Featuring: Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield & Kid Cudi

Don’t know how I feel about giving the late Curtis Mayfield a featuring credit since he’s only there because Pete Rock sampled (what appears to be a live version of) “The Makings of You,” from Mayfield’s stunning debut, Curtis. It may help guide people to song and the album, but it’s certainly uncharacteristic. Anyway, just to get you a bit deeper into the cut, I added a vid for the Mayfield track below:

Pete Rock has had an illustrious career, and certainly deserves some respect, but I swear he’s actively trying to ruin what is a nice soul loop. What the hell is Pete Rock doing whispering his name all over this track? I know ego is integral to most entertainment and has a special emphasis in hip-hop/rap, but jesus christ, this isn’t a radio rip, dude. And Rock’s “adlib” over the final minute of the track, “It’s Pete Rock, Kanye/1, 2, okay,” does NOT count as a verse or a chorus and does NOT earn a minute of a five-minute track!
On the plus side, both Yeezy and Jay-Z bring solid verses. None of it is awe-inspiring, but considering other GOOD Friday turns from both men, I haven’t slapped my forehead yet. Sadly, the two oldest dudes on the cut are the biggest assets. The Mayfield vocal sample, which appears unadulterated, is sharp and sounds good over the new Rock-produced backdrop. Mayfield is only buoyed by Charlie Wilson adding some wonderful backing vocals to the original. Wilson’s retro coos pump new life into the “Makings of You” sample without sounding anachronistic or sounding excessively remixed. It’s a splendid touch which makes the chorus a welcome rarity in this GOOD Friday series.
If this track makes it to the Kanye/Jay-Z collab album, Watch The Throne, quietly guiding Pete Rock out of the studio during edits would be highly recommended.

Updated Rankings#:

1. “Christian Dior Denim Flow” (featuring: Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks, Kid Cudi & Ryan Leslie)
2. “Good Friday” (featuring: Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, Kid Cudi & Charlie Wilson)
3. “See Me Now” (featuring: Beyonce & Charlie Wilson)*
4. “Power”*
5. “Power (Remix)” (featuring: Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)
6. “Runaway” (featuring: Pusha T)
7. “Monster” (featuring: Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj)
8. “Don’t Look Down (The Phoenix Story)” (featuring: Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco & Big Sean)
9. “Lord, Lord, Lord” (featuring: Mos Def, Raekwon, Swizz Beatz & Charlie Wilson)
10. “The Joy” (featuring: Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Curtis Mayfield, Charlie Wilson & Kid Cudi)
11. “So Appalled” (featuring: Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Pusha T, RZA & Cyhi the Prynce)
12. “Take One For The Team” (featuring: Pusha T, CyHi da Prynce & Keli Hilton)
13. “Don’t Stop” – Child Rebel Soldier
14. “Devil in a New Dress”

*Released prior to the GOOD Friday series, included because of the close proximity to the beginning of series

#As I said in a previous post, I won’t include “Runaway Love (Remix)” on the rankings because it’s so bad that it’s not fair to the other even middling tracks Kanye’s released lately.