When you place bets on Kanye West, there’s a good chance you’ll lose because he always brings the unexpected.
’Ye was the secret performer at Samsung’s Galaxy Note II launch party Wednesday night in New York, and fans who were expecting, say, five songs were treated to a set that ran into an hour. 2 Chainz even hopped onstage for a couple tracks.
Samsung unveiled their new Galaxy Note II phone at Skylight at Moynihan Station, where celebrities like T.I., Donald Glover, Meek Mill, French Montana and Kid Cudi rubbed shoulders until ’Ye took the stage shortly after 11 p.m. Kanye made his entrance to Cruel Summer’s “New God Flow” and dipped into “Cold” before jumping back a bit to “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” which he has admitted is one of his favorite songs to perform.
From here, he took his time to run back through a few albums, with songs like “Jesus Walks” and “Heartless.” From our position in the crowd, we could hear that fans were surprised Kanye had decided to backtrack into his catalog, but he still wasn’t done quite yet. He preempted his performance of “Through the Wire” by telling the crowd that he was about to “bring it back to the very beginning,” then moved on to “All Falls Down” and “Touch the Sky.”
Kanye punctuated tracks like “Gold Digger” with his stylized freestyles, telling tales of his recent adventures — like moving to Japan and Rome on his quest to become a fashion designer — before getting to the last few songs in his set. He brought back “All of the Lights” for a second time so that fans could belt out his Michael Jackson tribute line along with him, got spines tingling with the piano intro keys for “Runaway” and spiked energy levels one more time with the banger “I Don’t Like.”
This seemed like a reasonable moment for Kanye to bow out and wish the crowd a good night, but he still had a surprise in store: 2 Chainz. The Atlanta rapper sent the crowd rushing back toward the stage when he appeared suddenly, draped in gold necklaces to deliver “Birthday Song” and “Mercy,” even assisting ’Ye a little when he seemed to blank on a couple of his lyrics.
What’s your favorite Kanye West throwback? Shout out your favorite track in the comments!