2014’s first great song: Sanctified

I’ve been inexplicably reticent to listen to new music in what is no longer a new year, so this probably isn’t the first great song to be released this year. It is, however, three months in (really? March?) the first song to so titillate my senses to motivate me enough write about it.

And really, there shouldn’t be much titillation about this Rick Ross track. DJ Mustard recycles both a Betty Wright soul sample and an already established but seemingly forgotten formula to construct a lush, praiseworthy atmosphere that we’ve definitely heard before. And because Mr. West is the architect of this productional archetype, he probably would have had grounds for a lawsuit if Rozay didn’t grant him time for an extended verse. Also, Big Sean is the first and last person one hears on the track, which is, you know, whatever.

But beyond the “whole being greater than the sum of its parts” thing, “Sanctified” features an unproven producer, corpulent charlatan, blase corporate microphone handler, and the GOAT just a little past his prime releasing what could be a summer jam just a few hours before the spring equinox. “Sanctified” presents the greatest discrepancy between the seriousness of the song’s production and the silliness of its subject matter. Kanye gives the world an entirely new way to say “handkerchief” and a meme worthy “Me?…Too agressive??” line. Rozay equates fellatio with a good grilled cheese, poking fun at the all too easy Rick Ross fat jokes (“all I want’s a hundred million dollars and a sand-WICH”). And also, Big Sean is on the track, so you know no one took it that seriously.

Ross lets the production play out for a stirring minute-long introduction without any hype or pomp attached, and it gives the listener a false impression that something holy is about to happen. But nope, rap may be done with being holy after Yeezus spoke his gospel, and what follows will probably be heard outside church services in the South for a few months now.

 

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