“Homecoming” by Kanye West (ft. Chris Martin)
“Homecoming” serves as a profound ode to Kanye West’s home city of Chicago, Illinois. And the lyricist goes about doing so by personify the locality in the character of “Wendy” (i.e. ‘the Windy City’) whom he is in a romantic relationship with. And the way the storyline reads is that she was upset with him for leaving in pursuit of his dreams. But he is letting her know that she is always in his thoughts. Indeed he considers his success to be a tribute to his upbringing. And along those lines the track is particularly nostalgic in its presentation, with the first verse being centered on Yeezy’s perception of Chicago.
And basically, we can say he depicts it as a true, genuine ‘hood which inspired him to embark on his music career. But the second verse is more in the present, featuring the aforementioned narrative. And basically what West is saying is that no matter where his success will take him, he will always remember and appreciate Chicago. And this is the same idea which his co-star, Chris Martin, drives home.
The music video to this song was directed by none other than Hype Williams, who logically filmed in it Chicago. And it was nominated for an MTV VMA in 2008.
Facts about “Homecoming”
The writers and producers of this song are Kanye West and Warryn Campbell. And Coldplay’s Chris Martin is also credited as a co-writer.
This track is the first collaboration between Chris Martin – who is known primarily as the lead singer of the band Coldplay – and Yeezy. And it came about after a chance meeting between the two of them had at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios in 2006. And it should be noted that it is at that same studio where they also recorded the tune. At the time Kanye was interested in creating songs with more of a rock influence, which he felt were better suited for arena performances.
This track came out with the rest of Kanye West’s third album, Graduation, on 11 September 2007. Furthermore, Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Records later issued it as the fifth single from that project. And this song originated from a demo Kanye recorded back in 2007 entitled “Home (Windy)”.
One of the primary differences between the aforementioned demo and the finished product was that the original featured a different chorus. Moreover it featured John Legend as opposed to Chris Martin.
Kanye’s label boss Jay-Z was inspired to drop his own collaboration with Chris Martin after hearing what he and Kanye put together. That track is entitled “Beach Chair” and actually came out in 2006, a good year prior to Graduation. When Jay-Z did this, it perturbed Kanye. And the reason we know so is because West alluded to as much on another track from Graduation entitled “Big Brother”.
In terms of the track’s success, “Homecoming” received a Teen Choice Awards nomination in 2008. And chart-wise it was recognized in almost 20 nations. This includes it making it onto the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. Moreover, the track has been certified platinum in the United States.
Does “Homecoming” contain samples?
This song interpolates a track Common dropped in 1994 entitled “I Used to Love H.E.R”. In fact the rapper, a Chi-town native who is a known associate of Kanye, also made an appearance on the “Homecoming” music video.
Another song which this classic utilizes is “Streets Is Talking”. The said song is a 2000 duet between Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel.