I Thought About Killing You

Album: Ye (2018)
Charted: 28

Songfacts®:

  • Kanye West kicks off his Ye album with this dark song which commences with a troubling monologue over serene synths delivered by the rapper about his suicidal thoughts.

    Today I seriously thought about killing you
    I contemplated, premeditated murder
    I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so


    West is describing his bipolar disorder a mental pattern that causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated moods. He both loves himself, and wants to die.

    West has discussed the thought of killing himself before. In 2010, he said on stage at an US screening of his short film, Runaway, he admitted that "there were times that I contemplated suicide." but added he now feels a responsibility to be a "soldier for culture."
  • Following that shocking spoken word passage, the bass and soft drums gradually come into play as Kanye starts to rap referencing his dark thoughts, mental strength, love, and solidifying his legacy.

    At around 3:00 the beat switches and starts to sample the 2017 track "Fr3sh" by Kareem Lotfy, which was released on the compilation Mono No Aware, put together by Berlin-based record label, PAN.
    However the Ye credits make no mention of a sample from the label or the artist. In a statement to Pitchfork, label head Bill Kouligas said:

    "It's sadly another case of an artist who capitalizes on culture without any original ideas and because culture trickles up, this means we are all basically working for him," label head Bill Kouligas told Pitchfork. "Everything leads to him, he's the ultimate narcissist."

    Francis Farewell Starlite, who is the frontman of the musical group Francis and the Lights, reached out on Twitter stating that he added the beat at the last minute and if anyone was at fault it was him, not Kanye.
  • Kanye West wrote the song with regular production collaborator Mike Dean, Francis Farewell Starlite and producer/songwriter Benny Blanco. The latter is best known for his collaborations with such pop acts as Ke$ha ("TiK ToK"), Katy Perry ("California Gurls," "Teenage Dream") Maroon 5 (Moves Like Jagger") and Justin Bieber ("Love Yourself").

    Blanco is featured as a songwriter and producer on two Ye songs, "I Thought About Killing You" and "Ghost Town." Blanco took to Instagram to thank West for giving him the opportunity to work on his project, recalling how he connected with the rapper's music at the age of 14.

    "I remember leaving my grandmother's house in East Orange New Jersey back home to Virginia and seeing a man on the side of the road selling bootleg copies of the College Dropout... I went home and listened to it so much that it became so scratched I couldn't even play it... I looked up every single sample on the album and spent months trying to recreate the beats."
  • Several months after the release of Ye, Kanye West was still making changes to the tracks. Fans pointed out in November 2018 the removal from this song of an uncleared sample taken from Kareem Lotfy's "Fr3sh."

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