On Friday (Apr. 6) — the actual Good Friday holiday — Kanye West revived his GOOD Friday release series, which features a new single posted online every Friday as a free giveaway to the rapper’s rabid fans, with “Mercy,” a new track featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Pusha T. The series originally began in 2010 while West was gearing up for his fifth full-length, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”: by releasing a few tracks from the album as freebies and putting out some leftover cuts for the fans, West turned an uncomplicated weekly release program into the coolest new way to issue new music.
Now that “Mercy,” which previews West’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation, has hit the Web, take a listen to Kanye West’s five best GOOD Friday releases so far, from classic “Fantasy” cuts to awesome one-off singles.
5. “Christmas in Harlem”
Featuring: Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Vado, CyHi da Prynce, Pusha T, Musiq Soulchild, Teyana Taylor, Big Sean
Released: Friday, Dec. 17, 2010
For the first GOOD Friday song after the release of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Yeezy issued a holiday-themed banger, complete with a lovely choral hook and nearly impossible number of featured performers. Big Sean, who brags that he’s “rocking dashiki’s with a yamulkah,”is on fire here.
4. “The Joy”
Featuring: Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Kid Cudi
Released: Friday, Oct. 29, 2010
This soulful jam eventually made it onto the deluxe edition of “Watch The Throne,” and for good reason — its aching sample matches Yeezy’s self-loathing rhymes and Jay’s disaffected coolness.
3. “So Appalled”
Featuring: Jay-Z, Pusha T, RZA, Swizz Beatz, CyHi da Prynce
Released: Sept. 24, 2010
There’s nothing too fancy about “So Appalled” — the track, which made it onto “MBDTF,” simply showcases four MCs (Kanye, Jay, Pusha and CyHi) absolutely murdering their verses and moving over the sweeping production as one cohesive unit. Who has the best verse? A case can be made for all four rappers.
2. “Good Friday”
Featuring: Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson
Released: Sept. 10, 2010
The spright, carefree vibe of “Good Friday” never fit in thematically with the dark, dramatic cuts of Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which is presumably why it didn’t make the finished album. Still, it’s a shame, because “Good Friday” is positively vibrant. From Pusha’ assured boasting to Kid Cudi’s selfless hook-assisting to the singsong chorus, “Good Friday” holds up with the best posse cuts of this fresh decade.
Featuring: Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver
Released: Aug. 27, 2010
GOOD Fridays may have officially launched with the “Power” remix a week earlier, but the series went from “This is cool” to “Oh wow, I have to hear this new Kanye song every single week” when “Monster” was released. The “MBDTF” highlight possesses a stunning amount of control over its many disparate pieces: Bon Iver’s monster-movie intro leads to a quick Rick Ross verse, and later, Nicki Minaj goes H.A.M. in her best bars to date. Here’s hoping that, if G.O.O.D. Fridays continue past “Mercy,” Yeezy produces another “Monster.”