Facts (song)

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"Facts"
Promotional single by Kanye West
Released December 31, 2015
Format Streaming
Recorded 2015
Genre
Length 3:31
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
"Charlie Heat Version"
Song by Kanye West
from the album The Life of Pablo
Released February 14, 2016
Recorded 2015-2016
Genre
Length 3:20
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • West
  • Young
  • Ernest Brown
  • Goldstein
  • Luellen
  • Smith
  • Graham
  • Wayne
  • Wilburn
Producer(s)

"Facts" (often stylized as "FACTS"[1]) is a song by American rap artist Kanye West. It was released as a promotional single on New Year's Eve 2015, marking his first solo release since 2015's "All Day" - West released "Only One" on New Year's Eve the previous year, but that was released as an actual single and not a promotional one.[2]

Background[edit]

As soon as the song was released, there was speculation of whether or not it would end up on the track listing of West's seventh studio album, but in the end, the original version of the song that was released in 2015 didn't end up on his seventh studio album The Life of Pablo (2016) - an alternative version did instead though, which was titled "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)".[3] When Charlie Heat was asked about his name being on the album credits in an interview with Complex, he said it was: "A dream manifested right in front of my face.".[4]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Facts[edit]

Throughout the track, West raps with the flow that Drake used in his 2015 single "Jumpman" with Future.[5] For both its intro and outro, the song includes a sped-up sample of 1989 track "Dirt and Grime" by Father's Children.[6] As well as this, it contains samples of sound effects from video game Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991) throughout.[7]

"Facts" sees West spin the line: "The Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman" from his 2012 single "New God Flow" with Pusha T slightly to: "Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman".[5]

Charlie Heat Version[edit]

"Facts (Charlie Heat Version)" was featured on West's seventh studio album The Life of Pablo rather than the version of "Facts" initially released, with all the samples being kept in the version and the only difference being an alternative backing beat, produced by West, Metro Boomin, Southside and Heat. When changes were made to The Life of Pablo in June 2016, "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)" wasn't subject to any.[8]

Release[edit]

Facts[edit]

Very shortly before the track was released, Kim Kardashian West made the world aware her husband was about to come out with new music via Twitter.[9] Since it was released as a promotional single, the song was only made available for free streaming on SoundCloud instead of sites like iTunes or Amazon Music where it had to be paid for.[10]

Charlie Heat Version[edit]

This version was not premiered live, unlike the rest of an early version of West's 2016 album, at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 2016, as part of his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show in collaboration with Adidas.[11] It was officially announced as being part of the album on February 12.[12]

Following on from The Life of Pablo's release, Heat saw an increase in fame due to his production being used.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Sidney Freitag of Odyssey described "Facts" as: 'a way for Kanye to promote his Yeezy shoes' and 'not the best song to put on an album', as well as being: 'mostly a let down', showing somewhat negative reception towards the track.[14] However, The Atlantic gave a much better reception towards the song, with Spencer Kornhaber describing it as West reminding: 'people of why he matters in the first place'.[15]

Live performances[edit]

When performing "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)" live in Tampa on September 14, 2016 as part of the Saint Pablo Tour, the rap star stopped the track briefly to rant against its critics, aggressively saying: "Internet - remember y'all didn't like this song? Now we're at that motherf**king Saint Pablo Tour and listen to everybody sing in this motherf**ker!".[16] On October 27 , West gave a live performance of the same version in Los Angeles - but before rapping it, he summed up the track's lyrical content up by stating: "This song is called "Facts". Everything is quite factual in this motherf**ker."[17]

Controversy[edit]

"Facts" is clearly a diss track aimed at Nike, with lines such as: "If Nike ain’t had Drizzy man they would have nothing" and "Nike, Nike treat employees just like slaves/Gave LeBron a billi' not to run away" being rapped throughout it.[18] Speculation had it upon release that Drake is being dissed within it, but the content isn't actually insulting him by dropping references.[19] The shoe production company aren't the only people being dissed, since West also fires shots at both Bill Cosby and Steve Harvey.[20]

Marcus Jordan posted his reaction to the anti-Nike content via Twitter on January 2, 2016, only two days after the track's release.[21] Basketball player LeBron James had an interview regarding this diss, in which he acted in a way that was described as: 'predictably diplomatic, backing Nike and avoiding any direct disagreement with the popular rapper, producer, and designer'.[22] On January 8, two days after James had been interviewed, West himself clarified that there was no beef between the pair of them.[23]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon the release of The Life of Pablo, the song debuted at its peak of number 4 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.[24]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 151
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[26] 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FACTS (EXPLICIT) by Kanye West". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Kanye West Drops New Track 'Facts'". MTV. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Listen to Kanye West's new single 'Facts'". The Verge. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Charlie Heat Interview on 'The Life of Pablo' and Signing to G.O.O.D. Music". Complex. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Facts: How Kanye Earned His Stripes". Sneaker Freaker. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Here's Every Sample on Kanye West's New Album, 'The Life of Pablo'". Complex. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "Yep, That's Street Fighter On Kanye West's New Album". Kotaku. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "Every Change Kanye West Made to 'The Life of Pablo'". XXL. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "Kanye West releases new song on New Year's Eve". Twitter. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Kanye West's Nike diss track". Business Insider. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Kanye West: The Life of Pablo Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo': 8 Things You Should Know About His Album". Billboard. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "Charlie Heat". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "A Review Of "Facts" By Kanye West". Odyssey. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  15. ^ "Review: 'Facts' Is Kanye West's Resurrection as an Unhinged, Relevant Rapper". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "Kanye West stops show to rant - Facts (Tampa, 9/14/16)". YouTube. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  17. ^ "Saint Pablo Tour - Facts The Forum Los Angeles 27 Oct 2016". YouTube. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  18. ^ "The Real Facts Behind Kanye West's Diss Song to Nike". Highsnobiety. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  19. ^ "Is Kanye West's "FACTS" A Drake Diss Track? Not Likely & Here's Why". Bustle. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "Kanye West Disses Bill Cosby, Steve Harvey in New Song 'Facts'". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  21. ^ "Marcus Jordan's Reaction to Kanye West's "Facts"". Complex. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  22. ^ "LeBron James Responds To Kanye West's Nike Diss Track "Facts"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  23. ^ "Kanye West Scrambling To Make Sure He's Still Cool With LeBron". HuffPost UK. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  24. ^ "Kanye West Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 9.04.2016 (wk14)". Zobbel.de. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard. Retrieved June 30, 2018.

External links[edit]