We’ve received the answer to the question, re: the evolution of Kanye West’s musical style with his newest single:
It seems the sole constant with West’s style is that he is only a so-so rapper (with amazing beats). So it with this song, with a great chorus/hook and not as good rapping. The beat, though, the beat: it sounds like a combination of many of the elements that made West’s earlier beats distinctive and good. The best parts of 808s and Heartbreak relied on the contrast between the chilly electronics and the warm taiko/handclaps. This song uses the warm handclaps and warmer synthesizers, with wails in the background that somehow avoid the annoying, dirge-like qualities that they often acquire in lesser songs. Combine that with some of the propulsive bass-led power of “Takeover” or “Heart of the City” and even an interlude with the classical strings that he’s used throughout his traditional rap career, and you can see the beat is a synthesis of all of his previous styles and dabblings. The song, then, is something of a culmination of all his previous ideas and it sounds perfect that way.