Featuring: Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks, Kid Cudi & Ryan Leslie

“Christian Dior Denim Flow” is one of the best constructed GOOD Friday cuts we’ve seen, up there with “Power,” “Runaway,” and “Good Friday.” It’s sprawling, sure, but there doesn’t seem to be as much wasted space. Ryan Leslie’s verse seems a little heavy handed, and if you’re looking to trim a little fat, he’d be the first to go, but nothing seems terribly egregious.
Maybe I’m growing complacent with Kanye’s lengthy tracks, maybe I’m loosing my edge, but I’m on board with the breakdown and the guitar solo. In fact, the guitar solo gives a little weight to a solid Kid Cudi verse and offers some nice closure to the piece.
Maybe all my good vibes come from this legit chorus. “Christian Dior” is bolstered by a banging chorus I can’t get out of my head. “Power” has a hook, but it’s tuneless–more or less. “Runaway” has a good flow, a nice melodic line but it’s not exactly an earworm. “Christian Dior” is almost a radio-ready classic, and it’s scope and execution give me a “Bombs Over Baghdad” vibe.
“Denim Flow” doesn’t come out of the gate as fast and ferocious, but Kanye’s hunger at the top of the track is almost palpable, the epic sweep of the strings ridding the beat, and that dirty guitar solo at the end all feel strangely reminicent of the exuberance for creativity and experimentation that OutKast was on in the late 90’s into 2000.
“All the models on the floor right now. All the models on the floor right now,” are the first words from Mr. West, with a pitch-shifted voice eminating from the basement and a stuttering drum break. Yeezy completes the verse in a distorted rasp with as much intensity as he brought to the exciting and constantly engaging production. Here’s how hot Ye is right now: he’s rapping about fashion week, clothes, and models and sounds like he could absolutely kill you with his tongue.
Pusha T turns in his worst verse of the GOOD Friday series and it’s still solid. The hottest line is crippled by a week set up: “We conversate a bit about your DNA/And my salmon-colored suit from the VMA’s/Oh, you was watchin’, who the fuck wasn’t?” Conversate? Dictionary.com gives this one to Pusha, but doesn’t this sound a little like someone hit up a thesaurus rather than riding the flow until you get to the money spot in the line? Wouldn’t this move a bit more smoothly if he just used talked or chat?
The breakdown is frantic and the addition of the rhythm guitar adds a hefty punch underneath the last three verses. Ryan Leslie spits some fine lines, but Lloyd Bank’s buttery smooth, mealy-mouthed delivery makes whatever bull he spat sound perfect on this track and Kid Cudi comes on with a great closing verse, loved the Andre 3000 bite and the hint of a melody in his lines works well here.
As per usual, I want this to be shorter, but my convictions about what should be left off aren’t as strong. Kanye took most of the valleys out of this one and you’re left to search for middling fair to lop off if you want this at a radio-ready length…and does the radio really matter all that much any more?

Updated Rankings:

1. “Good Friday” (featuring: Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, Kid Cudi & Charlie Wilson)
2. “See Me Now” (featuring: Beyonce & Charlie Wilson)
3. “Power”
4. “Power (Remix)” (featuring: Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)
5. “Runaway” (featuring: Pusha T)
6. “Christian Dior Denim Flow” (featuring: Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks, Kid Cudi & Ryan Leslie)
7. “Monster” (featuring: Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj)
8. “Lord, Lord, Lord” (featuring: Mos Def, Raekwon, Swizz Beatz & Charlie Wilson)
9. “So Appalled” (featuring: Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Pusha T, RZA & Cyhi the Prynce)
10. “Devil in a New Dress”