POWER is Kanye West’s composition that has acquired wide popularity because it meant the singer’s resuming his career after a difficult period. In fact, the song became the lead single of West’s studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and was released on May 28, 2010 (Mercer, 2018). In addition to the famous singer himself, many people worked on the creation of the composition. Among the songwriters were Larry Griffin Jr, Mike Dean, Jeff Bhasker, Andwele Gardner, Ian McDonald, Ron Ziegler, Pierre Lang, Francois Bernheim, and others.
Genre of the Song
It might be stated that the genre of the song is hip hop but it also has the characteristics of rap and rock. The single was performed jointly with American soul singer Dwele; S1 became the producer of the song (Mercer, 2018). “Power” is based on samples of three tracks; the first one is “21st Century Schizoid Man” by the British progressive rock band King Crimson (Wright et al. 2019). The other two songs used are “Afromerica” by the French disco group Continent Number 6 and “It’s Your Thing” by the American funky band Cold Grits.
Musical Elements and Impact
Speaking about the musical elements of the single, POWER features additional vocals and chorus as vocal riff and combines singing and rapping. Besides, in the song, such instruments as dembow and sampler are used (West, 2010). As for the lyrics, POWER is dedicated to the singer’s mental health, his critics, and the United States (West 2010). In the refrain, Kanye West presses the point that nobody should have all the power (West 2010). Although the song was released several years ago, I heard the song for the first time only this year. My cousin who is a big fan of hip hop introduced the artist and the song to me. The impact of POWER on me was great because it is unusual and catchy. Besides, the song demonstrates West’s personal views that correspond to my world outlook; it has become my favorite composition.
- Mercer, Caithlin. 2018. “Kanye West and the Digital Information Matrix.” ReutersInstitute. Web.
- West, Kanye. 2010. “Power.” YouTube video, 03:47. Web.
- Wright, Joshua, Adria Goldman, and VaNatta Ford. 2019. “I Gotta Testify: Kanye West, Hip Hop, and the Church.” Journal of Hip Hop Studies (6): 4−77. doi:10.34718/6jer-7a50.