gone" as the best track on Late Registration, while praising Cam'ron's "blistering" verse; Pitchfork Media was similar in their appraisal of Cam'ron's performance: "the ineffable Cam'Ron [...] continues his magical run with savant-like witticisms on 'Gone.'"[3][4] Josh Tyrangiel of Time praised West's storytelling ability and appreciated his musicality, stating "one listen to 'Gone', built around an Otis Redding sample and some ecstatic string arrangements, and you might be persuaded that West is as good as he thinks he is."[5]

2013 viral video[edit]

In September 2013, Marina Shifrin, an overworked video editor for Taiwanese animator, Next Media Animation, decided to quit her job and created a video of her dancing to "Gone" in her deserted office at 4:30am. "My boss only cares about quantity and how many views each video gets," she said in scrolling text over the clip, representing the media industry’s larger challenge to find the right balance between producing great stories and scoring lots of page views.[6]

The video's views soared, and as a result, U.S. digital sales of "Gone" spiked from minuscule levels in the previous week to 9,000, leading the eight-year-old track to debut at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] Overall usage of "Gone" across YouTube pulled in 6.2 million U.S. streams for the song, according to Nielsen BDS, enough to send the title onto the Streaming Songs chart at number four. "Gone" concurrently debuted on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 6 and Rap Songs at No. 4.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 18
US Billboard Hot Rap Songs[9] 4
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[10] 6

Personnel[edit]

Information taken from Late Registration liner notes.[1]

  • Songwriters: Kanye West, Dexter Raymond Mills, Jr., Cameron Giles, Harold Willis
  • Producers: Kanye West
  • Recorders: Anthony Kilhoffer
  • Mixer: Andrew Dawson
  • Assistant Engineers: Richard Reitz, Taylor Dow
  • Strings Recorder: Tom Biller
  • String Arrangements: Jon Brion
  • String Orchestrations: Eric Gorfain
  • Violins: Eric Gorfain, Daphne Chen, Victoria Lanier, Julie Rogers, Alyssa Park, Audrey Solomon, Terry Glenny, Susan Chatman, Marisa Kuney, Amy Wickman
  • Viola: Marda Todd, Piotr Jandule, Tom Tally, David Sage
  • Cello: Richard Dodd, Matt Cooker, Armen Ksajikian, Victor Lawrence

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Late Registration (Media notes). Kanye West. Roc-A-Fella Records. 2005. 
  2. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (2005-08-22). "Overdrive". The New Yorker (Condé Nast Digital). Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  3. ^ Caramanica, Jon (2005-08-30). Kanye West, 'Late Registration' (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)". Spin (Spin Media, LLC). Retrieved 2008-04-26.
  4. ^ Fennessey, Sean (2005-08-25). "Review: Late Registration". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-10-06.
  5. ^ Josh Tyrangiel (2005-12-16). "Best of 2005: Music". Time (Time, Inc). Retrieved 2006-03-14.
  6. ^ Melissa Locker (September 30, 2013). "Woman Quits Job By Dancing to Kanye West". Time. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b William Gruger (October 9, 2013). "Kanye West's Long-'Gone' Song Debuts In Hot 100's Top 20". Billboard. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Kanye West Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Kanye West. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "Kanye West – Chart History: Rap Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Kanye West – Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 10, 2013.