Just Throw This at the End: Kanye West’s Gift for Outros

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.12.20 PM

Over the past few years, Kanye West’s outsize persona has eclipsed his music-making ability in the public consciousness. When someone is married to a Kardashian, can’t stop dissing Taylor Swift, and tweets whatever idiosyncratic musings come to his head, it’s not surprising when that person’s extracurricular activities consume all the attention. But to me, Kanye’s legacy will always rest on his brilliant production work.

One of my favorite aspects of Kanye’s music is a bit random — his outros, i.e. the way he ends his songs. He has a gift for knowing what sample will hit the spot, or what groove will bring the whole track home. He’ll either ride whatever beat he already has going for just the right amount of time, or he’ll switch it up in an invigorating or even beautiful way.

On Kanye’s latest album, the messy and overwrought but sporadically dazzling The Life of Pablo, one of his outros gave me chills: Frank Ocean’s pained voice singing out into the night on “Frank’s Track,” coming right after “Wolves.”

“Wolves” is constructed in a way that gives Ocean’s outro maximum impact. The portentous aura of the song builds until everything is stripped away except for just an electric piano and Ocean’s raw, passionate voice. You can hear his voice catch when he sings “BLACKENED” and “LIFE IS… precious.”

Let’s take a look at the other masterful outros in Kanye West’s catalogue. I’ve broken the songs/outros into three categories: (1) Riding the Groove; (2) Switching it Up, Subtly; (3) Switching it Up, Dramatically. As I mentioned, Kanye’s best outros can either be built on the already-existing beat (Category 1) or on a subtle (Category 2) or dramatic switch-up of the beat or production (Category 3).

Before jumping in, I should give honorable mention to “Runaway”, which has an iconic outro (and, not to mention, is one of the best songs of the decade), but the outro goes on a little too long. Another small note: the tracks that I’ve listed here from Yeezus and The Life of Pablo can have fairly explicit language, but the rest are SFW.


Heard ‘Em Say (feat. Adam Levine) | Late Registration (2005)
Outro start time: 2:24

I’m not a huge fan of Adam Levine, but he has some great guest spots on other people’s music (especially when he sang on SNL with Andy Samberg about former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad). Levine fits in quite nicely on the soothing “Heard ‘Em Say.” He sings the hook throughout the song, before “ooh-ing” and “oh-ing” in the outro. The beat is busy yet calming, and the xylophones and bells provide just the right amount of flourish.

Welcome to Heartbreak (feat. Kid Cudi) | 808’s & Heartbreak (2008)
Outro start time: 3:03

Eight years later, it’s still hard to believe that Kanye released 808’s & Heartbreak, an album that trades in rapping for singing and relies on desolate, engaging soundscapes. It’s a far cry from his joyous soul-sampling on his first three albums. On the outro to “Welcome to Heartbreak,” Kanye erects a wall of synths and drum machines, singing “Oooh-oooh / And I can’t stop / No, no, I can’t stop.” It’s despondent and other-worldly.

Hey Mama | Late Registration (2005)
Outro start time: 3:42

Time for some happy Kanye. On the outro to “Hey Mama” (Kanye’s tribute to his mother), the way he sings “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma” is beautiful, especially with the backdrop of marimbas and bells. It’s soulful and full of meaning. It’s hard to believe this is the same person that made the hardened, industrial beats on Yeezus. As a bonus, here’s a heartwarming clip of Kanye West singing the song with his late mother.

Never Let Me Down (feat. Jay Z and J. Ivy) | The College Dropout (2004)
Outro start time: 4:11

“Take them to church!” Right after J. Ivy’s verse, Kanye’s command kicks off the outro, followed by a gospel choir singing the Michael Bolton-penned hook: “When it comes to being true, at least true to me / One thing I’ve found, one thing I’ve found, oh no you’ll never let me down.” Jay Z brings the track home as instruments are gradually, artfully stripped from the beat.

Family Business | The College Dropout (2004)
Outro start time: 3:14

“Family Business” has another inspiring, heartfelt “early Kanye” beat. It’s one of those beats that fully envelops you — the piano loop, syncopation, and sound effects feel warm and welcoming. Kanye wisely lets it ride, bringing in choirs and individual voices to close it out.


Robocop | 808’s & Heartbreak (2008)
Outro start time: 2:52

“Robocop” is built on powerful 808 drum samples, a staccato string ensemble, and a Disney-like run of strings and bells (listen to it, it first comes on at 0:43 — it sounds like it should be the soundtrack to Cinderella coming down the stairs). At 2:51, Kanye removes the drum samples, leaving just the string orchestra. He then sings, “You spoiled little L.A. girl, you’re just an L.A. girl” and brings back the Disney phrase.

I Wonder | Graduation (2007)
Outro start time: 3:14

The outro here is simple — Kanye just lets the bass drum-heavy beat go, removing the synths that permeated most of the song and bringing in some strings to cap it off.

Drive Slow | Late Registration (2005)
Outro start time: 4:03

True to the song’s name, Kanye chops and screws the beat at 4:03 until it slows to a crawl. “Driiiivvveee slooowwwww hooomieeeee.”

Gorgeous (feat. Kid Cudi and Raekwon) | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Outro start time: 4:30

Kanye lifts some of the mud that clogs the song at the beginning (let me be clear, I love the clogging mud) just in time for Raekwon’s verse. The electric guitar becomes more piercing, especially once Raekwon’s verse ends. The guitar shreds on a bed of cellos and pianos.

Send It Up | Yeezus (2013)
Outro start time: 2:33

The minimalist, abrasive electronica of “Send It Up” serves as an odd backdrop for a reggae-dancehall singer, but one of Kanye’s talents is making weird juxtapositions work. As the track comes to a close, Kanye rides the beat and adds a sample of a song called “Memories” by Beenie Man, from Kingston, Jamaica. Beenie Man sings, “Memories don’t live like people do, they always ‘member you / Whether things are good or bad, it’s just the memories that you have.” I don’t know how, but it works perfectly.

Lost in the World / Who Will Survive in America | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Outro start time: 3:27 of “Lost in the World,” extending into “Who Will Survive in America”

“Lost in the World” is nothing short of amazing. I’ve always had an appreciation for it, but now I think it’s one of Kanye’s greatest songs ever. The song is heavily based off of a sample of the indie folk band Bon Iver’s “Woods”, utilizing its warped, unique vocal harmonies. Kanye, who was recording My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in Oahu, flew out Justin Vernon of Bon Iver to collaborate on tracks for the album, including “Lost in the World.” Vernon fleshed out the vocals in Oahu, in between pickup basketball games with Kanye. The song is anchored by a propulsive beat throughout, providing the backbone to some of Kanye’s most poetic lyrics.

The outro begins at 3:27 of “Lost in the World” — the drums are removed, leaving a conglomeration of voices, all acting independently of each other. Then at 3:43, tribal drums appear with a chorus of “HEY, WOAH-OH. HEY, WOAH-OH.” It’s completely invigorating. This leads into “Who Will Survive in America,” which continues the original beat and adds understated piano chords and synth flutes, while a sample of Gil Scott-Heron’s spoken-word piece “Comment No. 1” plays. Scott-Heron was a jazz/soul poet in the 1970s — “Comment No. 1” speaks on “the African-American experience and the faded idealism of the American dream.” My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy shows all of Kanye’s vulnerabilities, anxieties, and uncertainties — “Lost in the World” and “Who Will Survive in America” serve as a fitting conclusion.


Famous | The Life of Pablo (2016)
Outro start time: 1:49

“Famous” should probably be called “Infamous.” One of the leading storylines when The Life of Pablo came out revolved around the lyrics to “Famous” and Kanye’s inability to stay on Taylor Swift’s good side. I think the lyric in question is stupid (I think most of the lyrics on The Life of Pablo are stupid), but man, the beat on “Famous” is killer. It’s nothing short of glorious when Kanye switches it up at 1:49 and bumps a sample of a song called “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy. Please enjoy the “unofficial official” video, featuring Aziz Ansari and Master of None co-star Eric Wareheim frolicking in Paris.

New Slaves | Yeezus (2013)
Outro start time: 2:50

“New Slaves” is built off a spare, aggressive, synth-based beat. But at 2:50, out of nowhere, Kanye samples the most random song of all time: “Gyöngyhajú lány”, a 1969 song by the Hungarian rock band Omega. I have no idea how Kanye finds these songs and then successfully incorporates them, but let’s be grateful that he does.

Wolves / Frank’s Track | The Life of Pablo (2016)
Outro start time: 3:19

And now we’re back to where we started. To reiterate my feelings on “Wolves,” I can’t think of a better way to end a song than with Frank Ocean’s passionate croon.

Related post: “The Similarities Between Kanye West and Kobe Bryant”

4 thoughts on “Just Throw This at the End: Kanye West’s Gift for Outros

  1. This post was amazing i read your blog fairly often, and you’re always coming out with some great stuff.
    I contributed this on my fb, and my followers adored it.
    Continue the good work 🙂

  2. vibrators
    The aroma is reasonably strong. It is not
    overpowering like a lintiment, but more sweet
    like a toothpaste. I would have to say that the person who decreed this was odorless had one hell
    of a cold that day!! This clears my sinuses a bit when I put it
    directly to my nose and sniff. The “Don’t Stop” Massage oil is clearly sold as a product to
    be used by couples. The packaging says,” Right there. Just a little bit lower. I don just review toys either, I maintain 3 different blogs. If you aren feeling it here then you may want to look into creating a blog. I will say though sometimes the reviewing world can get brutal..

    vibrators IP: Logged The general principle seems to be that, for example, a school should not put up a cross on the wall or lead prayers before every class because that might infringe on the religious freedom of (or discriminate against) individuals. But more recent court challenges (Texas, Arkansas, Florida), some of which have been furthered by the ACLU, have taken aim at private displays of religion on public grounds. For example, a Texas case a few years ago (which, last I checked, was still under appeal) used the notion that voluntary prayer groups at school constitute a violation because they take place on government property and make it difficult for non religious folk to avoid them. vibrators

    Adult Toys Environmental Health Perspectives; Sep. 2000, 108(9):895 900. Main, F. I deployed to Afghanistan, got back a year or so later, filed my taxes. Few months go by, and I get a letter from the IRS stating that they didn have proof I was in Afghanistan, and to please send them orders. They needed this proof because I didn pay taxes then. I only ever bought one jelly toy, and I never used it because, at the time, it was too big for me. So it got tossed in the Box of Shame long before I ever knew anything about material safety. A couple months back a friend and I cut it open and stole the bullet out of it.. Adult Toys

    fleshlight It’s your decison but were it me, I’d be honest. You already lied once and if you expect honesty as you said in your relationship and not make her trust issue worse and jeopardize your relationship, I think it might be the best decision. Honesty in a relationship goes both way. Lately he been a little more open minded. It kind of a project of ours to get my sex drive back to where it used to be. Trying new toys has helped a bit. The ribs, on the other hand, we actually decided to feature back when Stormy was around, but I had to learn everything by myself. I have to admit, for my first attempt at a new cooking medium, these were really tasty. I can usually only eat 3 sections (bone meat as one section) of ribs and. fleshlight

    Realistic Dildo When The Real World, New Orleans aired, Preston’s black ness and gay ness were highlighted in a not so flattering or PC light. Previews for the season painted Preston as a “bitchy” villain “with no
    filter.” Commercials constantly showed an event where he defiled a roommate’s toothbrush scrubbing it inside a toilet bowl and then urinating on it. This angered commenters online. Following the shooting, local media attention focused on Dr. Breen’s death, the St. Tammany Parish coroner’s classification of the death as a homicide, the criminal investigation that resulted in Breen not being arrested, charged, indicted, or prosecuted for her husband’s death, and Breen’s actions related to Dr. Realistic Dildo

    fleshlight As far as church affiliation, I attend and almost totally agree with an Assembly of God church. Some take this to mean that I don’t think for myself. However, when I was younger I took about 2 years away from God and the church, to discern if I really believed or simply did because that was the way I was raised, and I finally came to the conclusion that I really do believe. Autoclaving is the only safe method. Nowadays, all needles should be single use instruments. They should be opened just prior to the piercing, and then disposed of immediately thereafter. fleshlight

    Realistic Dildo All of the guests have been pre registered and screened to ensure that things will go as smoothly as possible. Everyone is required to show legal identification, make a donation, and fill out paperwork providing information from a list of kinks and emergency contact numbers. They’ve been instructed to bring their own restraints and toys.. Sweets of any kind near or in the vulva or vagina are a bad idea, Alex. You may need to call around /ask around a bit. I don’t know how British law might or might not affect your ability to patronize stores that sell sexuality supplies. Realistic Dildo

    Realistic Dildo If it doesn’t work, he does say not to feel too bad about it. Plenty of clit owners need intense focused stimulation and can’t orgasm during intercourse without it, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that, so you shouldn’t be ashamed of your needs either. It’s just that it can often take people a while to get comfortable reaching orgasms with partners, period, and that’s more to do with emotional/intellectual issues than anything about masturbation or physiology. However, I agree with the package that it quickly warms to body temperature. The texture is friendly to both beginner and advanced users. Again, please use ample lube for easier insertion.. Realistic Dildo

    animal dildo No matter the job, people deserve to be complimented for doing something extra that they didn HAVE to do.Thank you for the post. Most of the people that I have worked with over the years at Eden, have went so far above and beyond for this community. I know that its usually not very obvious what we are doing or why, but we are always here doing it, and we all invest our own time when the clock run out. The only reason I got the warming gel is because it came in a small bottle. I don’t know what my parents would think if they find me with a huge bottle of lubricant stashed somewhere. If I (or we) don’t care for it, I’ll try something else, and once it’s gone, I’ll try something else.. animal dildo

    wholesale sex toys Those are some common statements you may have heard about casual sex. But they’re based mostly in stereotypes, bias, fear or ignorance about casual sex, or sexuality in general, especially when “unfettered” from the context of certain kinds of relationships. They’re not a good representation of people’s diverse experiences, realities or motivations. I live in Missouri, which is an at will employment state, so you can get fired for anything. They did mess up by telling me why they were firing me (for being public about my sexuality), so I could have pursued legal action, but I had no interest in outing them or seeking revenge because they are a non profit doing good things for the community and I didn’t want to take away from that. I believe in them even if they don’t believe in me. wholesale sex toys

    wholesale sex toys Things ended up being similar to a ratio: for every three times I got her off, I generally had gotten off once. That wasn’t a rule, but that’s what ended up happening. And I felt bad for wanting to be physical so much because much later on she admitted that by wanting to be physical so much I had slightly ruined the experience for her, but I figured that if I had been getting off just as much as she had been or at least close, I would have been more satisfied and less eager (quality >quantity type thing sort of). wholesale sex toys

    g spot vibrator “The Sun”, “Sun”, “Sun Online” are registered trademarks or trade names of News
    Group Newspapers Limited. This service is provided on News Group Newspapers’ Limited’s Standard Terms and
    Conditions in accordance with our Privacy Cookie Policy.
    To inquire about a licence to reproduce material, visit our Syndication site.
    The exclusive Lubrosity coating process ensures a silky smooth
    surface. NobEssence sculptures are odourless, can be soaked
    in water and stay in contact with the body for hours no wax, oil or petroleum distillate is needed
    to clean or maintain them. With an infinitely
    sensual softness, their luxurious texture is perfect for
    lavishing intimate caresses or voluptuous body massages g spot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s