To celebrate the announcement of Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour, the rapper re-uploaded his still-work-in-progress new LP The Life of Pablo to digital streaming services Tuesday night with a new song, titled “Saint Pablo,” serving as the album’s 20th and closing song.
“Only thing I ask is next time I’m onstage, will y’all go? Will y’all go?,” West asks during the tail end of the reflective, six-minute track, which West debuted, then under the title “Closer Thing to Einstein,” after taking over the sound system at Los Angeles club 1OAK in late-February. “Saint Pablo” features British singer Sampha and production from Mike Dean, according to Tidal’s credits for the track.
As the song was recorded in February, the lyrics focus on the headlines West was generating at the time of creation, like his outlandish Twitter behavior, his revelation that his clothing line has plunged him into debt, his Tidal deal and how a million people illegally downloaded The Life of Pablo.
“People trying to say I’m going crazy on Twitter/ My friends said to stay low/ I guess it’s hard to decipher all of the deals, especially when you got family members on payroll,” West says on the track. “The media said it was outlandish spending/ The media said ‘He’s way’ out of control/ I just feel like I’m the only one not pretending/ I’m not out of control, I’m just not in their control/ I know I’m the most influential/ That Time cover was just confirmation/ This generation’s closest thing to Einstein/ Don’t worry about me, I’m fine.”
Later on the track, West provides insight into his negotiations with Apple, saying the company offered him $ 100 million – $ 20 million of which he would have given Tidal owner Jay Z – but instead opted to stay loyal to Jay Z’s streaming service. “But it’s better that I stayed at home with my folks / ‘Cause if Jay a billionaire then I’m a never go broke,” West says on the track. Eventually, both The Life of Pablo and “Saint Pablo” ended up on all major streaming services.