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Q-Tip Unearths Kanye West’s Long Lost ‘Mama’s Boyfriend’

A great mythology surrounds Kanye West’s unreleased song “Mama’s Boyfriend.” He first performed it a cappella at Facebook headquarters in 2010 in what was one of the first public teases of material from the then-forthcoming My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “Boyfriend,” however, never appeared on the album, a fan-made version “leaked” in 2011, and that was the last anyone heard about it. That is, until now.

Q-Tip, who produced the song, played roughly 90 seconds of “Mama’s Boyfriend” at his Red Bull Music Academy lecture, which you can watch in the video above at roughly the 1:37:00 mark.

According to Tip, the track went through various iterations during the recording of MBDTF; at one point Soulja Boy was featured. But in listening to the song, it’s easy to see why it was left on the cutting room floor: The beat is soulful and West’s lyrics are funny and lighthearted, a vibe much more akin to his debut College Dropout than the, uh, dark, twisted fantasies of his 2010 masterpiece. Which also means given the sound and subject matter of Yeezus (see: “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves”) “Mama’s Boyfriend” probably won’t make it onto that album either.