As long as Kanye West continues release a new track, care of his Twitter feed, every Friday, on his Evangelical-baiting series called GOOD Fridays, I think I can manage a few hundred words on each new track. (I’ll also include updated rankings of GOOD Fridays releases.) Apparently Yeezy will also unveil tracks from artists on his GOOD Music imprint too, but thusfar, he’s only uploaded his work–personally, I’m looking forward to more peeks into the Pusha T solo debut.

This weekend Mr. West dropped the epic “Lord Lord Lord [sic].” Over a minute and a half longer than anything else to grace his Twitter feed, “Lord” also boasts some serious guest power in the form of Black Star star, Mos Def; The Wu-Tang Clan’s chef, Raekwon; Swizz Beatz and a THIRD collaboration with The Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson. I am officially excited when I see Charlie Wilson’s name listed in the credits for a Kanye track. Prior to this track, the inclusion of Wilson’s well-worn, soulful croon has been integral to my two favorite Kanye leaks, “Good Friday” and “See Me Now.”
“Lord” suffers from the very same issue which plagues over half of Kanye’s most recent output: it’s too long. Again, these releases don’t necessarily represent the final cut of the song, and until they hit store shelves, there’s still time to trim. However, there is something disconcerting about the brand of excess Kanye is practicing right now. “Lord” also marks a bit of a step back for Yeezy as an MC. Up until this week, he’s held his own, and in a few cases, easily bested some of the strongest rappers working right now. Yet stacking up against Swizz Beatz, who has rudimentary micsmanship, West’s flow falls short.
More concerning are his juvenile lyrics: “I got scripts, so why we need a movie / And if I’m a douche, then put me in your couchie / I swear they should have never gave these n—-s loose leaf / Scuse me if I’m trapped by the boobies….Booby trapped.” The construction is pretty solid and his delivery is also fine, but following smart and smooth–almost prestigious–delivery from Mos and preceding an unambitious but solid verse from Swizz, West seems out of place on his own damn song. Kanye usually provides one of, if not the, best couplet of the track and has enough interesting word play to make up for his ever-improving mic skills, but this verse is reminiscent of his clumsy turn on the “Get By (Remix)”  where he jammed a few of his lame bars among titanic verses from greats like Jay-Z, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Busta Rhymes.
However, Mos, Rae and Wilson do bring it on “Lord, Lord, Lord.” Mos Def, especially, is in the zone. The smooth, spacey soul loop plays right into Def’s wheel-house, who unwinds long, smooth, spiritual evocations in the same mold as his stellar 2009 comeback The Ecstatic. Raekwon delivers a cool and confident verse like he’s leaning back in the driver’s seat, cruising down the strip, with his arm around some honey. The Chef is cool, confident and hard as steel on this beat.
But seriously, Kanye, I have absolutely loved Charlie Wilson on these cuts–he brings so much power and conviction to these soul-drenched numbers, but damn, you can’t just let him add lib till his voice gives out! I’m dubing this long-winded production technique “The Kanye Minute” (egregiously multiplied by two in this case). The jam is hot, and in the booth everyone’s probably just bobbing their head and feeling it like a mofo, but if he fills his album with extra-long jams like this, it’ll be like slogging through a Mars Volta record. It’s kind of like getting lost in the woods: it’s beautiful, but eventually you want to get back to the trail and get home. Here’s hoping Kanye gets the scissors out and kills his darlings before the album drops.

Updated Kanye Rankings:
1. “Good Friday” (featuring: Common, Pusha T., Kid Cudi, Big Sean & Charlie Wilson)
2. “See Me Now” (featuring: Beyonce & Charlie Wilson)
3. “Power”
4. “Power (Remix)” (featuring: Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)
5. “Lord, Lord, Lord” (featuring: Mos Def, Raekwon, Swizz Beatz & Charlie Wilson)
6. “Devil in a New Dress”
7. “Monster” (featuring: Jay-Z, Bon Iver, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj)
8. “Runaway” (featuring: Pusha T.)
9. “Runaway Love” (featuring: Raekwon & Justin Bieber)