Mama's Boyfriend

Album: Not an an Album (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dr. Donda West, a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University. When he was three years old, his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. This moving dissertation on mothers and sons finds West channeling his 5-year-old self in "Superman pajamas," criticizing his mother's new love interests and lamenting how divorce changes the lives of children forever. He then switches to the perspective of the adult Kanye and resigns himself to the fact that, as a grown man, he'd basically "become [his] mama's boyfriend" too.
  • West debuted the song in the summer of 2010 when he dropped by the Facebook headquarters to preview material from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It never made it onto the finished album, but the following June a leaked version hit the web. Although many were excited to finally to be able to hear the tune, Ye wasn't. His record company released a statement expressing his deep disappointment, "that one of the most personal, meaningful and special songs he has ever written would reach people in this way."
  • In early live versions of the song, West sampled Billy Joel's "Movin' Out."
  • The song was played publicly for the first time when producer Q-Tip played the track during his 2013 Red Bull Music Academy Lecture in New York. "With 'Ye, we do so many different versions of things," Q-Tip explained. "He did another version [of this track] with Soulja Boy, too. We had this one that we were really going to probably do... but it didn't wind up [on the album]. But I wanted you guys to hear one of the things that I did for him. It's kind of cool."

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