Fade (Kanye West song)
|Single by Kanye West featuring Ty Dolla Sign and Post Malone|
|from the album The Life of Pablo|
|Released||September 20, 2016|
|Kanye West singles chronology|
|Ty Dolla Sign singles chronology|
|Post Malone single singles chronology|
"Fade" is a song by American rapper Kanye West, featuring vocals from American singer Ty Dolla Sign and American rapper Post Malone. 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. The vocal samples include, "Deep Inside" by Hardrive, "I Get Lifted" by Barbara Tucker, and two different versions of "(I Know) I'm Losing You"; one by American rock band Rare Earth and the other by 1970s recording act The Undisputed Truth. "Fade" also contains lyrical references to "Rock the Boat" by Aaliyah. 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. "Fade" was announced as the third single from The Life of Pablo in June 2016. It was serviced to US urban, rhythmic and pop radio stations on September 20, 2016. On May 12, 2017, the song was certified Silver in the UK.
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.
"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." 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." 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." 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."
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. The video was directed by Eli Linnetz and was uploaded to West's Vevo channel on September 6, 2016. The video features GOOD Music label mate Teyana Taylor and her husband, Sacramento Kings guard Iman Shumpert. 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. Due to her being the lead star in the video, Taylor was exposed to people that weren't aware of who she was before.
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. At the 2017 UK Music Video Awards, the video earned nominations for Best Dance International and Best Choreography in a Video, winning the latter.
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from West's official website.
- 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
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000*|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000*|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|Australia||September 9, 2016||Digital download|||
|United States||Digital download|||
|September 20, 2016||Contemporary hit radio|||
|Rhythmic contemporary radio|||
|Urban contemporary radio|||
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Before then descending into the hip-house screech we vibed to on ‘Fade’.
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