30 Hours

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"30 Hours"
Promotional single by Kanye West
from the album The Life of Pablo
ReleasedFebruary 12, 2016

"30 Hours" is a song by American rap musician Kanye West, featuring backing vocals from Andre 3000, that lies on West's seventh studio album The Life of Pablo (2016).[1] Andre did try to write a guest verse, but he failed to do so.[clarification needed] The track was released as a promotional single from the album as part of West's GOOD Fridays program.

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"30 Hours" heavily samples the 1986 track "Answers Me" by Arthur Russell.[2] The song also includes a sample of drums from the 1973 single "Joy" by Isaac Hayes.[3]

The album version has an outro similar to that of "Last Call" from West's debut studio album The College Dropout (2004).[4] By the time that all the changes had been made to The Life of Pablo in June 2016, the track had been crafted by West to sound like the original version.[5]

The song interpolates Nelly singles "E.I." and "Hot in Herre".[6]


Prior to the release of the song, "Real Friends" and "No More Parties in LA" had already been released for streaming as part of the GOOD Fridays program. The track was released as a promotional single just like they were, so West made it solely available for free streaming on SoundCloud instead of sites like iTunes or Amazon Music where it had to be paid for.[7] "30 Hours" went on to be removed from SoundCloud, despite the two promotional singles "Facts" and "No More Parties in LA" still being available on the site.[8]

The Life of Pablo was scheduled to be titled "Waves" at one point and the track was set to be a part of Act 2 on one of the track lists for the album.[9] On the day that the song was released, West announced via Twitter that the featuring album was being mastered and set for release later on in the day, alongside promotion of the single – however, the release was delayed by two days due to Chance the Rapper fighting to keep the track "Waves" as part of it.[10][11] Two days after The Life of Pablo's release, West tweeted out thanks to Drake for helping him write "30 Hours" along with "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" and also promised more music with both Drake and Future.[12]


Photography of background vocalist Andre 3000 in the studio alongside other rappers with West working on the album was posted on 2 Chainz's Instagram in January 2016.[13] When Andre was on his way to the studio in Los Angeles, he decided to bring a random Uber passenger with him.[14] Andre revealed that he was expecting to drop a guest verse on "30 Hours" and that others expected one from him, though the collaboration fell through.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

When reviewing The Life of Pablo for Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield viewed "30 Hours" as "the most stunning track here".[16] Gavin Haynes of NME described West's sampling of "Answers Me" in the track as where "he pulls off the most masterful of these high-low art juxtapositions".[17]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon the release of The Life of Pablo, the song debuted at number 6 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and remained on it for a total of two weeks.[18]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from West's official website.[19]

  • Production – Kanye West, Karriem Riggins & Mike Dean #MWA for Dean's List Productions
  • Additional production – Noah Goldstein for Ark Productions, Inc.
  • Engineering – Noah Goldstein, Andrew Dawson, Anthony Kilhoffer, Mike Dean & Tom Kahre
  • Mix – Manny Marroquin at Larrabee Studios, North Hollywood, CA
  • Mix assisted – Chris Galland, Ike Schultz & Jeff Jackson
  • Background vocals – André Benjamin
  • Vocoder – Mike Dean


Chart (2016) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 143
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[21] 6


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[22] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Harvilla, Rob (February 19, 2016). "The Best Track on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo Is Also, Somehow, the Worst". The Concourse. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Fraden, Angel E. (February 13, 2016). "Kanye West Samples Arthur Russell On "30 Hours"". IndieCurrent. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Mertens, Max (February 22, 2016). "The A-Z Guide to Every Song Sampled on Kanye West's 'The Life Of Pablo'". VICE. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Guest, Chicagoist (February 25, 2016). "Thanks To His Mistakes, Kanye West Is As Relevant As Ever". Chicagoist. Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  5. ^ C.M., Emmanuel (June 17, 2016). "Every Change Kanye West Made to 'The Life of Pablo'". XXL. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  6. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (February 17, 2016). "Drake, Nelly and Kanye West's children credited on 'The Life Of Pablo' album". NME. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (February 12, 2016). "Kanye West streams new album track '30 Hours'". NME. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Kanye West". Free Listening on SoundCloud. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Diep, Eric (February 1, 2016). "Kanye West Debuts Several 'Waves' Tracklists". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Kambouris, Dimitrios; Bacle, Ariana (February 12, 2016). "Kanye West: 30 Hours debuts on Twitter — GOOD Fridays are back". EW.com. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Kreps, Daniel (February 13, 2016). "'Blame Chance': Kanye West Explains 'Life of Pablo' Album Delay". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Torres, Eric (February 18, 2016). "Kanye Promises More Music With Drake and Future". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 30, 2016). "Kanye West Works on Waves With André 3000, 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi, More". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  14. ^ "PIC: Andre 3000 invited a random Uber passenger to Kanye West's studio session". JOE.ie. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Watson, Elijah C. "Andre 3000 Discusses Failed Fashion Line, Appearing On Kanye West's 'Pablo' In New Interview". Okayplayer. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  16. ^ Sheffield, Rob (February 16, 2016). "The Life of Pablo". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Haynes, Gavin (February 19, 2016). "Kanye West – 'The Life of Pablo' Review". NME. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "Kanye West – 30 Hours – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  19. ^ davidbaker.tv, builtbylane.com ×. "The Life of Pablo". The Life of Pablo – Kanye West. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 9.04.2016 (wk14)". Zobbel.de. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  21. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – Kanye West – 30 Hours". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 27, 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]