By Rob Markman
Kanye West dropped a new a cappella freestyle during his Sunday night performance at the BET Awards and it certainly wasn’t an accident. A few hours later he and Pusha T dropped their latest single “New God Flow,” and it all came together.
The track starts off with a vocal sample from Ghostface Killah’s “Mighty Healthy” from his 2000 classic Supreme Clientele LP. “Shake that body, party that,” the Wu-Tang Clansman is heard saying in the track’s opening seconds.
Though the track for “New God Flow” is markedly different, like Ghost’s “Mighty Healthy,” it does sample its drums from Melvin Bliss’ 1973 break record “Synthetic Substitution.” Pusha, who has been on a tear lately, appearing on G.O.O.D. Music’s “Mercy” and his own “Exodus 23:1,” sets things off lyrically with a spirited verse. “I believe there’s a God above me, I’m just the God of everything else/ I put holes in everything else, new God flow, f— everything else,” he rhymes.
In his verse, the Clipse MC references his drug-dealing past, vacations to Ibiza and exotic car collection. “Well, if you goin’ coupe, I’m goin’ four-door,” he playfully spits, challenging Kanye.
In his second verse, Pusha baits all his competitors, though just like on “Exodus 23:1,” they go unnamed. “Step on their necks till they can’t breathe/ Claim they five stars, but sell your dreams,” he starts off before he steps it up further, spitting “F— ’em, ’Ye/ I wouldn’t piss on that n—a with Grand Marnier.”
Once Push gets all of his rap frustration off his chest, Kanye jumps in for the song’s climactic third verse, the same one he performed at the 2012 BET Awards. “Hold up, I ain’t tryna stunt, man/ But the Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman,” he raps, referencing the popularity of his sneakers in comparison to the industry standard: the mighty Air Jordan.
Like on “Mercy,” West commands a beat change for his bars. Three-quarters of the way through his closer, the dusty hip-hop track changes and takes on the characteristics of a stadium chant — think Queen’s 1977 classic “We Will Rock You.” “Did Moses not part the water with the cane?/ Did strippers not make an arc when I made it rain?/ Did Yeezy not get signed by Hov and Dame?/ And ran to Jacob to make the new Jesus chain,” he asks in a rhetorical rhyme.
The truth is, Kanye cemented himself as a rap God way before releasing this new single, but just in case fans forgot, the “Jesus Walks” rapper turns musical water into wine with his “New God Flow.”