Producer: Lifted, Mike Dean, Mike MiLL Made It, Kanye West, Hudson Mohawke
Album: Cruel Summer
Label: GOOD Music, Def Jam
The dancehall obsession that made Kanye West's Yeezus such a colorful affair is a thread that can be traced back throughout his entire production career, but one of the illest Kanye dancehall moments came from outside producers. "Mercy," the lead single off 2012's G.O.O.D. Music compilation Cruel Summer was produced by a football team's worth of artists: Phoenix based newcomer Lifted, Rap-a-Lot veteran Mike Dean, trap lord Mike WiLL Made It, British electronic whiz Hudson Mohawke, a little help from Ye himself... It isn't exactly clear what everybody did, but the production on "Mercy" kills.
The beat fits some of dancehall artist Super Beagle's legendary "Dust a Sound Boy" toast over sparse keys and drums until Kanye comes in, and an ominous sample of the Scarface movie score drags the thing to the gates of hell. Like the rest of Cruel Summer, the blend of dancehall, trap, and house Kanye presented with "Mercy" devised a workable vision for truly post-regional hip-hop music.