Features. It’s interesting how can we hear someone’s combination of vocal cords and voice box can make us jump, cry or dance with joy.
Listed or unlisted they can help elevate a record to another level or make a record get skipped after a verse. Do or die.
- Features can be a transaction for legacy of a iconic feature that can be remember long after (Nicki Minaj: Monster) (Kanye: American Boy)
This is nothing new recording voices with emotions, mixing techniques and other things to make them like old souls.
The uniformity with the approach across several bodies of work across a larger time span is the interesting point.
Voices have history behind them. Rhythm, accents, tones, cadence, there’s blood where they’re from. Especially in hip hop.
Samples from soul records, classic hip hop records, Portuguese re-interpretations, Christmas songs, political figures function as connections and evolution points between various cultures and even a sense of globalism.
The voices on the Wyoming Sessions do this but are much more subtler.
Mostly unlisted or you would think the features are samples (the skill of picking out a voice to complement the sonic background to fit.)
Tony Williams and 070 Shake as part of Kanye’s secret pianos get placed on the most heightened points of music.
Tony Williams gets utilised to reinforce soul sample motifs, (on Hard Piano and Bonjour/Adam and Eve)
070 Shake is a chameleon channeling mirrored melancholy (Violent Crimes)a hollow ghost (Santeria), immortal (Ghost Town) all across those 3 hours of music.
These specific voices aren’t just assembled in a day, but rather lifetimes of lived people, multiple generations, socio-economic conditions and lived experiences. There’s real pain and hurt there because these voices are from pain and hurt. The music is merely just a meeting point.