Wow. Where to begin. I guess I can go through and analyze every single bit of this song, starting with the “weeping and the warbling and the gnashing of teeth.” Or I can look into how Big Sean and Pusha T but in their best verses ever for this track. Or shoot, I can look at the best part of the song, when 2 Chaniz yells his call and throws down probably the most memorable verse of the year. I can talk at length about all those things and the pure musicianship that went into making a track like this, but I won’t. I won’t sit down and over analyze a song that probably everyone in America with any remote access to a radio has heard countless times. What I want to do with this review is to show what personally this song has done for me, for Kanye West and most importantly, society.
I guess I can start with myself. My background with this song starts around the beginning of this summer when the track dropped. I had just graduated so I was still feeling too high and mighty to go and check the new Kanye track, instead deciding to wait for it to come to me. And boy, did it arrive in fashion. I remember hearing it in the car one time and having the entire group of people I was with shout me down for not knowing the new Kanye West single word for word. Ashamed and defeated, I scurried home and listened to it. And listened to it. Every time after, when I would hear the song on the radio I made sure to get as hyped as I could in order to re dedicate my love to Kanye West. Slowly, throughout the summer, as the song gained popularity, I fell deeper in love with it as more and more people joined me in my lust to have the song played at any social gathering or concert. One vivid memory I have is hearing the song played on the 4th of July. One of the worst nights of the summer for me, yet when Bootymonser played that song, never have I felt so alive. I cooked, I sang, I danced and jumped about, breathing in the hype that surrounded me. Because there is nothing like hearing a whole crowd crowing the lyrics to your favorite song. After that night, I knew “Mercy” was my song of the year, and possibly the decade. There, I said it. “Mercy” just means that much to me, and as I will show, to the entire world.
Kanye West has grown and changed a lot since College Dropout was released. He had his beginning, soulful phase when he was still young and in love and had a mother. Then he grew in popularity, became a star and continued to release quality music, a rare feat for one who became so famous so quickly. But then his mom died and his fiancé left him, creating a black hole of sorrow in one of our generations brightest stars.So 808’s and Heartbreaks was released and West successfully liberated himself of his depression and allowed himself to create the album of the millennium: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. That’s when the questions began emerging. Where could he possibly go from there? Watch the Throne was good. In fact, it was more than good; I would say it was a quality album. No MBDTF of course, but a step in the right direction. “Mercy” was that next step though, and a step that I did not see coming. Never did I see West think about joining in the trap crazed hip-hop society and release anything remotely similar to that. But in staying with his motto of always being the best, “Mercy” is the best trap rap song that I can think of and I knew deep down, only Kanye would be able to make me say that. He proved he still could grow more, and get better. He proved with “Mercy” that really, no matter when he goes in the music world, I would stand behind him because he really can do no wrong.
And that leaves me with the effect of this song on society. People always need an anthem for parts in their lives. High schools have graduation songs, sports players have theme songs and of course we as a country have the most important anthem of them all: our national anthem. Well, “Mercy” was this summer’s anthem for probably about everyone in America. Whether you absolutely hate the song, or love it as much as I did, there is no denying that “Mercy” was around and around a lot. In gyms, on the radio, at parties, there really was no end to the different social settings that “Mercy” was played in this summer. I think that reason enough makes it the song of the year. But, of course there were other songs that had this much play time (see “Call Me Maybe”) and the reason “Mercy” is better comes down to simple math. A. Kanye West is better than Carly Rae Jenson. B. “Mercy” is more of a complicated song, with better production and skill being taken into account for. And finally, C. no one ever, ever made fun of “Mercy “ to the extent Jensen suffered for her song. So with those three things added to the fact that “Mercy” is catchy, fun, crazy and above all, hyped, there is absolutely no denying how important “Mercy” was for everyone and no denying that it is 2012’s song of the year.