The Singles Party: Future f./Kanye West, “I Won”

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When it was suggested we cover the new collab between Future and Kanye West for this week’s column there was a collective, excited agreement from the panel. An unspoken “Yes! Let’s do this!”

How did this song fare amongst the panel?

No spoilers, but let’s just this song evoked some of the longest, most in-depth criticisms we’ve ever run in this column.

Nick Porcaro: I was the unfortunate soul who suggested we review Future and Kanye West’s “I Won” this week, and in accordance I’d like to take a moment to apologize to my peers for subjecting them to this totally terrible song.

I’m sorry, guys. I really am.

Moving on… Future is almost always the worst part of any song he happens to “grace” with his presence, and that goes double for his solo work. His singing is warbling, off-beat and grating. His lyrics are juvenile at best and cringeworthy at worst. He has no idea if he’s a rapper or a singer—which is fine if you’re someone with a modicum of talent, like Drake or Cee-Lo — but Future is only capable of two things: selecting great beats and writing insidiously catchy, generally annoying hooks.

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“I Won”, then, is a spectacular faceplant in both regards. The beat supplied by Metro Boomin is a pale imitation of Kanye West’s “Good Morning”, while Future’s hook is too drawn out and wordy to stick with even the most fervent of fans. Even if the hook were shorter, Future’s rhythmic incompetence makes it hard to sing along with. The phrase “Ever since I got with you I feel like I done won” throws him off the beat EVERY SINGLE TIME, and it’s not even a difficult phrase to say in rhythm! All he had to do was stop hesitating before the word “done”! Jeez.

The song is an ode to the special women in Future and Yeezy’s lives, Ciara and Kim Kardashian, respectively. I hope they have a better sense of humor than I because this track comes off as anything but romantic. Just how awkward is “I Won”? Let me count the ways:

“Get to fuckin’ on the dresser just to make that pussy wetter”

How sexy.

“Now that ass gettin’ fatter and I know it’s because of me”

Uh, what?

“Got you in custody”

That’s a rather…peculiar term of endearment.

“I know I started at the bottom but that ain’t where we endin'”

I really hope this isn’t referring to anal, but I should know better. Of course it is!

“One day I put an angel in your ultrasound
I wanna dip that ass in gold”

For once, I have no way to defend Kanye.

Despite that lyrical gaffe, however, his verse is the only tolerable part of the song. Perhaps the suspiciously familiar beat inspired him to spit like he did back in the old days? I’m not sure. It certainly wasn’t Future’s dazzling artistic contributions that lit a fire under his ass. Verdict: One and done. Kill it with fire.

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Lauren Stern: I first heard about this song on the Elvis Duran Show (specifically the “One day I put an angel in your ultrasound. I wanna dip that ass in gold” line), and I never thought then we’d be fathoming it for Single’s Party. But then again, we have a tendency to try and be open-minded about bad songs every once in a blue moon. This is one of those times.

I think my biggest problem with the song is that the lyrics are completely objectifying. I don’t think anyone can overlook that. There’s a difference between showing pride for your woman and chauvinistically shoving her in people’s faces saying “hey look what I won!” like she’s some sort of trophy. Since Kanye and Future decided to go with the latter, I guess they just missed the ball on this discrepancy.

Aside from the lyrics, which are really supposed to be the bread and butter of this (right?), the beat is really dull and weird. Even if Future and Kanye were spewing Pig Latin on top of this track, I probably wouldn’t have dug it. Throughout the three or so horrible minutes I listened to this, I just kept thinking “Come On! Just dazzle me boys! Do something with this melody! Give me something here that isn’t intolerable!” That moment sadly never came.

I once heard that Jason Derulo’s single “Talk Dirty” is the worst song ever written. In Derulo’s defense, at least the beat is catchy. I think whoever made that claim needs to listen to this and re-evaluate. Verdict: One and Done CLEARLY!

Kelly O’Dowd: After reading my fellow reviewers’ reviews, I was expecting something really, really, really, crude. And in some ways it is. But I can handle crude if it’s interesting; this is just boring. It’s slow and puts me to sleep. I zoned out halfway through the song and was startled when it was over only because I forgot I had it playing. Boring and questionable lyrics aside, I do enjoy the idea of having a trophy husband and I like the idea that these men don’t mind that they are arm-candy. Nice to have the tables turned there. Still doesn’t make up for a boring, uninspired song. I don’t hate it as much as others, but please, Kayne and Future can be way more interesting than this. Verdict: One and Done.

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Jason Stives: After hearing his song “Move That Dope” my interest in Future peaked out of nowhere so when a collaboration with Kanye West was announced I assumed a strong pattern to continue. How can you mess something up when you have probably the most celebrated rapper of the past decade on your side? Well color me stupefied.

Much like last week’s collaboration between Girl Talk and Freeway, “I Won” wanders greatly under one beat and not enough spunk in what should of been a visceral spatting of rhymes. We know what West can do but here his own verse just doesn’t deliver and much of the song echoes greatly that of the infamous Bound 2 of last year. Future himself doesn’t exactly set the world on fire with some rather misogynistic lyrics. The trophy in question isn’t about hitting a perfect home run with the opposite sex its showing off the perfect specimen for these two.

Not surprisingly West paints a pretty obvious image of his own personal life while Future simply tries to hook with a celebration like chorus before delivering a nasty and often unapologetic piece of filth in the first verse. Maybe an upcoming video from Hype Williams might deliver some stability to this song but for the most part its obvious why Future has himself surrounded by many collaborators because on his own it seems like he grates at the nerves. Still not every collaboration comes off a winner and this one surprisingly isn’t. Verdict: One and Done

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Lisa Pikaard: Just no. No. No. No. This song is never going in my rotation. The scream or whatever it is that keeps looping in the background is obnoxious, the lyrics comparing a woman to a trophy are just lame and if I have to hear “I won me a trophy” one more time, I may lose it. Honestly, as I listened to the song, I thought the rap by Kanye is bearable until you get to the lyrics “I wanna dip that ass in gold.” I just can’t listen to this song. Between that lyric and the repetition of “I won me a trophy,” I just can’t handle it. My affinity for proper grammar makes me detest this song even more. The song doesn’t have a lot instrumental music to it and so there is nothing I can say truly positive about it. Goodbye, Future and Kanye; I hope I never have to listen to this again. Verdict: One and certainly done.

Bill Bodkin: Stunned. Angry. All of these are the “feels” going through me right now. First, let me be 100% honest and say this song actually make me laugh really hard. I think was in shock…I couldn’t believe a professional hip-hop artist and one of the most famous people in the world (and many would say one of the most creative) put together such a terrible song. I’m actually at loss for words at how bad this song is. I mean it sucks, it’s terrible. It’s got some of the worst lyrics, the beat is so hollow, and the vocals are so half-hearted. I mean, is this really something Kanye West is putting his name on. Lord knows I wouldn’t. It actually angers me that someone with so much talent would put out something this horrible. He’s so much better than this, or maybe I’m the delusional one, maybe he isn’t. Listen, in the end, this song is so bad, I’m not even going to recommend you “hate listen” to it. Just avoid it at all costs. Verdict: One and done.

Final Verdict: We hate it, so should you.

Future image credit: The Chambers Group Publicity

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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