Fade (Kanye West song)

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Single by Kanye West featuring Ty Dolla Sign and Post Malone
from the album The Life of Pablo
ReleasedSeptember 20, 2016 (2016-09-20)
GenreHip house[1]
  • Kanye West
  • Kilhoffer (co.)
  • Benji B (co.)
  • Dean (co.)
  • Charlie Handsome (co.)
  • DJDS (add.)
  • Goldstein (add.)
Kanye West singles chronology
Ty Dolla Sign singles chronology
"4 Lit"
Post Malone single singles chronology
"Deja Vu"
Music video
"Fade" on YouTube

"Fade" is a song by American rapper Kanye West, featuring vocals from American singer Ty Dolla Sign and American rapper Post Malone.[2] It was released for digital download as the third and final single from West's seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo (2016), on September 9, 2016. The song was sent to US radio stations 11 days later. The Tidal-exclusive music video premiered at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards and won Best Choreography at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. The song peaked at number 47 on the US Billboard Hot 100.


"Fade" features vocals from rapper Post Malone and singer Ty Dolla Sign. It also samples several different songs. The bass line and melody is sampled from Chicago house track "Mystery of Love" by Mr Fingers.[3] The vocal samples include, "Deep Inside" by Hardrive,[4] "I Get Lifted" by Barbara Tucker,[3] and two different versions of "(I Know) I'm Losing You"; one by American rock band Rare Earth[3] and the other by 1970s recording act The Undisputed Truth.[5] "Fade" also contains lyrical references to "Rock the Boat" by Aaliyah.[6] Post Malone had first met West at a party thrown by West's sister-in-law Kylie Jenner. The two met up and eventually decided to record together. "So I went over to Ye's and we just started working and then we just started talking. And we just kept on going. I went in the studio with Kanye and we just recorded the scratch vocals and then I wrote over it… He was just a normal guy, like me, and super cool. He was wearing all camo, just all camo. He was very quiet and he was very, very humble," Post stated in an interview with The Fader.[7] "Fade" was announced as the third single from The Life of Pablo in June 2016.[8] It was serviced to US urban, rhythmic and pop radio stations on September 20, 2016.[9][10][11] On May 12, 2017, the song was certified Silver in the UK.[12]

Historical references[edit]

Both the sampling of "Mystery of Love" and the workout aesthetic of the music video are direct allusions to the specific moment when black artists produced house music in Chicago during the 1980s. The genre was an important development in American black music history because it was a reclamation of disco techniques–a genre that had lost its black roots once it entered the mainstream market. The technique of house is essentially a distillation of disco techniques, because it draws on the same bass lines and rhythms, but house was produced much more cheaply, giving it its distinct and recognizable sound. The gym setting of the video is important in drawing this parallel as the workout aesthetic is generally associated with the 1980s. The 80s are significant as that was the moment when house DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, as well as the radio collective Hot Mix 5, made the genre more than just a music subculture in Chicago.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

"Fade" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Jayson Greene of Pitchfork described the song as pitting Post Malone "against a sample of Chicago house legend Larry Heard's 'Mystery of Love' and a flip of Motown blues rock band Rare Earth's 'I Know I'm Losing You'," also calling it what "rigs the mix so that Malone, somehow, sounds more important than both of them."[14] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian claimed that the song "woozily interleaves two house classics" and cited this sampling as being "proof that when The Life of Pablo is good, it's very good indeed."[15] Greg Tate of Spin branded it as "Motown's blue-eyed-soul-outfit-that-could Rare Earth and house diva Barbara Tucker cross-fade and elevate the curtain moment with what gooder-than-Yeezus-and-thou Christians call the Good News."[16] In a mixed review, referencing the position of the tracks on the album, Philip Cosores of Consequence of Sound viewed the song and "No More Parties in LA" as "A-sides on the wrong album shoved onto the end of the collection that would have been stronger if it ended with 'Wolves'," though called the tracks "not flawed lyrically."[17]

Music video[edit]

GOOD Music label mate Teyana Taylor dancing in the "Fade" music video

The music video for the song was released on August 28, 2016 on music streaming service Tidal, after being unveiled at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.[18] The video was directed by Eli Linnetz and was uploaded to West's Vevo channel on September 6, 2016.[19] The video features GOOD Music label mate Teyana Taylor and her husband, Sacramento Kings guard Iman Shumpert.[20] The video draws inspirations from a variety of subjects including 80's pornography, Flashdance, John Carpenter films, The Fly, Dancing with the Stars, the Olympics and the NBA championship. The video was meant to be shot using a different dancer, but Kanye West cancelled it due to 3 weeks after her giving birth in order to give her time to get in shape. The video ends with a shot of Taylor with a lioness face and tail, which is used to foreshadow for things to come in the future.[21] Due to her being the lead star in the video, Taylor was exposed to people that weren't aware of who she was before.[22]

The music video won Best Choreography at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as Best Dance Performance at the 2016 Soul Train Music Awards, where it was also nominated for Video of the Year.[23][24] At the 2017 UK Music Video Awards, the video earned nominations for Best Dance International and Best Choreography in a Video, winning the latter.[25][26]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from West's official website.[27]

  • Executive production – Kanye West & Rick Rubin
  • Co-executive production – Noah Goldstein
  • Co-production – Anthony Kilhoffer, Benji B, Mike Dean #MWA for Dean's List Productions & Ryan "Charlie Handsome" Vojtesak
  • Additional production – DJDS & Noah Goldstein for Ark Productions, Inc.
  • Engineering – Noah Goldstein, Andrew Dawson, Anthony Kilhoffer, Mike Dean & David Rowland
  • Mix – Noah Goldstein for Ark Productions, Inc. at No Name Studios, North Hollywood, CA
  • Mix assisted – William J. Sullivan
  • Vocals – Post Malone & Ty Dolla Sign



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Silver 200,000*
United States (RIAA)[46] Platinum 1,000,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Australia September 9, 2016 Digital download [47]
Belgium [48]
Canada [49]
France [50]
Ireland [51]
United Kingdom [52]
Mainstream radio [53]
United States Digital download [54]
September 20, 2016 Contemporary hit radio [11]
Rhythmic contemporary radio [10]
Urban contemporary radio [9]


  1. ^ Moore, Sam (April 30, 2018). "Kanye West's return on 'Ye. vs the People' and 'Lift Yourself' wasn't the comeback we were expecting". NME. Before then descending into the hip-house screech we vibed to on ‘Fade’.
  2. ^ Leight, Elias (29 August 2016). "See Kanye West's 'Flashdance'-Inspired 'Fade' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Songs Sampled in Kanye West feat. Post Malone and Ty Dolla $Ign's Fade". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  4. ^ "Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo: Exploring the songs behind its samples". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  5. ^ "Kanye West debuts new song "Fade" — listen". 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  6. ^ "The Life of Pablo – Credits". www.kanyewest.com. Kanye West. February 17, 2016. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Gase, Zach (October 20, 2015). "Post Malone talks Kanye West collaboration". National Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 21, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  8. ^ fashionablyearly (June 20, 2016). "Kanye West is Releasing 'Fade' to Pop Radio Stations". Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Pop Radio Releases". Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "Award - Kanye West/Post Malone/Ty - Fade". bpi. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  13. ^ Brewster, Bill (1999). Last Night a DJ Saved My Life. Nuphonic. ISBN 9780767921183.
  14. ^ Greene, Jayson (February 15, 2016). "Kanye West: The Life of Pablo Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  15. ^ Petridis, Alexis (February 14, 2016). "Kanye West: The Life of Pablo review – 'You can see why his immodesty rubs people up the wrong way'". The Guardian. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  16. ^ Tate, Greg (February 19, 2016). "Review: Kanye West Finally Buys His Way to Heaven on 'The Life of Pablo'". Spin. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  17. ^ Cosores, Philip (February 17, 2016). "Kanye West – The Life of Pablo". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  18. ^ Plaugic, Lizzie (28 August 2016). "Kanye West's video for Fade is now available on Tidal". The Verge. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Kanye West's "Fade" Music Video Is Now On VEVO: Watch". Direct Lyrics. September 6, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  20. ^ Carissimo, Jusin (29 August 2016). "Kanye West 'Fade' video starring Teyana Taylor unveiled at MTV VMAs 2016". The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Meet the 24-Year-Old Director Bringing Kanye West's Visions to Life". NY Times. August 31, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  22. ^ "A Guide to Teyana Taylor, the Dancer in Kanye West's "Fade" Video". W Magazine. August 29, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  23. ^ Abby Feiner (August 26, 2017). "MTV Video Music Awards 2017: All the Nominees and Winners". US Magazine. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  24. ^ Ashley Lasimone (November 27, 2016). "2016 Soul Train Awards: See the Full Winners List". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "UK Music Video Awards 2017: all the winners!". Promo News. October 26, 2017. Archived from the original on December 21, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  26. ^ "UK Music Video Awards 2017: here are the nominations". Promo News. September 21, 2017. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
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  28. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #387". auspOp. September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kanye West – Fade" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  30. ^ "Discographie Kanye West" (select "Charts" tab). swisscharts.com (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kanye West – Fade" (in Dutch). Ultratop Urban. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  32. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  33. ^ "Lescharts.com – Kanye West – Fade" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  34. ^ "Chart Track: Week 41, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
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  39. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Dance Mix/Show Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
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  41. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
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  44. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  45. ^ "British single certifications – Kanye West/Post Malone/Ty – Fade". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 22, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Fade in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  46. ^ "American single certifications – Kanye West – Fade". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 22, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  47. ^ "Fade – Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store (AU). Apple. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  48. ^ "Fade – Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store (BE). Apple. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  49. ^ "Fade – Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store (CA). Apple. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  50. ^ "Fade – Single par Kanye West". iTunes Store (FR). Apple. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  51. ^ "Fade – Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store (IE. Apple. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  52. ^ "Fade – Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store (GB). Apple. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  53. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Playlist". BBC. BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on September 9, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  54. ^ "Fade – Single by Kanye West". iTunes Store (US). Apple. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2018.

External links[edit]