I honestly never thought I would see the day that Justin Bieber would collaborate with a classic rapper, but the day has come and I am surprising still alive after the fact. Two weeks ago Kanye West tweeted that he would work with Justin Beiber and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan on a track, bringing upon a storm of both skeptics and critics. Personally, I feel that anything Kanye touched turns to gold, but I had some serious concerns about this. Luckily Kanye has proved me wrong once again and has turned a mediocre record into a throw back smash.
Originally on Biebers albums ‘My World 2.0’, ‘Runaway Love’ was a dance track that seemed to pay homage to the younger Michael Jackson. Kanye completely changed the beat bringing in an old school sound. I can’t believe that I am going to say this, but this is one of the most legitimate hip-hop tracks I’ve heard in a while. I’m not typically a fan of Bieber’s, but no one can deny that the boy can sing. His pre-pubescent vocals are a perfect match to the beat on throwback track. It is rare for an artist to have real soul in their voice at such a young age, but Bieber adds more soul to the song than many older singers. I still think that his music is garbage, but this song proves that he can shine when given the right track. If Justin Bieber’s team were smart they would steer him away from the pop world and channel his talents into R&B, where he clearly shines.
Even with Justin’s vocals the best part of the song is Raekwon. It is great to hear Raekwon on a track again, and his sounds right at home with this beat. I’m glad that Kanye gave Raekwon more mic time, because his delievery mixes with the beat. A good rapper knows how to use their voice to make a song sound complete; the same way a singer knows how to use theirs. Raekwon is a professional. Kanye is always on top of his game, so I’m not surprised that he murdered his verse. The song is a testament to Kanye’s producing talents as well. Remixing a song is hard enough without changing the beat, but ‘Nye literally created an entirely new song.
The most respectable thing about the song is that no one is trying to hard. All three of these artists are in their own respectable lanes, and for them to have the ability to blend on a track is true talent. It will be interesting to see if this will be released as a single. I’m sure that R&B radio will be all over it, but I doubt that it will get airplay on the Top 40 stations where Biebers audience lies. Regardless, it was a smart move for Bieber to broaden his audience and even smarter for Kanye and Raekwon to not only show how far their talents can stretched, but to team up with the current ‘it’ artist in music. All around a solid effort.