This laid-back number was released by Kanye West on September 3, 2010 as the second song in his "G.O.O.D. Friday" series, in which the Chicago MC releases a new tune to kick off the weekend every Friday. On this vulnerable number, West laments being loved and left.
West explained in a tweet that he released the song at the end of summer for fans to ride out the end of the season to the song's leisurely feel. "There's only 18 days of summer left," the 33-year-old tweeted. "I had to drop DEVIL IN A NEW DRESS while it was still hot out so people could role [sic] down there windows."
Wasn't there a song from the '60s with this title? Close. That was "Devil With A Blue Dress
by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.
The version of this song that appears on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy features rapper Rick Ross. The Miami MC explained to MTV News that he gave West his verse shortly before West turned in the completed album. "I got a call, they wanted me to be a part of that record," Ross explained. "It was actually the last day before Kanye had to turn the record in, and I think that pressure just made it that much more special to me. So I just sat there, approached the record openly and as straightforward as I could. When I laid the verse, 30 minutes later, I was extremely happy. I sent it to him, and he was too. I think it was one of the dopest verses I did this year."
In 1999 the Harlem rapper Ma$e announced his retirement from music to pursue a "calling from God." The same year, Ma$e enrolled as a freshman at Clark Atlanta University and embarked on studies to become an ordained minister. West made a pointed reference to Ma$e leaving the rap game for God at the height of his career on this song:
Don't leave while you're hot that's how Ma$e screwed up
West's calling out of Ma$e took on a greater significance two decades later when he declared that he'd had a spiritual transformation and would no longer make secular music. When Ma$e requested a public apology for the lyric from his now-fellow believer, West responded with a mea culpa on Twitter:
"Ma$e is right about that line. I always felt funny about that line... Ma$e is one of my favorite rappers and I based a lot of my flows off of him... I'm the king of 'ooh can I get away with this bars' so I reap what I sow when the next generation does the same to me."