If there was one positive to take away from Kanye West and Drake’s latest feud, it would have to be the André 3000 and Ye collaboration “Life Of The Party.” The OVO boss leaked the track on Saturday (September 4) as he was playing guest DJ on SiriusXM’s Sound 42 radio show, prompting the typically elusive André 3000 to address the situation on social media.
As the song made the rounds, fans and peers alike couldn’t help but react to the soulful verses from the Outkast luminary, who poured his heart out about the 2013 loss of his mother. First there was veteran producer 9th Wonder who couldn’t believe “Life Of The Party” was left off the final Donda tracklist. On September 5, he went full rap nerd on Twitter, dissecting Three Stacks’ words like a science project.
“Listen, this is a ‘I’ve seen and lived a lot of life’ verse,” he wrote in part. “You have to experience life to pen a verse like this…And you hear it, for those who pay attention to the culture, from YG to K. Dot, from Rapsody to KashDoll, from XXX to Murs...you can hear life in rhyme.”
He added, “The fact that he asked ‘Miss onda’ to speak to his mother AND father for him…whew. MOST people would just pen a letter to their fallen loved one….but not this guy….THIS guy decides to ask Miss Donda (as we do in our culture…it’s Miss…then the first name)….to talk to his ancestors for him.”
9th Wonder could barely contain himself as he continued to heap praise on André 3000 for doing what André 3000 does — provide otherworldly, almost ethereal musings on his life experiences with the precision of a sniper.
“His voice sounded like he was standing on the front porch as a kid asking her could Ye come outside to play…that kinda voice,” he continued. “BUT THEN…it’s the damn RHYME SCHEME. To let the horn stab in the beat breathe while he turned the page on the story…is DIFFERENT. It was like the “ding” we heard as kids that told us to turn the page on children’s books.”
Of course, 9th Wonder wasn’t alone in his sentiments. On Wednesday (September 8), Tyler, The Creator tweeted about the track as well, noting he’d heard it months ago.
“man i heard life of the party a few months back and lost my mind,” he said. “song is beautiful man i want to eat it. very anita baker styled progression. original verse was so warm and true. pretty.”
André 3000 explained why the song didn’t make the final cut shortly after the leak arrived, writing, “A few weeks ago Kanye reached out about me being a part of the Donda album. I was inspired by his idea to make a musical tribute to his mom. It felt appropriate to me to support the Donda concept by referencing my own mother, who passed away in 2013. We both share that loss.
“I thought it was a beautiful choice to make a clean album but, unfortunately, I didn’t know that was the plan before I wrote and recorded my verse. It was clear to me that an edited ‘clean’ format of the verse would not work without having the raw, original also available. So, sadly, I had to be omitted from the original album release. The track I received and wrote to didn’t have the diss verse on it and we were hoping to make a more focused offering for the Donda album but I guess things happen like they are supposed to.”
André 3000 also noted he was disappointed the song was unearthed as Drake and Kanye were engaged in a contentious e-battle.
“It’s unfortunate that it was released in this way this way and two artists that I love are going back and forth,” he continued. “I wanted to be on Certified Lover Boy too. I just want to work people that inspire me. Hopefully I can work with Kendrick on his album. I’d love to work with Lil Baby, Tyler and Jay-Z. I respect them all.”
Tyler, The Creator and 9th Wonder are just a sliver of those relishing in André 3000’s verse. Fellow Outkast legend Big Boi, T.I. and Goodie Mob’s Big Gipp were among the many others who thoroughly loved Dre’s contribution. Find it here.