Blood On The Leaves

Album: Yeezus (2013)
Charted: 89

Songfacts®:

  • An Auto-Tuned West laments about a failed relationship on this track, whilst R&B recording artist Tony Williams adds some soul-infused vocals. Kanye's older cousin on his mom's side, Williams first became noticed as a singer when he sung on the gospel hymn "I'll Fly Away" from the rapper's The College Dropout album. He also wrote the hook for the Late Registration song, "Roses," which featured him singing with Patti Labelle.
  • The song features a prominent vocal sample of Nina Simone's version of the song Billie Holiday made famous: the chilling "Strange Fruit."

    The horns were borrowed from TNGHT's "R U Ready." TNGHT is a musical duo consisting of Producer/DJs Lunice and Hudson Mohawke. The latter is signed as an artist to West's G.O.O.D. Music and contributed to several of Yeezus' tracks. He debuted the song on June 10, 2013 during his DJ set at Parklife Festival in Manchester.

    "R U Ready" was originally used by Kanye West in 2012 during his fashion show.
  • Jay-z liked this one so much when West debuted Yeezus at a playback that it was played twice. "Hov wanted me to bring that one back," Ye told the guests.
  • Kanye West rapped the song at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in front of a backdrop of Steve McQueen's photograph, Lynching Tree. Following his intimate performance, West's website was updated to feature the Lynching Tree picture, along with the accompany text: "This tree was used for lynching. Those who were murdered are buried in the ground around the tree."
  • Legendary director David Lynch is a fan of Kanye West, but he missed an opportunity for collaborating with the rapper on this track's music clip. "We almost worked together, but I never got the ideas," he told The Daily Beast. "I feel I let him down a little bit. I was going to do the music video for 'Blood on the Leaves,' but it never happened. I didn't come up with any ideas that I thought he would like."

    "Kanye came up to the house one day," he continued. "Kanye's a good guy, and a great musician. I loved the song, and that's what brought us together, but I couldn't come up with ideas that thrilled either one of us."

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