Whenever a big album is released I spend hours getting into the nitty gritty of the album. Going through the credits, scouring the internet for information on producers, songwriters, session players and engineers is a great way to really get to know an album. These features have become a habit, I’ve penned them for To Pimp A Butterfly, Surf, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and Compton, so when Kanye's The Life Of Pablo dropped, I immediately began digging. I was looking forward to this one, but I had no idea the level of work I had signed myself up for.
Other sites have tried it, others have simply posted the credits, but I went through and provided information on every single contributor. Every...fucking...one. It’s not perfect, experience tells me we'll still be making corrections and additions for some time to come, but I feel confident in saying that it’s far and away more detailed than anything else out on the internet. Complex took their shot at unseating us from the liner notes throne, but if you come at the king you best not miss.
So without further adieu, here is a complete liner note breakdown of Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo. Sometimes you have to see it all laid out and broken down to really get a sense of how much goes into making an album. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself...
André 3000, Background Vocals on “30 Hours.”
“30 Hours” is my favorite track off the album, but I was hoping for more from 3 Stacks. I thought we were going to get an actual verse and not some hook that makes him sound like Zordon from Power Rangers.
Luis Enriquez Bacalov, Sergio Bardotti, Giampiero Scalamogna & Enzo Veti, Songwriting Credit on “Famous”
Bacalov and company co-wrote “Mi Sono Svegliato E... Ho Chiuso Gli Occhi,” which loosely translates to “What the hell did Kanye just tweet?” and was sampled on “Famous.” Fun fact, this isn’t the first time it's been sampled; DJ Shadow did it back in 1996.
T.L Barrett, Songwriting Credit on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”
Kanye called TLOP a gospel album and the inclusion of Barrett, a Chicago preacher, definitely supports that claim. The bleached asshole line on the other hand, not so much.
Ronald Bean (Mathematics), Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
Mathematics is a producer and DJ who rolls with the Killa Beez. He produced Ghostface's excellent “Mighty Healthy,” which is sampled on “No More Parties In LA.” Fun fact, “Mighty Healthy” was also sampled on Kanye's “New God Flow." Ye loves him that song.
Swizz Beatz, Production Credit on “Ultralight Beam,” Additional Vocals on “Famous”
How do you know Swizz is on a song? Don’t worry, he’ll yell at you loud enough to make sure you know. I’m quite curious about his actual input on “Ultralight Beam” because it’s a very non-Swizzy type beat. Maybe those drums in the middle?
Chancelor Bennett (Chance The Rapper), Songwriting Credits on “Ultralight Beam,” "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1," "Famous,” "Feedback" & "Waves." Production Credit on “Ultralight Beam.” Additional Vocal Credit on “Ultralight Beam.”
I’ll keep this short because Yoh already wrote all that needs to be written, but as a Chicago kid, this must be amazing for Chance. He kills it too. Love seeing him win and win and win and win some more.
Fonzworth Bentley (Derek Watkins), Songwriting Credits on “Ultralight Beam” & “Famous,” Production Credit on “Ultralight Beam”
After all but disappearing from music for years, Fonzworth gets a look from Kanye on “Ultralight Beam” and “Famous.” I don't mean this disrespectfully, but what does he do? How did he get to be on Kanye’s album? Why him and not the thousand million actual producers Kanye could have worked with?
Ross Birchard (Hudson Mohawke), Songwriting Credit on “Freestyle 4,” “Waves,” & “FML,” Production Credit on “Freestyle 4,” “Waves,” & “FML”
Hudson Mohawke is a Scottish electronic producer who is no stanger to working with Kanye and GOOD Music, previously producing records with Ye ("God Level," "Mercy," "Blood on the Leaves") and Pusha T ("Amen"). Also, the below tweet pisses me off. Actually, I need to know all these stories, Hudson. Tell them.
Metro Boomin (Leland Wayne), Songwriting Credit on "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)." Production Credits on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” “Pt.2,” “FML” & “Facts”
The DJBooth-dubbed “Best Producer of 2015” continues to pad his impressive resume with four credits on TLOP. I might be projecting, but I’d like to think this is some of his best work. “Father Stretch My Hands” and “FML” don’t sound like what we'd all assume a Metro Boomin’ beat sounds like. Also worth noting, he has a writing credit on “Facts.”
Fred Brathwaite (Fab Five Freddy) & The Fantastic Freaks, Songwriting Credit on “Waves”
Google informed me Fred Brathwaite is a Canadian hockey goalie, but the Fred Brathwaite in these credits is Fab Five Freddy; he’s a hip-hop legend. Rapper, filmmaker, the first host of Yo! MTV Raps and a part of the Fantastic Freaks, whose “Fantastic Freaks At The Dixie” is sampled on “Waves.” The other Fantasic Freaks - Robin Diggs, Kevin Ferguson, Theodore Livingston, Darryl Mason, and James Whipper - are also credited.
Christopher Breaux (Frank Ocean), Songwriting Credit on “Wolves”
Chris Breaux is better known as Frank Ocean. Which brings me to my next point, WHERE IS THE ALBUM FRANK?!?! People don’t forget.
Alan Brinsmead (Sinjin Hawke), Songwriting & Production Credit on “Wolves”
Brinsmead is a Canadian DJ better known as Sinjin Hawke. This is not the first time his name has appeared in the credits of a rap record. He produced Gangsta Boo’s “Yeah Hoe” and also did a song with Just Blaze. In a tweet (below) he included a special shout out to Frank Ocean and Cashmere Cat (co-producer of “Wolves”). I wonder if Frank Ocean was his in?
Charles Brown, Songwriting Credit on “30 Hours”
This one makes the D.C. native in me so so happy. Charles Brown is known around these parts as Chuck Brown. He's a legendary go-go guitarist and singer. He received a credit here because he has a writing credit on Nelly's "Hot in Herre," which was interpolated on "30 Hours." Not a direct link to TLOP but any Chuck Brown is better than no Chuck Brown.
Chris Brown, Songwriting Credit on “Waves”
Chris Brown is Chris Brown. You don't need me to tell you about Chris Brown. He was kind of an unexpected feature, but he fit in well.
Ronald Carroll, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Ronald Carroll co-wrote Barbara Tucker’s “I Get Lifted,” which is sampled on “Fade.” Get ready for a few more of these...
Lawrence & Vincent Cassidy, Paul Wiggin, Songwriting Credit on “FML”
Lawrence “Larry” Cassidy is the singer and bassist of the British post-punk band, Section 25. The sample of “Hit” rounds out “FML,” one of the more interesting, abstract parts of the album. The brother of Lawrence Cassidy, Vincent, was Section 25’s drummer and Wiggin was the third band member.
Dennis Coles (Ghostface Killah), Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
Dennis Coles, AKA Ghostface Killah, AKA Tony Starks, AKA Pretty Tony, is credited because “Mighty Healthy” is sampled on “No More Parties In LA.” It’s not as amazing as if he would have actually been on the album but any Ghostface is better than no Ghostface.
Highleigh Crizoe, Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
Another credit thanks to Ghostface’s “Mighty Healthy” sample. It's crazy (in a great way) how all these songwriters get an official credit for a sample. I wonder what kind of payment he receives for it?
Andrew Dawson, Engineer
For as much as he's done in his career and for as much as he has done for Kanye, Dawson should be applauded. He co-engineered every single track on The Life Of Pablo, and has also worked on every single Kanye album ever. That’s pretty incredible.
Mike Dean, Songwriting Credits on “Ultralight Beam,” “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” “Famous,” “Feedback,” “Highlights,” “Freestyle 4,” “FML,” “Real Friends,” “Wolves” & "Fade," and Production Credits on "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1," "Pt. 2," "Feedback," "Highlights," "Freestyle 4," "Wolves," "30 Hours," "Fade"
Mike Dean is one of Kanye’s most trusted collaborators. Next to Kanye, he has the most appearances in the liner notes with 17 combined credits. He’s also quick to strike up the Periscope and give you a behind the scenes look at the music if you really want to stan out. Mainly it’s just him smoking weed though.
El DeBarge, Additional Vocal Credit on "Highlights"
El Debarge appeared with Kanye on SNL last week and it looks like he made it onto the album as well. Debarge was part of the family group DeBarge in the '80s and had a successful solo career too; recognize this one?
Kendrick Duckworth (Kendrick Lamar), Songwriting Credit “No More Parties In LA.”
Remember when this song originally wasn’t on the album? That was dumb. Glad it made it. Good to see Kendrick continue to win. Apparently it won't be the last we hear from these two.
Jason Epperson, Songwriting Credit on “30 Hours”
Jason Epperson is credited because he produced Nelly’s “E.I.,” which is (lyrically) sampled on one of my favorite lines in the song.
Adam Feeney (Frank Dukes), Songwriting & Production credits on “Real Friends”
Adam Feeny is the government name of one Frank Dukes, who is quickly becoming a favorite of your favorite artists. In addition to his work on “Real Friends,” Dukes has produced for Rihanna, Ghostface, Drake, Future, Selena Gomez, and Mac Miller. Holy shit, he’s killin’ it. Man, if only someone would interview him…
Kirk Franklin, Additional Vocal Credit on “Ultralight Beam”
“Ultralight Beam” has been described as a Gospel song and Kirk Franklin, a famous gospel singer and author, certainly helps give it the spiritual sound. Oh by the way, we interviewed him about his work at the GRAMMYS (no big deal), which is a must read if you love this song, and how could you not? Well, some Christians are mad at Franklin for doing a song with Kanye even though a song like this will definitely open people up to gospel.
Alison Goldfrapp & William Gregory, Songwriting Credits on “Freestyle 4”
Alison Goldfrapp is the lead singer of the aptly-titled electronic duo Goldfrapp. Their effort, “Human,” is sampled here. Props to whichever producer brought in that flip, very cool source. The other half of Goldfrapp, William Gregory, is also credited.
Noah Goldstein, Songwriting Credit on “Wolves,” Production Credits on “Ultralight Beam,” “Famous,” “Freestyle 4” & “FML”
According to his Twitter bio, Noah Goldstein is a “G.O.O.D. Music Producer, Mixer, Engineer.” Would make sense considering he either mixed or engineered every single song on the album; he even has a few additional production credits here and there. Along with Dean and Dawson, Goldstein is one of the major players on this album.
Aubrey Graham (Drake), Songwriting Credit on "30 Hours” & "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"
Woah. Drake?!?! How did I miss this?! Does everyone know Drake has credits on “30 Hours” and “Facts”?! “Facts” reworks Drake and Future's “Jumpman” record, so that credit make sense. A lot of people will probably hate on this, because Drake, but it’s pretty cool; Kendrick, Ye and Drake, the three biggest rappers in the game, on the same album is a pretty big feat.
UPDATE: Kanye confirmed that Drake also worked on "Father Stretch My Hands" although not enough to earn an official credit.
Larry & Tina Graham, Sam Dees, Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
Cornelius Grant, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Another one with levels. Cornelius Grant co-wrote The Temptations’ “(I Know) I'm Losing You,” which was covered by Rare Earth. The epic cover was sampled in “Fade.” Also, it looks like “Fade” features a sample of another cover of “(I Know) I'm Losing You” by Undisputed Truth. Two covers of the same song sampled in one song? Sample inception! How many songs have done that?
Natalie & Samoria Green, Additional Vocal Credit on “Ultralight Beam”
Natalie Green is a four-year-old girl. What is she doing on Kanye’s album? She’s the one at the very beginning. The “We don’t want no devils!” girl. The clip comes from her Instagram. A four year-old-girl from Instagram kicks off Kanye’s album. Amazing. Samoria is also credited alongside Natalie so I’m guessing she’s the other voice in the video.
Tyrone Griffin, Jr., Songwriting Credit on “Real Friends” & “Fade”
You probably know him better as Ty Dolla $ign. I’ve never been a huge fan of his work, but his contributions on “Real Friends” is impressive. This effort really grew on me.
Havoc (Kejuan Muchita), Songwriting Credit on “Real Friends,” Production Credits on “Famous” & “Real Friends”
Havoc is most famous for being ½ of Mobb Deep; pretty cool he’s all over TLOP. Here’s a link to “Shook Ones” because it's never a bad idea to listen to “Shook Ones” - unless maybe you're meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time.
Cornell Haynes (Nelly), Songwriting Credit on “30 Hours”
Drake, Kanye, Kendrick and now Nelly?! How many legends can fit on one album?! Jokes aside, Nelly is here for the same reason as Epperson. That one line gets him a credit on Pablo. What a world.
Larry Heard, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Heard was a member of Fingers, Inc., a Chicago House group. Their song “Mystery Of Love” is the foundation of “Fade.” Here’s an interview where they talk about the creation of that song. It’s interesting to hear the story behind a song that would eventually make it on to Pablo. Who would have ever thought a DJ being sick would lead to Post Malone? Music is cool.
Charlie Heat, Production Credits on “Famous,” “Feedback,” “Waves, & "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"
Charlie Heat is a GOOD producer who has produced for the likes of Vic Mensa, Madonna, Travi$ Scott and Allan Kingdom. This standout effort on Pablo is a reworked version of “Facts.” Kanye put his remix on the album; that’s a huge look!
Magnus August Høiberg (Cashmere Cat), Songwriting & Production Credits on “Wolves.”
I don’t know why you would go with Cashmere Cat when your legal name is Magnus August, but I guess it’s working for him. The Norwegian DJ is mainly in the electronic circuit, but has also produced for Ludacris, Kid Ink, G-Eazy and Ariana Grande. Kanye really pulled from the electronic world for parts of this album. Say what you want about the man, but he knows how to obtain a certain sound.
Eddie Holland,Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Like Cornelius Grant, Holland co-wrote “(I Know) I'm Losing You” which, as we’ve already covered, was covered by Rare Earth and Undisputed Truth and both were sampled on “Fade.” Follow all that?
Jalil Hutchins, Songwriting Credit on “Real Friends”
Jalil Hutchins was a member of the legendary group Whodini. Fun facts (no Charlie Heat), Whodini had the first platinum album in hip-hop history and have been sampled by everyone from Tupac to Lauryn Hill. Here, their classic “Friends” is sampled on “Real Friends.”
Otis Jackson Jr. (Madlib),Songwriting & Production Credits on “No More Parties In LA.”
Again, it’s good to see this song make the final cut. A track with Kendrick and Kanye produced by Madlib is too dope not to be on an album. For those who love the old Kanye, this is as close as you're going to get on Pablo. Let’s hope there’s more in the vault. Well there definitely is, whether or not we hear it is the real question...
Darius Jenkins, Songwriting Credit on “Feedback”
Darius “3D” Jenkins is a producer associated with Cyhi The Prince.
Adnan Khan (Menace), Songwriting & Production Credits on “Pt. 2.”
Khan is better known as “Mance,” who produced Desiigner’s “Panda,” which was turned into “Father Stretch My Hands.”
Karim Kharbouch (French Montana), Songwriting Credit on “"Siiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission"
I’m guessing he was the bridge between Max B and Kanye, as French and Max have worked closely together for some time now. Makes sense they would both be on the interlude. Oh, he also engineered the interlude. What a bizarre way to end up on an album.
Anthony Kilhoffer, Production Credits on “Waves” & “Fade”
Kilhoffer is a GRAMMY-nominated producer and engineer with an impressive resume. He’s worked with Kanye before (Yeezus, WTT, and 808s) as well as T.I., The Roots, John Legend, and Rick Ross just to name a few. He also has a few engineering credits as well.
Darren King, Songwriting Credit on “Real Friends”
Darren King is the drummer for the band Mute Math, who do some pretty dope shit. I’m curious how he got connected with Kanye since he’s not really in the hip-hop world. I’d guess it’s due to his credit on Travi$ Scott’s “Piss On Your Grave,” but I’d still like to know the whole story.
Kirby Lauren, Songwriting Credit on “Wolves”
Kirby Lauren is a Roc Nation singer/songwriter who co-wrote “FourtoFiveSeconds” and “Only One.”
Robert Locke, Songwriting Credit on “Freestyle 4,” co-writer of Goldfrapp’s “Human”
This must be pretty crazy for Locke. I mean, you co-wrote a song way back in 2001, before Kanye was even a thing, and then 15 years later you are credited on his album.
Mike Malchicoff, Engineer Credit on “Ultralight Beam”
One of the only engineers on the album who isn’t named Dawson, Kilhoffer, Dean or Dawson.
Harold Matthews, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Matthews is the second co-writer for Tucker’s “I Get Lifted." How many more will there be?! Fun fact, he’s actually a house DJ from Chicago who is still active. Also, here’s an interview with him if you are at all curious about the life of a house DJ who co-wrote a song sampled on “Fade.”
Ryan McDermott, Songwriting Credit on “Wolves”
Ryan McDermott is a producer/singer signed to GOOD Music. I had never heard his name before so I checked out his music and he has some pretty dope stuff. Unfortunately, he hasn't released much recently, but maybe this is the sign of big things to come.
Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Songwriting Credit on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” & "Waves." Additional Vocal Credits on "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" & "Waves"
Cudi’s last album was a debacle, so it’s nice to see he didn’t get his space stank all over TLOP. In fact, his vocal contributions are pretty damn good. I’ll give credit where credit is due.
K. Rachel Mills, Songwriting Credits on “Feedback” & “FML”
How many songwriters get their first credit on an album of this magnitude? Not many, but K. Rachel Mills (don’t forget the K.) is one of them. In addition to being an EDM blogger, Epic Records A&R, and general behind-the-scenes mover and shaker, she was also the assistant to Cyhi. Looks like he was her “in.”
Mitus (Christian Keyon Jr. Boggs), Songwriting & Production Credit on “FML.”
Roc Nation producer Mitus has had a hell of a 2016. In addition to a credit on “FML,” he also produced Rihanna’s ANTI effort “Goodnight Gotham.” Though he isn’t credited, he also worked on “30 Hours” and even has his own version. Also, he had some interesting things to say about TIDAL. I don’t want to put him on blast, but it’s interesting to hear the perspective of a producer on the matter.
Walter Morrison, Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
Morrison’s 1976 tune “Suzie Thundertussy” (what a name!) is sampled on “No More Parties In LA.”
Terius Nash (The-Dream), Songwriting Credit on “Highlights.” Additional Vocal Credits on “Ultralight Beam” and "Highlights"
Terius Nash, better known as The-Dream, did his thing on the outro of “Highlights.” It gets stuck in my head so easily. Of all the people to sign that notepad, I feel like he’s one of the select few (compared to how many people ended up signing the pad) who actually did something for the album.
Timothy Norfolk, Songwriting Credit on “Freestyle 4”
Another co-writer of Goldfrapp’s “Human.” And you thought Drake had a lot of songwriters.
Robert Owens, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Robert Owens, from Fingers, Inc. co-wrote “Mystery of Love” alongside Larry Heard. Want to see some more cool shit? Look at this amazing picture of them.
Plain Pat, Production Credits on “Ultralight Beam” & “Feedback” & “Highlights”
Plain Pat is a producer, manager, and record exec. He has a few production credits here, but he more importantly played a huge role in the early careers of Kanye and Kid Cudi. In fact, he has a bunch of A&R credits going as far back as Ja Rule's The Last Temptation. Here he is in this C-Rayz Walz song, and here he is playin it cool as Cudi rocks out to “Welcome To Heartbreak.” Pat is currently managing Allan Kingdom, who appeared in the scrapped "All Day."
Greg Phillinganes, Songwriting Credit on “Highlights”
Greg Phillinganes is an OG who, unfortunately, you probably haven’t heard of. A keyboardist, singer, songwriter, and session player, Phillinganes has a motherfucking resume; Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson. Not just one credit either, he worked on damn near every Michael Jackson project including Off The Wall and Thriller. You also may have seen him at the GRAMMYS playing keyboard behind Miguel.
Austin Post (Post Malone), Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Without Kanye, I never would have listened to Post Malone. He went from the butt of a joke to closing out Kanye’s album. I didn't hate it nearly as much as I thought I would.
Kelly Price, Additional Vocal Credits on “Ultralight Beam” & "Highlights"
Glenda Proby, Songwriting Credit on “Real Friends”
Glenda Proby is a songwriter who has written for Ty Dolla, Travi$ Scott, and Kid Ink among others.
Kareem Riggins, Production Credit “30 Hours”
I was so excited when I saw this credit because Kareem Riggins is a motherfcuking genius. A experimental drummer, Riggins does some crazy shit and has worked with some of hip-hop’s best and brightest. I love him. “Summer Madness” is an astonishing piece of work. Plus, he’s Questlove approved so you know he’s the real deal.
Rihanna, Additional Vocal Credit on "Famous"
Rihanna is on the album, but as you’ve seen and will continue to see, her ANTI album and TLOP have a few overlapping artists.
Winston Riley, Songwriting Credit on “Famous”
Like Webb, Riley gets a credit for a song that was sampled on “Famous.” This time it’s Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” which, if you want to go even deeper, is kind of a sample of a song from the Matyals. There's levels to this.
Allen Ritter, Songwriting & Production Credits on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.”
Ritter is a GRAMMY-winning producer with a hell of a resume. He’s worked closely with Vinylz, Boi-1da, and Drake and has been known to rock an OVO sweatshirt. It’s interesting, though, his credit doesn't come on ““Real Friends” where both Drake and Boi-1da have credits, he’s credited on “Father Stretch My Hands.”
Sandy Rivera, Songwriting Credit on “Low Lights”
Sandy Reviera is Jersey-bred DJ. “Low Lights” featured an acapella from his club mix, “So Alive."
Herbert Rooney, Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
Levels. Levels levels levels. As you already know, Ghostface's “Mighty Healthy” was sampled on “No More Parties In LA.” Well, “Mighty Healthy” features a sample of Melvin Bliss’ “Synthetic Substitution,” which was produced by Herbert Rooney. Crazy how this all works.
Rick Rubin, Production Credits on “Ultralight Beam,” “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” & “Pt.2”
Another longtime collaborator of Kanye West who needs no introduction. Considering how much he helped out on Yeezus, I’m surprised his name doesn't show up more, he only had three production credits on the whole album.
Charles Russell, Songwriting Credit on “30 Hours”
Charles Arthur Russell is an OG. He’s an American Cellist, composer, singer and songwriter. His song “Answers Me” is sampled on “30 Hours” and definitely influenced the overall vibe of the song.
Elon Rutberg, Songwriting Credit on “Wolves” & “Waves"
Rutberg is a songwriter/creative who is part of Kanye’s DONDA team. He has a pretty impressive resume. In addition to helping out on "Wolves," he is also in charge of Kanye’s video game. He has since deleted the tweet, but swears it's a real thing. Also, when you blame Chance, be sure to blame Rutberg too.
Matthew Samuels (Boi-1da): Songwriting & Production Credits on “Real Friends.”
Boi-1da is one of Drake’s go-to producers, but he took time out of working on Views to make "Real Friends" dope. Like Frank Dukes, 1da also has a credit on Rihanna’s Anti. There’s more than a few cases of contributors from these two albums overlapping.
Ardalan Sarfaraz & Farid Zaland, Songwriting Credit on “Feedback”
This is one of my favorite samples. So “Feedback” contains a sample of 1970’s Iranian singer Googoosh’s song “Talaq.” First, Googoosh is the greatest name ever. Second, this sample is so fucking obscure and I absolutely love it. Sarfaraz co-wrote the song with Zaland so they get a credit.
Giampiero Scalamogna, Songwriting Credit on “Famous”
Giampiero Scalmonga, which is probably the best name ever to appear in a hip-hop liner note, co-wrote “Mi Sono Svegliato E... Ho Chiuso Gli Occhi” along the aforementioned Bacalov and Bardotti and one other writer we will credit later.
Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Songwriting Credit on “Ultralight Beam”
Donnie! Yes! Very excited. I thought that may have been him right at the end of Chance’s verse. Although, I’ve reached that point where I just assume it’s him if I hear a trumpet. I remember seeing Kids These Days live in a tiny venue, now he’s on Kanye’s album.
Sidney Selby III (Desiigner): Songwriting & Vocal Credits on “Pt. 2.”
Selby is better known as Desiigner, who, as Kanye announced last week is GOOD Music’s newest signee and an answer to Future. Escaping the comparisons to Future will be the biggest challenge for Desiigner. It’s also worth mentioning he is featured on “Freestyle 4,” but is not credited as a writer.
Caroline Shaw, Additional Vocal Credit on “Pt. 2"
A few months ago, violinist Caroline Shaw was sort of “discovered” thanks to her appearance on the “Say You Will (Remix),” but it wasn't the first time the two had worked together. Shaw has performed live with Kanye including a rendition of “Power” at a DNC fundraiser.
Bryan Simmons (TM88), Songwriting Credit on "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"
Simmons is Miami born, Atlanta-based producer who is formerly part of the 808 Mafia and he has worked with Rick Ross, Wale, Travi$ Scott, Waka and Drake. Another trap Atlanta producer on “Facts”? No wonder the new version has so much bang. Though he’s a producer, he does not have a production credit.
Lawrence Smith, Songwriting Credit on “Real Friends”
The legendary Larry Smith - far and away one of the best producers in hip-hop history - produced Whodini’s “Friends,” which was sampled on “Real Friends” so he gets a credit. It’s great to see him on here because without him we damn sure wouldn't have Kanye.
Nicholas Smith, Songwriting Credit on "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"
Smith was part of the group Father's Children. Their “Dirt and Grime” record kicks off “Facts.” Love the shit out of that sample.
Southside, Production Credit on “Highlights” and “Facts”
Atlanta producer Southside is a close collaborator of Future, Waka Flocka, and Metro Boomin, he co-produced the original “Facts.” It didn’t make the album, but Southside still found a way onto the “final” tracklist by co-producing “Highlights.”
DJ Dodger Stadium, Songwriting & Production Credits on “Ultralight Beam,” "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” “Low Lights,” "Freestyle 4," & "Fade."
DJ Dodger Stadium is a production duo made up of Samo Sound Boy and Jerome Potter. They both are the co-founders of Body High, a house music record label. This explains the house-y feel to “Low Lights.” Originally they were only credited on “Low Lights,” but once the real credits dropped Potter and Samo (Samuel Griesemer) were all over it.
Abel Tesfaye (Weeknd), Songwriting Credit on “FML”
The Weeknd croons the hook for “FML,” but you already knew that.
Sonny Uwakzuoke (Sonny Digital), Songwriting Credit on "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"
This “Facts” rework is an Atlanta affair: Future, Thug, Boomin, Southside, TM88 and Sonny Digital? Damn!
Louie Vega & Barbara Tucker, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Louie Vega is a quite successful, GRAMMY-winning House DJ and Producer. He produced Barbara Tucker’s “I Get Lifted,” which was sampled on - say it with me now - “Fade.” Also, he produced Hardrive’s “Deep Inside” which is also sampled. Shouldn’t he have two credits? I’m also realizing now there’s this whole other world of house music I know next to nothing about. Case in point, when I first saw the name I got him confused with “Lou Bega,” who did "Mambo Number 5." I suck.
Velous (Tyler Bryant), Production Credit on “Highlights”
Velous is a producer/singer/songwriter signed to French Montana’s Coke Boys label. He also helped produce “All Day.”
Johnny Watson, Songwriting Credit on “No More Parties In LA”
A sample of Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Give Me My Love” kicks off “No More Parties In LA.
Jimmy Webb, Songwriting Credit on “Famous”
Webb, a songwriter from the '60s and '70s, wrote Nina Simone’s “Do What You Gotta Do” which is sampled on “Famous.”
Kanye West, Everything
The next next President of the United States.
Norman Whitfield, Songwriting Credit on “Fade”
Whitfield is another co-writer of “(I Know) I'm Losing You” along with Holland and Grant.
Cydel Young, Songwriting Credits on “Real Friends” on “Wolves”
You know him better as Cyhi the Prynce.
Nayvadius Wilburn (Future), Songwriting Credit on "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"
Nayvadius Wilburn is a rapper by the name of Future. Maybe you’ve heard of him? It would have been cool to actually have him on the album but he only gets a credit because of Kanye’s “Jumpman” reference”.
UPDATE: Kanye writes he also did additional un-credited work.
Jeffrey Williams (Young Thug), Songwriting Credits on “Highlights” & “Facts (Charlie Heat Version),” Additional Vocal Credit on "Highlights"
The Life of Pablo isn’t perfect, but Kanye really brought out the best in all of his guests case in point, Thugger, who can be heard singing with Kanye on the intro of “Highlights.” Uh oh...am I ready to like Young Thug?
Pharrell Williams, Songwriting Credit on “30 Hours”
Pharrell has a songwriting credit but not a production credit? Weird.
Tony Williams, Songwriting Credit on "Waves"
It wouldn't be a Kanye album without World Famous Tony Williams. Also, obligatory “I gotta say what’s up to Tony Williams.”
Charly Wingate, Songwriting Credit on ""Siiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission"
Charly Wingate? Nah Max B! Wavy! Wiz Khalifa must have pooped his pants when he heard that phone call. Apparently French Montana had something to do with Kanye and Max linking up.
Yeezus christ that was exhausting, but it was worth it. We all talk about Kanye's ego, and with good reason, but music is the only place where he's seemingly willing to involve anyone and everyone with a good idea. This isn't an album, it's a small city, and all it took to appreciate that was researching 103 people.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is College Dropout but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]