Anyone still calling for the death of Auto-Tune just got deaded. Not for the first time, I’ll admit (from Future to iLoveMakonnen, we’re living in a post-T-Pain world, and all the richer for it), but nevertheless, this latest defeat for “D.O.A.“-style purists comes in a pretty dramatic way. Chief Keef, the Chicago drill rapper recently dropped from Interscope, and Kanye West — who is, you know, Kanye West — have joined forces on a despair-seeped cyborg lament that’s like what someone 30 years ago might’ve imagined the blues would sound like by 2014.
Teased earlier this year on Instagram, “Nobody” is set for Keef’s new solo LP of the same name, which will be released tomorrow via his own 12 Hunna Records. Here, Keef takes full advantage of his DIY freedom, mumbling about his personal anomie over the same mournful Willie Hutch sample as on his Chicago contemporary Chance the Rapper‘s “Lost,” from 2013′s Acid Rap. Gargling Auto-Tune, Keef confides, “When I was broke / They thought I was a joke.” West’s audible role here is limited to singing in the background, not rapping a verse.
It’s strange, poignant and sonically enveloping, anything but a joke. “You really don’t understand, do you?” comes a repeated spoken mantra; it’s worth hitting play more than once just to try.