“Off the Grid” by Kanye West (ft. Playboi Carti & Fivio Foreign)
The title of this song (“Off the Grid”) is a term which, as most generally understood, points to a person who opts to lives outside of the system, i.e. with no discernible internet presence, unreliant on public utilities and what have you.
And that also appears to be the concept which, ideologically speaking, Kanye is referring to in the chorus. So if understood in such a manner, then it would appear that one of his goals in life is to become increasingly independent, not for his sake but also that of his children, his children’s children and so on.
So reading in between the lines, we can see that West definitely isn’t pro-establishment, if you will.
Playboi Carti Steps In
But that said, Playboi Carti utilizes the titular term in a different manner. For him apparently, it rather points more to the notion of committing a major crime, i.e. a “homicide” and not getting caught due to being “off the grid”, as in being so disconnected from the system that the police simply find him.
And whereas Kanye’s verse that proceeds Playboi’s is sprinkled with religious references, celebrating God as someone who ‘brought West out of the trench’, such is not the case in Carti’s verse. Rather, as implied above, he seems to focus more on the traditional rap standards of street violence and to a lesser degree wealth accumulation.
Fivio Foreign Takes Over
Meanwhile, Fivio Foreign’s verse is sort of a mix of the two. He definitely comes off as your quintessential hip-hop gangsta, i.e. someone who is about his bread and is not to be trifled with.
But at the same time, he also proves humble enough to acknowledge a Higher Power. That is to say that similar to Yeezus, Fivio attributes his overall success to divine intervention.
Kanye West Sheds Some Light on “Off the Grid”
Then Kanye’s lengthy second verse, which serves as the fourth verse overall, gives us a better understanding of what he means by “off the grid”. By the looks of things, he doesn’t intend to literally relocate to the outback.
Instead what that phrase is premised on is a desire to get away from less-than-ideal associations which, by implication of his massive celebrity, there are plenty of in Kanye’s life.
But the second half of the verse transforms “Off the Grid” back into more of a praise song. Indeed at this point, many critics are still skeptical of Kanye’s decision a couple of years ago to begin deviating from pop music and leaning more towards what we would usually call gospel.
But even if someone doubts his genuineness, no one can deny that West has been consistent in that regard. This is despite himself being associated with a genre of music that normally does not espouse traditional religious ideas.
Outro and Conclusion of “Off the Grid”
All of that said, it is actually the outro that proves to be the most-difficult part of the song to understand. As such we will refrain from delving too deep into it for now. However, what is interesting to note is that Yeezus closes it all out with a Bible/race-related joke, a fact which itself illustrates just how out of place this segment is compared to the rest of this song.
So it’s like Yeezus has found religion alright, but he still possesses his Kanyeisms, if you will.
So conclusively, perhaps the best way to describe “Off the Grid” is a gospel-gangsta rap, if such is an actual genre. However with Kanye being the main vocalist, all lyrics considered the gospel aspect takes precedence over the gangsta.
Facts of “Off the Grid”
Primary Artist(s): Kanye West
Featured Artist(s): Fivio Foreign and Playboi Carti
Release: August 29 of 2021
Writing and Production
“Off the Grid” was written by Kanye West with assistance from a ton of other writer, including the following:
- Samuel Gloade
- M. Williams
- Maxie Ryles III
- Aswad Asif
- David Ruoff
- Jordan Carter
- Elias Klughammer
- Eric Sloan Jr.
The song was produced by Kanye West alongside the following:
- DAVID x ELI
- 30 Roc
The “Donda” Album
Donda is the tenth studio album of American Billionaire and multi-award-winning rapper, Kanye West. The album’s title, Donda, is the rapper’s way of honoring his late mother, Donda West, through his music.
Very typical of Kanye West, the album was released with huge drama and timeline changes. Donda was officially set to be released on July 24, 2020, but it was released a month later. Before the album’s release, Kanye temporarily moved from his home and camped at a set-up studio in the locker room of the Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta.
During his camping, he recorded vocals and beats for the album with many other artists. In addition, Kanye organized two listening events at the Mercedes Benz Stadium that saw thousands of fans present. He also organized a third listening event at the Soccer Field, Chicago. However, Donda was not released after any of these events.
Universal records finally released Donda on August 29, 2021. Kanye has claimed that Universal records did not rightly ask for his approval before releasing it. Donda became the second-highest streamed debut album in Spotify’s history on its release after it reached 94 million streams. It is a 27-track album with top musicians, including Jay-Z, Chris Brown, and Travis Scott.