Guilt Trip (song)

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"Guilt Trip"
Song by Kanye West
from the album Yeezus
ReleasedJune 18, 2013

"Guilt Trip" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Kanye West, from his sixth studio album Yeezus (2013). It was produced by West, Mike Dean, S1, Travis Scott and Ackeejuice Rockers. The song includes vocals from rapper Kid Cudi, who felt later expressed negative opinions about his feature. It contains samples of "Chief Rocka" by Lords of the Underground and "Blocka" by Pusha T (featuring Popcaan and Travis Scott). The song had the lowest debut from the album in the United States out of all of the album's tracks.

Background and composition[edit]

In October 2014, producer S1 revealed that he created the song's beat during sessions for West's collaboration album Watch the Throne (2011) with Jay-Z, who revealed that the song was originally intended for that album; a version exists with an unfinished verse by Jay-Z.[1][2] After being passed on for that album, West revisited the song during the Yeezus sessions, reworking it with S1 and Mike Dean, and adding it to the final trackless for Yeezus.[1]

"Guilt Trip" is a hip hop song that includes elements of experimental music.[3] The song, like other tracks on Yeezus, sees West looking back at a failed relationship; he delivers his vocals through both rapping and singing through an Auto-Tune processor, similar to his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak.[4][5] He delivers only one verse using the same rhyme scheme for over half of it, during which he namechecks several cultural references, including Jamaican dancehall musician Shabba Ranks, the song "Chief Rocka" by hip hop trio Lords of the Underground (of which the song also samples),[6] and Star Wars character Chewbacca.[5] On top of "Chief Rocka", the song also contains a sample of "Blocka" by rapper Pusha T featuring Popcaan and Travis Scott.[6] The song's outro is sung by rapper Kid Cudi, who asks the question, "If you loved me so much, then why'd you let me go?"[5][7] West's reference to Chewbacca is one of numerous times the Star Wars franchise has been referenced in music.[8]

Release and reception[edit]

"Guilt Trip" was released on June 18, 2013, as the eighth track on West's sixth studio album Yeezus.[9] The melody at the end of the song was described by Lou Reed, formerly of the Velvet Underground, as: 'so beautiful, it makes me so emotional, it brings tears to my eyes'.[10] When comparing the track to "Blood on the Leaves", Popdust described it as being: 'even closer to the "Say You Will" or "See You in My Nightmares" feel of [West's] 808s & Heartbreak LP'.[5] The site also praised West's verse and Kid Cudi's cameo, calling it "well-placed," concluding: '"Blood on the Leaves" might have the showier setup, but in the end, "Guilt Trip" is arguably the more moving song.'[5]

In an interview with Complex in February 2014, Kid Cudi revealed he had negative feelings about his feature, due to the vocals being a few years old.[11][12] He also revealed West never told him he was going to be on the song; he found out via Twitter.[11][13] He ultimately stated he felt "underused" on Yeezus and wished he wasn't on the song, due to him not being present at the recording sessions.[11] Despite Kid Cudi's negative feelings toward his appearance, Charles Holmes of Complex placed the song at number two on the magazine's list of the best collaborations between West and Kid Cudi in August 2017, behind the 2010 song "Gorgeous".[14] Holmes felt that the song "perfected" what the duo introduced on West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak – "an entire sub-genre of rap with their melodic and heartfelt lyrics."[14] Holmes ultimately felt Kid Cudi wasn't underused, writing: "If time has taught us anything it is that in Kanye's hand 50 seconds of Cudi hums and melodic ruminations speak more than some artist's entire careers."[14]

Live performances[edit]

The track was part of West's set list when he performed the first concert at the Barclays Center in New York City on The Yeezus Tour.[15] It was performed live by him during this tour at the New Orleans Arena, with anonymous female figures braiding themselves around West.[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Guilt Trip" had the lowest debut in the United States out of all ten of the album's songs.[17] On the week of July 6, 2013, the song peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, remaining on it for a total of two weeks.[18] The same week, it peaked at number 39 on the US Billboard On-Demand Songs chart.[19]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the Yeezus liner notes.[20]


Chart (2013) Peak
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[18] 2
US On-Demand Songs (Billboard)[19] 39


  1. ^ a b Harling, Danielle (October 21, 2014). "Jay Z Verse to Kanye West's "Guilt Trip" Exists, According to S1". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  2. ^ Lyons, Patrick (October 20, 2014). "Kanye West's "Guilt Trip" Was Originally For "Watch The Throne" And Featured Jay Z". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Harrison, Duncan (February 11, 2016). "How Electronic Music Turned Kanye West into a Superhuman". Vice. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Staff (June 14, 2013). "Kanye West, 'Yeezus': Track-by-Track review". Billboard. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Kanye West's "Yeezus" Reviewed: "Guilt Trip"". Popdust. June 17, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Farmer, Brian (June 18, 2013). "Here Are All of the Samples Used for Kanye West's 'Yeezus'". Highsnobiety. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Tang, Alexander (November 26, 2013). "Top 10 Realest Moments in Hip Hop | Arts". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Dansby, Andrew (December 13, 2016). "Music and "Star Wars"". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  9. ^ Jeffries, David. "Yeezus – Kanye West". AllMusic. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  10. ^ Reed, Lou (July 13, 2013). "Lou Reed on Kanye West's Yeezus: 'It brings tears to my eyes'". The Guardian. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c La Puma, Joe (February 27, 2014). "Kid Cudi Talks "Satellite Flight," Sobriety, and His Latest Path in Music". Complex. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Battan, Carrie (February 28, 2014). "Kid Cudi Is Annoyed With His Yeezus Feature". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  13. ^ Alexis, Nadeska (February 27, 2014). "Kid Cudi Wasn't Too Thrilled About His Yeezus Feature". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Holmes, Charles (August 24, 2017). "Best Kid Cudi And Kanye West Collaborations". Complex. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  15. ^ Farber, Jim (November 20, 2013). "Concert review: Kanye West startles, appalls during 'Yeezus' show at Barclays". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Spera, Keith (December 6, 2013). "Kanye West's show at the New Orleans Arena was all about the spectacle". Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  17. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Kanye West Guilt Trip Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Kanye West Chart History (On-Demand Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  20. ^ Yeezus (PDF) (Media notes). Kanye West. Def Jam Recordings. 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 3, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]