All Day (Kanye West song)

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"All Day"
KanyeWestAllDay.jpg
Single by Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney
ReleasedMarch 3, 2015
Format
Recorded2014–15
Genre
Length5:10
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Kanye West singles chronology
"Blessings"
(2015)
"All Day"
(2015)
"U Mad"
(2015)
Theophilus London singles chronology
"JFK"
(2014)
"All Day"
(2015)
"Revenge"
(2016)
Allan Kingdom singles chronology
"Uvaje'd"
(2012)
"All Day"
(2015)
"Blast"
(2015)
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"FourFiveSeconds"
(2015)
"All Day"
(2015)
"Love Song to the Earth"
(2015)

"All Day" is a single by American recording artist Kanye West. It features American rapper Theophilus London, Canadian rapper Allan Kingdom, and English musician Paul McCartney. The song was produced by West, Puff Daddy, French Montana, Velous, Charlie Heat, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Plain Pat, Travis Scott, Allen Ritter, and Mario Winans. Initially leaked in August 2014 after being announced for release as a single by West, he debuted it with a performance at the 2015 Brit Awards. On March 3, the song was released for digital download and streaming through GOOD Music and Def Jam as a non-album single. It contains a sample of "Two Fingers" by McCartney and an interpolation from "Dance with Me" by Jamaican singer Noel Ellis. The musical style has been described as including elements of industrial and drill music. The lyrics center around West boasting about being successful and winning in life, with certain lyrics being compared by him to the work of Jay-Z.

The accompanying Steve McQueen-directed music video for "All Day" was announced in March 2015 and ultimately released in February 2016. The video sees West in a warehouse room running around, though he becomes tired and a song entitled "I Feel Like That" is played. The song was met with generally positive reviews from music critics, who mostly praised West's vocals. At the 58th Grammy Awards, it was nominated for both Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. The song reached the top 20 in the United States, United Kingdom and Scotland in 2015. It has since certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in the US and UK respectively. West performed the song live on multiple occasions in 2015, including at the NBA Playoffs and Glastonbury Festival.

Background and recording[edit]

French Montana press photo 2017.
French Montana, pictured in 2017, helped produce the song.

The song was one of three collaborations between West and McCartney to be released, with the other two being the singles "Only One" and "FourFiveSeconds".[1] McCartney described West as gathering musical elements into an "ingredient pool" that he later makes usage of.[1] In response to criticism of West using the n-word within the song, McCartney stated: "It's a great record, sonically it's brilliant, but quite a few people said, 'You can't be connected with this, there's, like, 40 N-words!"[2] McCartney also said that he "was actually pleased with it."[2] Allan Kingdom become involved with West through Plain Pat, who was close to West.[3] A phone call was made for Allan Kingdom to join West and Plain Pat's session; he showed West his music during the session and called doing so "super nerve-racking."[3] One month after West announced the release of the song, a snippet of it leaked online.[4][5] Melissa Locker of Time called the snippet "a promising hint at things to come."[5] "All Day" was debuted live by West at the 2015 Brit Awards on February 25.[6] On March 2, 2015, Rolling Stone provided the first official stream of the track.[7]

West spoke about the recording process behind "All Day" in a July 2014 interview with Zach Baron of GQ, telling Baron: "I would have came in with, like, whatever I come in with. But the balance of a meal is that when people walk in, they want water first."[4] The track's creation started with American rapper Velous, who revealed in a 2015 interview with MTV that he made the skeleton of the instrumental on a friend's couch while watching Saturday Night Live in the summer of 2014.[8] In reference to the creation process, Velous stated: "I worked on that and I had the main part of it, I already had the skeleton of it [and] it was for my big bro French Montana."[8] Velous explained why it ultimately became a West track and not a French Montana track, saying: "I guess Kanye was rocking with it, so he gave it to Kanye and they added some more. Kanye went in, French added some stuff to it and I co-produced it with my big bro."[8] On March 2, 2015, mixer Hudson Mohawke tweeted that the track was finished and mixed.[9][10] The production credits were heavy, with a total of 11 people being listed as producers.[11] West, French Montana, Puff Daddy, Velous, Charlie Heat, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Plain Pat, Travis Scott, Allen Ritter, and Mario Winans were responsible for the production.[10] A reference track for "All Day" by co-writer Kendrick Lamar, which was initially thought to be a remix, leaked online in April.[12]

Composition[edit]

"All Day" has been described as including industrial elements reminiscent of West's sixth studio album Yeezus (2013) and incorporating some from drill music.[13][14] The melody of it is built around McCartney's whistling from a re-recording of a song written by him in 1969 that was inspired by a Pablo Picasso painting of a guitarist, which is supposedly titled "Two Fingers".[7][15] The bassline of Reggae singer Noel Ellis' 2006 recording "Dance With Me" is sampled.[16] A voice box melody is included at the beginning of the song.[17] It sees West brag about his success, including him boasting about spending time in the mall and the lyrics differentiate from West's usual dwelling on the struggles that he went through to ultimately achieve success.[18] A number of things already commonly known about West are referenced by him in the song, such as him being from Chicago and having an obsession with his wife.[19] The phrase "All day, nigga" is repeatedly used by West within the song and he raps the n-word a total of 45 times.[2][20] West viewed the lyrics "All day, nigga, it's Ye, nigga/Shopping for the winter, it's just May, nigga/Ball so hard, man, this shit cray, nigga/You ain't getting money unless you got eight figures" as sounding like content that fellow rapper Jay-Z "would have said."[4] West shouts "Get low!" during the outro.[14] The ending section of the song contains a sample of McCartney's whistling on "Two Fingers".[7][15]

Release and artwork[edit]

"All Day" was announced for release as a single by West in July 2014.[4] On March 2, 2015, West premiered the studio version of the song on Power 106 and Hot 97.[10] The next day, the song was released to iTunes Stores in various countries by GOOD Music and Def Jam, and made available for streaming on Spotify.[10][21] On the same day, it was also serviced to US rhythmic contemporary radio stations through the labels.[22] The song was ultimately scrapped from the track list of West's seventh studio album The Life of Pablo (2016).[23]

The artwork for "All Day" was initially thought to be the album cover for West's then-upcoming album So Help Me God when he posted it before the song's release.[24] When West released the song, the information became known that the artwork was intended for the single instead.[24] West's wife Kim Kardashian revealed via Instagram that the artwork is a 13th Century monastic symbol for the Virgin Mary.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, with West's vocals gathering praise. Jayson Greene of Pitchfork dubbed it as "an odd hybrid" and elaborated, writing: "Kanye's rapping harder, faster, sharper than ever: Years and years into his evolving style, he's fashioned his voice into something dull and jagged at once, a hacked-off piece of jetliner assaulting the beat."[14] Greene viewed West's rapping speed as sounding like American singer James Brown "imitating a tommy gun" at parts and also praised his lyrical content.[14] Kory Grow of Rolling Stone wrote that "the song shows off its triumphant synth line and bouncy beat, as well as West's one-liners like, 'You a fake Denzel like the Allstate nigga/If you run in to me, better have Allstate with you' and guest Allan Kingdom's soulful vocals."[7] Kenya Foy of Bustle claimed that "West's flow is absolutely crazy and complimented the song's catchiness, describing it as having the ability to get "the most shiftless couch potato to abandon those comfy cushions" for dancing.[19] Foy elaborated, writing that it "also has the potential to put folks in a sulky mood" due to their daily activities paling in comparison to those undertaken by West.[19] In a mixed review, Andrew Barber, Brendan Klinkenberg and Ross Scarano of Complex claimed that the song "was a dope single but failed to connect the way" that West had with his earlier singles "Gold Digger" (2005) or "Stronger" (2007) or "Slow Jamz" (2003).[25]

Accolades[edit]

Billboard ranked "All Day" as the fifth best hip hop song of 2015.[26] The song was listed by Magnetic Magazine as the tenth best hip hop track of the year.[27] It was nominated for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards, respectively.[28] At the 2016 International Dance Music Awards, the song earned a nomination for Best Rap/Hip Hop/Trap Dance Track, ultimately losing to French DJ David Guetta's single "Hey Mama" (2015).[29]

Music video[edit]

During West's hour-long talk at Oxford University on March 2, 2015, he announced an accompanying music video for "All Day", stating: "I was sitting with Steve McQueen; he shot the visuals for 'All Day' two days ago. It's completely different to the Brit Awards…"[30] On March 7, West premiered the video at the Foundation Louis Vuitton as part of Paris Fashion Week.[31] Snippets were shared online of it that showed West in a warehouse.[31] West and McQueen later made an unannounced appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on July 25, 2015, where they unveiled the video, which was filmed in London.[32] Explanations of the visual were offered by both West and McQueen, with the two of them taking it in turns to do so.[32] McQueen revealed that he became involved with West after receiving a phone call from him a few years before the collaboration, with the two engaging in numerous phone conversations afterwards and McQueen started directing the accompanying music video for "All Day" five days after West asked him to.[32]

The nine-minute long music video for "All Day" was made available online on February 22, 2016 through London production house Unit Media.[33] The visual features West as the only star in it and is set in a warehouse room for the entirety that West runs around in.[34] Once he stops running around, West heavily breathes after McCartney's outro on "All Day", leading into a song entitled "I Feel Like That" being played in the video.[34][35] While the song begins to play, West collapses on the floor of the warehouse.[36] The song sees West go deep into his issues with mental health, which he also references in the songs "U Mad" and "FML".[36][c]

Kwame Opam of The Verge said that the music video has a "following you" effect, "with the camera struggling to follow the beleaguered West as he rants back at it."[33] Ryan Bassil of Noisey Vice dubbed it as "artful."[36]

Commercial performance[edit]

"All Day" debuted at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart for the issue date of March 8, 2015; it was not West's only chart success of the week, as "FourFiveSeconds" peaked at number three on the same date.[37] These singles stood as West's only tracks to reach the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart in 2015.[38] It was later certified Silver in the United Kingdom by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on January 5, 2018.[39] Additionally, the song and "FourFiveSeconds" became his first top-20 singles in the United States since 2013's "Bound 2".[40] "All Day" debuted at number 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling 140,000 downloads in its first week and this lead to it entering atop of the US Rap Digital Songs chart.[41] The song stood as West's first single to debut at number one on the chart and followed "Clique" as his second to reach the position.[41] By reaching number 6 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the song marked West's 22nd top ten single on the chart.[41] It entered at number 14 on the US Rap Airplay chart, standing as West's third highest debut on the chart.[41] The song was certified Gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on July 28, 2015.[42] That same month, fellow West and McCartney collaboration "Only One" achieved the same certification in the country.[43] The track also reached the top 20 in Scotland, peaking at number 19 on the Scottish Singles Chart.[44]

On the Official Finnish Singles Chart, the track debuted at number 23.[45] It charted at number 28 on the Canadian Hot 100 and French SNEP chart respectively; the track stood as West's third top 40 entry in 2015 on the SNEP chart.[46][47] The track reached number 38 on the NZ Singles Chart and achieved a similar position of number 39 on the Denmark Singles Top 40.[48][49] It peaked at numbers 42 and 47 on the ARIA Singles Chart and the Belgium Ultratip Flanders chart respectively.[50][51] On the Irish Singles Chart, "All Day" debuted at number 52 and spend a total of three weeks on the chart.[52] The song peaked at number 57 on the German Top 100 Singles chart.[53]

Live performances and other usage[edit]

Kanye West performing the song "All Day" at the thirty-fifth annual BRIT Awards on February 25, 2015 in London, England.
West performing the song at the 2015 Brit Awards, accompanied by numerous other rappers.

West first performed the song live at the 2015 Brit Awards on February 25 with a number of US rappers and UK grime MC's, including Boy Better Know, Novelist, Q-Tip, Krept & Konan, Stormzy, Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London and Vic Mensa.[6] West's performance was announced by Candice Morrissey a day before the awards took place.[54] During the performance, Allan Kingdom shot flames into the air with a flamethrower.[55] However, West's performance was repeatedly muted throughout most of the track for those watching on television due to the extreme explicit language featured within the song's lyrics, with the usage of nigga being repeatedly rapped live on ITV.[56] The usage of strong language sparked over 100 complaints received by Ofcom as a result of it.[57] NME reported that West rapped nigga a total of 14 times.[18] West took to Twitter and claimed that he "felt the Brits performance captured the energy of the record."[58] Velous praised West for the performance, claiming that he "had to watch it like 16 times to relive that moment."[8] Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher called the performance "Utter Shit" on Twitter and claimed that West was "a million miles away" from his debut studio album The College Dropout (2004).[59] British rapper Dizzee Rascal also criticized West for the performance, saying that "Kanye bringing everyone on stage – that's a look," suggesting that it was simply a fashion statement.[60]

West performed the song live during the first-quarter timeout of the 2015 NBA Playoffs after he jumped on the court.[61] At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, West performed "All Day" and segued from the song into "Black Skinhead.[62] He was censored at intervals during the performance, with certain lyrics being muted for over 30 seconds.[62] West was audible to home viewers for only four minutes and 16 seconds out of the five minutes and 18 seconds that his performance lasted for.[62] At the 2015 Glastonbury Festival, the song was performed live by West.[63] The track was part of the setlist for West's opening show of his Saint Pablo Tour in Indianapolis on August 25, 2016.[64]

American comedian Joe Mande shared his "lyric video" for the song via Twitter on May 22, 2015, which interpreted West as saying "Audi" instead of "All day."[65] The single was used in Audi's TV spot Q commercial in February 2016.[66]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[21]
  1. "All Day" (featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney) – 5:10

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording[10]

  • Recorded at Shangri La, Malibu, California; Jungle City Studios, New York City, New York; Windmark Studios, Santa Monica, California; Dean's List House of Hits, Soho, NYCB; No Name Studios, Mexico; No Name Studios, London, WardrobeRecordings; Lilayi, Zambia
  • Mixed at Health Farm Studios, London

Personnel[10]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[42] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Various March 3, 2015 Digital download [21]
Streaming [10]
United States Rhythmic contemporary radio [22]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Credited as co-producer
  2. ^ a b c d Credited as additional producer
  3. ^ "I Feel Like That" was not released on So Help Me God after the album was scrapped and replaced with The Life of Pablo, which did not include the song.[36]

References[edit]

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