“Brothers” by Kanye West (ft. Charlie Wilson)
The theme of Kanye West’s “Brothers” is the resiliency of brotherhood. More specifically, it features the West addressing an estranged “brother”. And what he is basically doing is admitting that he has made mistakes in their relationship and that he also ‘misses’ this person. So, in adhering to the teachings of Jesus and other prophets, Yeezus wants to squash beef between the two of them and in the process reestablish that they are truly “brothers forever”.
And in the chorus, classic soul singer Charlie Wilson enlightens the listener to what this term means, which is Kanye and the person he is addressing always maintaining a tight relationship.
Is “Brothers” about Jay-Z?
Fandom is theorizing that Kanye is perhaps directing this song at people he knows in real life. One of them would be his mentor, Jay-Z. And in that regard the reader should note that West dedicated a track to Jay-Z in 2006 entitled “Big Brother”, which was also very personal. That particular song focused on issues in their relationship, and it has been known that since then, things have only gotten worse. So it is very plausible that the titular “Brothers” is actually a reference to Kanye and Jay-Z.
Or could it be about Virgil Abloh?
Another person whose name has come up is Virgil Abloh, an Artistic Director for fashion company Louis Vuitton, whom Yeezy appeared to recently have a tiff with. They eventually squashed their beef in Paris, and “Brothers” seems to reference that particular incident directly.
However, this song being based on actual events in Kanye’s life doesn’t minimize the general applicability of its overall message. And what’s this message? The song espouses the need for “brothers” to stay close even when discontent materializes in their relationships.
Release of “Brothers”
BET previewed “Brothers” on 13 June 2019, when it aired the trailer for the second season of its drama show “Tales”.
About a month prior to that (5 June), Irv Gotti, who is not only one of the producers of “Brothers” but also the Executive Producer of “Tales”, teased the track. He did so during his appearance on the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club”.
Charlie Wilson and Kanye West are longtime collaborators
Songwriting and Production
Irv Gotti had help producing “Brothers” in the form of his “production partner”, 7 Aurelius. Gotti also wrote the song along with Kanye, Wilson and Seven.
“Brothers” was written for the intended purpose of being used on “Tales”.