Track Review – Real Friends / Kanye West

Kanye’s post-Yeezus singles have been spotty at best, which is something of a surprise considering how his last three albums have innovated each time they were released into the mainstream. ‘Facts’ seemed more like a shrug-worthy rant at Nike than an artistic statement: It was an unnecessary tantrum. ‘Real Friends’, which is the second track in the apparent return of ‘G.O.O.D. Fridays’, is a breath of fresh air which can actually be beautiful at times. The simplicity pares the track down to a a reverby instrumental of piano and echoing drums which makes the track really skeletal in comparison to something like ‘All Day’. Kanye is often seen as this ego-maniac with nobody in his sights but himself, but the track is introspective towards friends and family that have abandoned him, but then also blames himself for losing friends.

Since Yeezus, Kanye has mostly been lashing out, but ‘Real Friends’ is a turning point inwards once again, which makes Kanye less of a two-dimensional character and more of a human being that we could possibly relate to. ‘Real Friends’ isn’t ‘Facts’, we can’t sympathise with Kanye moaning about Nike, but losing friends is a world away from his fame problems (which is in ‘Real Friends’, as he cites it as the reason he’s now attracting ‘fake friends’). SWISH has been looking rocky for the last few months, but ‘Real Friends’, thankfully, is the song we needed for some reassurance.