UTOPIA sounds like a Kanye record because it is one

The album lifts scrapped Ye tracks dating back to 2013.

Art by Tyler Farmer.

A lot of people have noted the similarities between UTOPIA and Yeezus and how Ye’s fingerprints seem to be all over the album. This relationship is even more symbiotic than people realize. Many of the songs seem to have been recorded for Ye, in sessions for Ye albums or even adapted from old demos of his. I worked with some people in the leaker community who have access to Ye leaks, emails, old session info and more to compile these rough song timelines all in one semi-digestable list.

[Ed. note: Parts of this are based on knowledge that isn’t public. We do not claim these details to be fact, just our estimations from what leakers have told us. We’ll update this blog post for accuracy over time.]

VERSION HISTORY:

8/2/23: Original report published.

8/2/23: Updated with contributions from an anonymous Ye leak expert to get some facts straight and add more context throughout, especially for “THANK GOD,” “DELRESTO (ECHOES)” and “TELEKINESIS.”

HYAENA – N/A

THANK GOD ft. KayCyy – Features prominent 2020 Kanye writer KayCyy, who originally wrote and recorded a reference track for the song for Kanye’s album Donda. The song appears on a 2020 Donda tracklist as “Thank God I Breathed.” The song was given to Travis after Kanye decided not to use it. A version of the song with Kanye vocals is not known to exist.

MODERN JAM ft. Teezo – Uses part of an early 2013 instrumental for “I Am A God” by Kanye West, produced by Daft Punk and Travis Scott during the Yeezus sessions.

MY EYES ft. Bon Iver & Sampha – First half of the song was written by Dua Saleh, according to a TikTok they posted. The demo was written by Justin Vernon and Saleh, who then sent it to Travis Scott and Wheezy.

GOD’S COUNTRY – The former title track for Kanye West’s Donda in 2020, which used to be called God’s Country. Features the same instrumental and some Travis vocals from the leaked version, but Travis Scott recorded over parts of Kanye’s hook and re-recorded many of his lines. Kanye never finished his verse and was cut out of the song completely.

SIRENS – N/A

MELTDOWN ft. Drake – Verse was sent to Mike Dean four hours before release, physicals all have a different track taking MELTDOWN’s place as a result (AYE ft. Lil Uzi).

FE!N ft. Carti & Sheck Wes – Recorded in 2023. Sheck Wes’s verse was pulled off the streaming version at the last minute, while his verse remains on the physical version.

DELRESTO (ECHOES) ft. Beyonce & Bon Iver – Song known to have been recorded in December 2020 for Utopia. Travis Scott and KayCyy worked on the song with Kanye in June 2021, when Kanye recorded a rough feature. At that time, the song had Bon Iver and James Blake (who says he wrote the ‘echoes/let go’ hook that Beyonce went on to sing) on it but no Beyonce. Kanye’s feature was almost certainly never finished and would be scrapped as Travis got Beyonce on the song instead. Screenshots from a password protected zip of the song leaked in 2022, but neither the actual zip nor the Kanye version have leaked aside from a short clip of Kanye recording his part.

I KNOW ? – N/A

TOPIA TWINS ft. Rob49 & 21 Savage – N/A

CIRCUS MAXIMUS ft. The Weeknd & Swae Lee – Uses the flow from “Black Skinhead” by Kanye alongside many of its production elements. The song features a production credit from Noah Goldstein, who produced on “Black Skinhead,” indicating that the drums were possibly directly sampled from Black Skinhead.

PARASAIL ft. Dave Chappelle & Yung Lean – There is no concrete evidence of any connection to Kanye, but Yung Lean and Travis Scott were both present during the Donda 2 sessions, indicating that the song could’ve been made in that time period. 

SKITZO ft. Young Thug – Recorded in the same sessions as “Franchise,” ballpark 2017-2019.

LOST FOREVER ft. James Blake & Westside Gunn – From the 2020/2021 version of Utopia. There is no concrete evidence of a connection to Kanye, but Travis Scott and Westside Gunn were present during some of the 2020 Donda/God’s Country sessions, albeit at different points during the year.

LOOOVE ft. Kid Cudi – 2014 song left off Rodeo. Leaked in 2022, either made the record because of this or leaked because it was on the record.

K-POP ft. Bad Bunny & The Weeknd – N/A

TELEKINESIS ft. Future & SZA – Heavily reworked version of the scrapped Kanye song “Future Sounds” (also known as “Future Bounce”) featuring Travis Scott and Harmony Boyd. Recorded in 2020 for God’s Country/Donda and leaked, but was heavily modified into the track “Heaven and Hell.” Like “LOOOVE”, the song was likely included on the album due to its status as a very popular leak. Some of Travis’s vocals were taken from the original song, while he re-recorded some other vocals. Kanye and Harmony Boyd’s parts were removed from the song completely. Some speculate that Future’s part of the song was recorded during Donda 2 sessions with Travis Scott and Future.

TIL FURTHER NOTICE ft. 21 Savage & James Blake – Likely a scrap from Savage Mode 2 or another Metro Boomin project, as there were other 21 Savage, Metro, and James Blake songs recorded in those sessions together. Confirmed to be from 2019.

Travis is not only Ye’s protege and signee. He has the same engineers, the same circle and even the same writers as him (as shown by Cyhi da Prynce’s reference track for Sicko Mode). Their products come from the same machine and because of that they are creatively inseparable. Even if he took Ye’s verses off a few tracks to save face.

4 thoughts on “UTOPIA sounds like a Kanye record because it is one”

  1. How did the Album cover slip Past Ppl eyes. I see someone laying on d floor d pills coming out I thought at first were alot of Feet. As in footsteps. Cornered with a Goat Head in hidden color. Or is it just Me. 🤷‍♂️ idk

    Reply
  2. Ye and Trav have shared and even traded songs before. FML from TLOP was originally a Travis song, which Kanye got in exchange for Piss On Your Grave

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