Rap Song of the Week breaks down the rap and hip-hop song releases you need to hear each week. Check out the full playlist here. For our latest installment, Kanye West teams up with Fivio Foreign and Playboi Carti for “Off the Grid.”
Following three public listening events and several missed release dates, Kanye West’s much-fabled Donda finally dropped on Sunday morning. With 27 tracks to choose from, picking a standout song was no easy task, but “Off the Grid” fits the bill because it sees the G.O.O.D. Music founder at his best. Sprinkling his own touch on Brooklyn drill, Kanye brings out a lyrical side of Fivio Foreign rarely seen before, while also sounding right at home over the wobbling bass and gothic synths.
The track was reportedly first made as a solo track for Playboi Carti, who turns in a forgettable verse before Fivio goes super saiyan. Recalling his dark days in jail, the Brooklyn rapper declines to attribute his past mistakes to his upbringing. Instead, Fivio soaks in Kanye’s influence by referencing religion: “They call me a product of my environment/ I tell them, ‘Nah, I’m what God produced,'” he raps, before boasting about his success and lamenting the downsides of fame.
Meanwhile, Kanye continues taking potshots at his critics as he raps about shutting people out of his life when they don’t see his vision. “Had to move away from people that’s miserable,” he explains. “Don’t wanna link you, I ain’t finna sit with you/ Ain’t finna talk to you, ain’t finna get with you.” There is a moment of self-awareness hidden among all the bluster, though, when Kanye admits, “I gotta help myself out of selfishness.”
“Off the Grid” isn’t any sort of redemption tale, but an encapsulation of the contradictions that come with Kanye and his relationship with God. For that, it’s at least worth a listen.