Reborn (Kids See Ghosts song)
|Song by Kids See Ghosts|
|from the album Kids See Ghosts|
|Released||June 8, 2018|
|Studio||Kanye West's ranch, Jackson Hole, Wyoming|
|Kids See Ghosts track listing|
"Reborn" is a song by American hip hop duo Kids See Ghosts, and the fifth track off their 2018 eponymous debut studio album. The song was acclaimed by critics, and charted in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Slovakia, Portugal, Ireland, France, Czech Republic, Canada, and Australia. It was also the highest-charting song from the album in the United States, Ireland, and France, and was certified platinum in the US.
Background and development
A joint album by American rappers Kanye West and Kid Cudi, titled after their project Kids See Ghosts, was announced by the former on April 23, 2018 for release on June 8. The two had frequently collaborated on tracks in the past, including "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "All of the Lights". One week before the release of Kids See Ghosts' album, West released his eighth studio album Ye, with vocals included from Kid Cudi on the tracks "No Mistakes" and "Ghost Town".
On October 5, 2016, Cudi posted a note on Facebook about checking into rehab "for depression and suicidal urges" and wrote near the end of the note "I'll be back, stronger, better. Reborn." Kid Cudi references depression in the song, which he had been struggling with since the age of 13. West touches on his issues with mental health in the song, which he had previously referenced on the albums The Life of Pablo and Ye, though more so on the latter. At 5 minutes and 24 seconds long, the song stands as the longest on Kids See Ghosts. "Reborn" and "Cudi Montage" are the only tracks on the album to not include production from West.
The song's lyrics deal with personal themes of both West and Kid Cudi, including the ones they have overcome and the message of rebirth is repeated throughout. West discusses his bipolar disorder and the controversies surrounding that, while Cudi touches on his issues with depression and reaches his emotional summit.
- I'm so, I'm so reborn
- I'm moving' forward
- Keep moving' forward
- Keep moving' forward
Release and promotion
"Reborn" was released on June 8, 2018 as the fifth track on Kids See Ghosts. On the day of the album's release, multiple tracks were mislabeled on streaming services, including "Reborn", which was mislabeled as the first track on the album, "Feel the Love".
At the 2018 Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, the song was performed live by Kids See Ghosts for the first time. During the performance, West forgot several lyrics from his verse. West lead a choir in performing a rendition of the song at the first "Sunday Service" of his in January 2019. Kid Cudi was an attendee of the performance and it was the second track to be performed, beginning at one minute and 35 seconds into the "Sunday Service". Accompanied by an entourage of instrumentalists and back up singers, Canadian-Australian musician Nicole Millar covered the song on April 12, 2019 for triple j's weekly segment Like a Version. An alternative build and drop were included in the cover. Kids See Ghosts performed the song live at the 2019 Coachella Music Festival, though West was brought out by Kid Cudi as a surprise.
The song has received widespread critical acclaim from music critics. Russell Dean Stone of Highsnobiety praised the track, calling it an "anthemic standout about healing and coming through dark times, the times where you’re entirely without hope that end with stepping into the light and taking a deep breath." Jayson Greene of Pitchfork, in a review for Kids See Ghosts, described "Reborn" as "the most unhurried and atmospheric music of [the album]", as well as calling West's verse one of his best in years. Writing for The Line of Best Fit, Eoin Donnelly considered it to be "clearly ordained as the emotional centrepiece of KSG," applauding the duo's display of vulnerability on the track.
HipHopDX's Narsimha Chintaluri dubbed the track "the album's moving centerpiece," opining that Cudi's performance "makes you feel as warm and vulnerable and seen as the best of his early work" and additionally noting the "exactness" West's verses, which he described as "his most militant and focused turnout in ages." Marty Sartini Garner of The A.V. Club described Cudi's voice on the song as "soft but assured," also writing that West is "more direct than he has been since The Life Of Pablo's "Real Friends."" One less positive response came from Rolling Stone, with writer Christopher R. Weingarten deeming it overly repetitive, drawing comparisons to "that Post Malone YouTube that was just the chorus of "Rockstar" looped over and over again."
Complex listed "Reborn" as the 40th best song of 2018. It was ranked by Joe as the second best song of the year. The staff of Vice placed the song at number 20 on their list of the 100 best songs of 2018. The listeners of Australian radio station Triple J voted the song as the 196th most popular of 2018. Eric Renner Brown of Billboard ranked the song as the fourth best from the five albums produced by West in 2018.[c] Cam Wolf of GQ pointed out the song as the best on the album and claimed that the chorus is what "really pulls the track together and makes it KIDS SEE GHOSTS' best". "Reborn" has been described by Andreas Hale of Billboard as the "spiritual successor" to Kid Cudi's 2010 song "Pursuit of Happiness" and he called it the album's best song. Hale writes "between the captivating Cudi hook, [West's] strong lyrical offering and the magnetic production, this feels like a moment where Cudi found the magic that made 'Pursuit of Happiness' such a massive hit." Hale further wrote that the song "pulls the listener in" with its "undeniable vibe" and will "certainly connect with listeners" with every listen.
"Reborn" managed to chart in a total of ten countries worldwide. It charted at number 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100 upon the release of Kids See Ghosts, making it the only song from the album to reach the top 40 of the Hot 100. The song also became the highest charting track from the album in Ireland by reaching number 48 on the Irish Singles Chart. It charted at exactly the same position on the UK Singles Chart. The song was the highest charting track from Kids See Ghosts in France, reaching number 165 in the country.
- Kanye West – performer, lyricist, composer
- Kid Cudi – performer, lyricist, producer, composer
- Oladipo Omishore – lyricist, composer
- Evan Mast – lyricist, composer, co-producer
- Benny Blanco – producer
- Dot da Genius – producer
- Plain Pat – co-producer
- Thomas Cullison – engineer
- Mike Malchicoff – engineer
- Andrew Dawson – engineer, mixer
- William J. Sullivan – engineer
- Noah Goldstein – engineer
- Zack Djurich – engineer
- Mike Dean – mixer
- Jess Jackson – mixer
- Sean Solymar – assistant mixer
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
sales+streaming figures based on certification alone
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