“All Day” by Kanye West (ft. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney)

Without a shred of doubt, “All Day” is a Kanye West braggadocios piece. The featured vocalists serve the roles of holding down the refrain (Allan Kingdom), bridge (Theophilus London) and outro (Paul McCartney). But as for the verses and chorus (as well as intro), we’re treated to more of a straight Yeezy fest.

So, let’s look at the chorus as a proper encapsulation of what this song is about. It is apparently centered on Kanye and his “n**gas”. And as presented, they spend “all day” chillin’, making moves and getting “high”. And West concludes the passage with a shoutout to the ‘hoods of Chicago, i.e. his home city.

Money! Money! And even more Money!

And on that note, there really isn’t much need to delve too deeply into the verses since they’re based on the same type of, shall we say self-exaltation. However, as always, Yeezy makes some interesting comments. 

For instance, as far as he’s concerned, a person isn’t really “getting money” unless they’re making at least “eight figures”, which by the way would be in excess of $10,000,000. He also namedrops Minister Louis Farrakhan, referring to him as a “sensei”, i.e. a wise teacher. 

The vocalist also notes that he has been an adherent of Farrakhan’s teachings since his days in high school. Additionally, West gives a shoutout to quite a few celebrities along the way – NBAer Dikembe Mutombo, actor Denzel Washington, songstress Sade and one-hit wonder Rico Suave (aka Gerardo). And again, all of such references point back, in various ways, to Kanye’s high standing.

Even More Success

The second verse is largely more of the same, with Yeezy getting a bit more detailed in terms of illustrating his success and popularity. For instance, as an average person is interested in Instagram, so is he vested in the Grammys. He also references the ridiculously-priced sneaker line he started. And overall there is this direct tone of him being superior to his colleagues, if you will.

Esoteric Musings

Meanwhile the refrain features some kind of esoteric musings which one would have to be versed in the philosophies of Kanye West to truly appreciate. 

Get Hype!

And the bridge actually presents this piece using terminology usually associated with dance songs. 

Such an assertion would be based more on the style of the audio than the lyrics. However, looking at Kanye perform “All Day” live, it doesn’t really come off as something you’d play in a club per se. So when Theophilus London instructs the listeners to put their “hands up”, it’s more like an encouragement to get hype in general.

Conclusion of “All Day”

This outing ultimately concludes with Macca putting forth that he is ‘running’. As the passage reads, he is doing so for two purposes. One is to see which of his rivals actually has the wherewithal to keep up. 

And second would be to evade his persecutors. But these expressions are presented using some ambiguous lingo. So at the end of the day, this being a Kanye West song and all, what exactly is being submitted is open to interpretation.

But “All Day” featuring a cryptic passage here and there, the primary message of the song is quite clear. Kanye is an alpha dog in the game. And indeed when it comes to rappers boasting about their wealth, in the real world very few, if any, are able to match his earnings.

Lyrics to "All Day"

“All Day” Facts

Primary Artist(s): Kanye West
Featured Artist(s): Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney

Was “All Day” a single release?

Yes. It was a single released through GOOD Music and Def Jam Records on March 3 of 2015.

Writing: 

The song was written by a team of nineteen people including West. The remaining eighteen authors include:

  • Paul McCartney
  • Tyler Bryant
  • Kendrick Duckworth
  • Ernest Brown
  • Cydel Young
  • Victor Mensah
  • Mike Dean
  • Che Pope
  • Allen Ritter
  • Mario Winans
  • Patrick Reynolds
  • Malik Jones
Paul McCartney discusses "All Day"

Production: 

It was produced by: West, French Montana, Puff Daddy, Velous, Charlie and Heat.

Genre(s):

  • Industrial hip
  • Hop drill

Awards/Honors:

At the 2016 Annual Grammy Awards, the song was nominated for “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Performance” awards. It lost both awards to “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar.          

Other nominees for the “Best Rap Song” were:

It competed with the following for the “Best Rap Performance”:

  • J. Cole’s “Apparently”
  • Drake’s “Back to Back”
  • Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”
  • Nicki Minaj ft. Drake & Lil Wayne’s “Truffle Butter”

Other Accolades:

“All Day” was ranked the tenth best hip hop song for the year 2015 by Magnetic Magazine. It was also given the position of the fifth best hip hop track for the year 2015 according to rankings by Billboard. Pigeons & Planes ranked it number 56 on its list of best tracks of the year.

Chart Performance:

  • US – 15
  • UK – 3
  • Belgium – 9

Sampling:

  • Vic Mensa and Kanye West – “U Mad” (2015)
  • PARTYNEXTDOOR – “Just a Rider” (2015)
  • Kanye West – “Southside Serenade” (2018)
  • Drake ft. Jay-Z and Kanye West – “Pop Style” (2016)
All Day

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