Fade

Album: The Life of Pablo (2016)
Charted: 50 47

Songfacts®:

  • Kanye West debuted this song during his Yeezy Season 2 show at the New York Fashion Week on September 16, 2015. This isn't the first time the GOOD Music supremo has debuted music at his fashion show. In 2014, during his showing of Yeezy Season 1, West used the Sia-assisted track "Wolves."
  • The song features Ty Dolla $ign and Post Malone. Ty Dolla $ign reported to Billboard magazine his experience recording with West in Mexico when they churned out around eight tracks in September 2014. (Other tunes they laid down included the Paul McCartney collaboration "Only One").

    "[In] like 24 hours, [we recorded] seven songs or nine songs that day. I was like, 'I'm here with Kanye, I'm not gonna waste my time.' They really wanted me to stay for like a week, but I only had like two days, 'cause I was about to start the [Under the Influence of Music] tour.

    He was open to my input, like, 'do whatever you want to do. Here's your mic. Do you need anything?' I'm like 'Awesome! Let's get it!'

    [We were] in Mexico, at this big house. The back of the house had no walls and no doors; it was just open [and facing] the ocean. You would think he would want the mic enclosed and all that but we just had the doors open, and it came out perfect. That inspired me to record like that at the crib."
  • Post Malone raps the second verse. He hooked up with Kanye West after Kylie Jenner invited him to perform at her 18th birthday party. Malone recalled in a Genius annotation:

    "I went in the studio with Kanye and we just recorded the scratch vocals and then I wrote over it. It just was a snippet that he liked and then he put it in. He was just a normal guy, like me, and super cool. He was wearing all camo, just all camo. He was very quiet and he was very, very humble. Me and Ty are cool. We are about to get in the studio and work, too."
  • Malone's verse finds him reflecting on his new found fame following the viral success of "White Iverson."

    Malone explained: "This verse is about all the bulls--t that is going on right now with me. I don't know if it because I am white or because I am young or because I came up really fast or whatever but everybody wants to talk s--t. But I don't know if they want to talk s--t or if they want to be on my d--k."

    "It is different. It is okay, you have got to do what you have got to do," Malone added. "You have to move on and keep going."
  • The song samples throughout the vocals from Rare Earth's 1970 hit single "(I Know) I'm Losing You," which was a cover of The Temptations' "I'm Losing You." West also borrowed for the bridge, Barbara Tucker's vocals from Hardrive's house song, "Deep Inside."
  • Kanye West unveiled the song's music video during the 2016 MTV Awards. It stars G.O.O.D. Music's Teyana Taylor in a Flashdance-esque gym dance sequence before she is joined by her real-life fiancé, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert. The clip ends with Taylor morphing into a lioness leaning on Shumpert with a baby surrounded by sheep. The video's choreographer Jae Blaze explained the visual's concept to Pitchfork:

    "I think the vision behind that was how amazing Teyana is, and how she's been on the rise, and how she's working, and you are now seeing her blossom into this fierce lioness, this fierce cat.

    She has worked her way into that, and she's in a great position right now in her life. She has her family. She's being held down by her amazing husband. She has a beautiful daughter. You know, the lioness always protects her baby. I think it really is about her coming into her fierceness. And that's where she is in her life right now. She is blossoming."
  • Harlem native Teyana Taylor provided vocals to Kanye West's 2010 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy tracks "Dark Fantasy" and "Hell of a Life." Two years later, she sung on "To the World" "Sin City," and "Bliss" from Yeezy's G.O.O.D. Music compilation album Cruel Summer.
  • Taylor revealed to Vogue the dance routine was originally created for Beyoncé's 2011 single "Till the End of Time." "[Beyoncé] loved it but she wound up not being able to use it because she was pregnant, but back then the world didn't know," she said. "All this time that choreography was just sitting there."
  • Teyana Taylor explained to VH1 that the choreography was all freestyled but things did get sticky. "We were kinda just switching things as we went, adding things as we went," she recalled. "I think I got pooped on by the sheep. Those hard doo doo balls and I had on all of the coconut oil and it was sticking to me. I was looking at Kanye like, 'I'm standing her naked with these damn sheep.'"

    "It was a good time," Taylor continued. "I was able to let off some steam and put all my emotions and all my excitement, all my intensity, my hard work that I've been giving for so long, I was able to put all of that into that moment in the movement."
  • Speaking with W, Ty Dolla $ign recalled how the song came together in the studio in just five minutes:

    "It was amazing working with 'Ye. He's one of the dopest musicians I know and I've always been a fan of him, so when we actually got in the studio, it was dope. We came up with that song in five minutes [Laughs]. The lyrics and the idea. He did the beat on the spot, like from scratch. It was really dope. It was just dope seeing it all come together and actually come out."
  • This won for Best Choreography at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • Kanye West reworked the song's Chicago house-sampling beat for his 2019 Jesus Is Born track "Follow Me - Faith." The new version trades the sexually explicit lyrics on "Fade" for ones that focus on God's love.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet SprocketSongwriter Interviews

The "All I Want" singer went through a long depression, playing some shows when he didn't want to be alive.

Randy NewmanSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.