Bound 2

"Bound 2"
Single by Kanye West
from the album Yeezus
Released August 28, 2013
Recorded 2013
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:49
Kanye West singles chronology
"Black Skinhead"
"Bound 2"
"Thank You"

"Bound 2" is a song by American rapper Kanye West, featured as the final track from his sixth studio album, Yeezus (2013). It was produced by West and Che Pope, with additional production being handled by Eric Danchick, Noah Goldstein, No ID and Mike Dean. The song features vocals from American soul singer Charlie Wilson and serves as the album's second single. "Bound 2" incorporates samples from "Bound" by Ponderosa Twins Plus One and the line "Uh-huh, honey" from Brenda Lee's "Sweet Nothin's".

The controversial music video features his wife Kim Kardashian West, topless, riding on a motorbike with West through various landscapes. "Bound 2" received general acclaim from music critics, who referred to the song as one of the highlights of the album, comparing its soul influenced, sample-based production to West's debut studio album, The College Dropout (2004). The song peaked at number 55 on the UK Singles Chart and 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Background and composition

Soul singer Charlie Wilson appears uncredited on the song and performed it with West numerous times, upon its single release.

On June 1, 2013, West revealed the cover of his sixth studio album Yeezus and premiered a 13-second preview of "Bound 2".[1] It was only one of three songs that were previewed prior to the album's release, the others being "New Slaves" and "Black Skinhead".[2]

"Bound 2" features substantial soul music samples, which critics noted as reminiscent of West's production style in his earlier work.[3] The song is predominantly built around a sample taken from "Bound", a song by soul-group Ponderosa Twins Plus One from their 1971 album, 2 + 2 + 1 = Ponderosa Twins Plus One.[4] Interpolations from "Aeroplane (Reprise)", written by Norman Whiteside and performed by Wee and the line "Uh-huh, honey" from the song "Sweet Nothin's", written by Ronnie Self and performed by country singer Brenda Lee were also utilized in the song.[4][5] Lee reacted to the sampling of her song on the track, saying:

As I've said, it's always nice to be recognized. It says a wonderful thing about Ronnie Self, who wrote the song. That 50 years after it was written, somebody in Kanye's camp knew the song and said, 'Let's use it.' That's a compliment to Ronnie.[6]

On February 15, 2014, Hudson Mohawke played an original version of "Bound 2" during a DJ set in Leeds.[7] The earlier version features piano-driven production and a much more stripped down ending compared to the album version.[8] Rapper/Producer Tyler, The Creator revealed over Twitter that he helped produce the original version along with Hudson Mohawke.[9]

Release and promotion

"Bound 2" was revealed to be the second single released from Yeezus in August 2013, following "Black Skinhead".[10][11] On September 9, 2013, West appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for the first time, to promote his upcoming Yeezus Tour. During his appearance, he performed "Bound 2" with Charlie Wilson, The Roots and a male children's choir. It was his first national television performance of the song.[12] The song was also performed on the season premiere of Later... with Jools Holland by West and Wilson on September 17, 2013. To take a more minimal approach, they were accompanied by just the song's signature Ponderosa Twins sample and a brief piano intro for the Later... with Jools Holland performance.[13]

Critical reception

"Bound 2" received universal acclaim from music critics. Rolling Stone described "Bound 2" as "maybe the most audacious song he's ever written, not to mention the most beautiful."[14] Julian Kimble of Complex called the song "a brilliant way to end the album" and wrote that it "stands out as a love song—a dark, twisted fantasy of a love song, perhaps, but one that's beautiful in its own way."[15] David Jeffries of AllMusic described "Bound 2" as a "new wave beauty of a closer."[16] Writing for The A.V. Club, Evan Rytlewski referred to the song as "an overt homage to West's bright early production, reimagining The College Dropout's cheerful chipmunk soul."[3] Dan Buyanovsky of XXL called it the album's "emotional and musical highlight... a perfect sendoff that reminds you of Kanye's roots while pointing you in the direction of his future."[17] A writer for the Kitsap Sun cited "Bound 2" as a "classic Yeezy effort" and "arguably the album's best track."[18]

XXL positioned it at number 17 on their list of the best songs of 2013. They said, "'Bound 2' showed the doubters that he could still give them the soul-soaked laments that everyone wanted, he just decided not to. But that doesn't mean this song is a throwaway—the video might be more of one than the song itself—this is Kanye's introspection colliding with his self-doubt in a way that is eminently relatable to anyone with a pulse."[19] NME ranked "Bound 2" at number 22 on their list of the 50 best songs of 2013; "in Kanye's mind this is what constituted a pop song: sped up '70s soul samples, a totally unconventional structure and lyrical gems."[20] Pitchfork Media positioned "Bound 2" at number 40 on their list of the top 100 tracks of 2013. They commented, "On an album that takes itself awful seriously throughout, "Bound 2" is something that recontextualizes the entire affair, leaving more questions than answers."[21]

The song was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song at the 2015 Grammy Awards.[22]

Music video

On November 16, 2013, it was revealed that West would be premiering the music video for "Bound 2" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show the following week.[23] The Nick Knight-directed music video was released on November 19, 2013. The video features his then-fiancée Kim Kardashian, topless, riding atop West's motorbike through Monument Valley and other landscapes.[24] Eric Diep of XXL described it as, "a confident display of love and passion with little to no narrative."[25] Spin felt that "a pretty bad idea seen through so completely that it stops being a bad idea".[26] Tom Breihan from Stereogum found the video confusing, saying "it'll take a little bit to figure out what all's going on there".[27] Lanre Bakare of The Guardian described it as "self-indulgent, idiosyncratic and a bit weird".[28]

On November 25, 2013, "Bound 3", a parody of the music video was released, starring actors James Franco and Seth Rogen. The parody is a shot-for-shot remake, filmed while they were shooting their upcoming movie The Interview.[29] Afterwards, Kim Kardashian revealed through Twitter that she and West found the video to be very funny.[30] On December 11, 2013, the music video was parodied in the South Park episode "The Hobbit", where West is shown trying to convince the world that Kardashian is not a hobbit.[31] On December 21, 2013, the video was parodied on Saturday Night Live, with cast members portraying the couple having sex while riding a red-nosed reindeer.[32]


On December 23, 2013, Ricky Spicer of the Ponderosa Twins Plus One filed a lawsuit against West over the sample of the group's song, "Bound," alleging that he used Spicer's voice without permission.[33] Spicer asked that West pay him or cease and desist using his vocals. Roc-A-Fella Records, Universal Music Group, Island Def Jam, and Rhino Entertainment were all named in the lawsuit along with West.[34]


British drum and bass duo Sigma created a remix of the song entitled "Nobody to Love" featuring vocals from Daniel Pearce which was officially released on April 6, 2014.[35] It topped the UK Singles Chart upon release, with sales of over 121,000 copies in the first week.[36]

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Yeezus.[37]

  • Delbert Bowers – assistant mixing
  • Eric Danchick – additional production
  • Mike Dean bass, guitar, songwriting, additional producer
  • Robert Dukes – songwriting
  • Nabil Essemlani – assistant engineer
  • Chris Galland – assistant mixing
  • Noah Goldstein – engineer, additional producer
  • Khoï Huynh – assistant engineer
  • Malik Jones – songwriting
  • Anthony Kilhoffer engineer
  • Manny Marroquin mixing
  • Bob Massey – songwriting
  • No ID – additional production
  • Keith Parry – assistant engineer
  • Raoul Le Pennec – assistant engineer
  • Ché Pope – co-producer, songwriting
  • Elon Rutberg – songwriting
  • Sakiya Sandifer – songwriting
  • Ronnie Self – songwriting
  • John Stephens – songwriting
  • Kanye West – lead vocals, producer, songwriting
  • Norman Whiteside – songwriting
  • Charlie Wilson – additional vocals, songwriting
  • Cydel Young – songwriting


Chart (2013) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[38] 56
scope="row" Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[39] 53
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders Urban)[39] 44
scope="row" Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[40] 74
scope="row" Ireland (IRMA)[41] 68
scope="row" UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[42] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[43] 55
scope="row" US Billboard Hot 100[44] 12
scope="row" US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[45] 3
scope="row" US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[46] 3


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[47] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Australia September 13, 2013[48] Contemporary hit radio Def Jam Recordings


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  3. 1 2 Rytlewski, Evan (June 17, 2013). "Kanye West: Yeezus". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
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