Let me just preface this by saying Kanye West is absolutely one of my favorite rappers/musicians/artists/celebrities of all time. I have always been a fan, and never been a hater; I’ve always found his arrogance to be absolutely hilarious (and in some cases, warranted), mainly because I actually listen to his music and I get that he’s got a real sense of humor that everybody does not pick up on. I friggen love Kanye. I love him! I say all of that to say, just for this one post, Yeezy haters– begone! With his new album just days away we are celebrating the amazingness that is Throwback Kanye and if you don’t believe that Can’t Tell Me Nothing is one of the greatest hip-hop songs/any-genre songs of all time, then this post may not be for you. People may hate to hear him say it, but Kanye IS, IMO, a [musical] god and he can do whatever he wants! Click inside for 25 reasons why!!!
1. All Falls Down ft. Syleena Johnson
First off, shouts-out to the incomparable Stacey Dash. I swear, we’d all forgotten about her and then this friggen video happened. I think I played this song 72,400 times during freshman year at Sarah Lawrence (sidenote: I did have an idea of what I was doing in college, but that major that I majored in– literature– didn’t make no money, lol…), so shouts-out to my roommates for putting up with it/getting converted to Kanye West as a result. This song is… the best. Obviously, Kanye wasn’t the first rapper to really, really address self-consciousness in the hip-hop/black community but I really feel like we never heard it like this before. I mean, that third verse is just friggen everything:
I say fuck the police, that’s how I treat ‘em
We buy our way out of jail, but we can’t buy freedom
We’ll buy a lot of clothes when we don’t really need em
Things we buy to cover up what’s inside
Cause they make us hate ourself and love they wealth
That’s why shorty’s hollerin’, where the ballers at
Drug dealer buy Jordans, crackhead buy crack
And a white man get paid off of all of that
But I ain’t even gonna act holier than thou
Cause fuck it, I went to Jacob with twenty-five thou
Before I had a house and I’d do it again…
Yikes… that’s that ish! And the production on it was just insane. Before this song I think he’d released Through The Wire as his first single, but All Falls Down was the ‘Ye track that hooked me for life.
I always tell people this story when this song comes on, so here goes: when I first read the description for the Power video I remember rolling the eff out of my eyes. I thought, Ugh, why do people always try to make their videos sound doper than they are? There’s no way it’s that dope; there’s no way it’s really inspired by Renaissance art and even if it is, nobody’s gonna be able to tell. So yeah, no. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, lol. And it never felt so good to be so wrong! I was haaating on this video when I saw it. Like, Wait. It’s really this dope? Sigh. It really was. And you knew the song was blowing up when it was (and still is) featured in every single movie trailer. This was the jam.
But obviously, we need to hear the full track:
3. Spaceship ft. GLC and Consequence
This song makes me so ridiculously happy, I just can’t. They. Don’t. Make. Music. Like. This. No. More! What songs do you know that are lit’rally about working at the Gap? And they’re called Spaceship? And they’re dope? You know one song like that:
If my manager insults me again I will be assaulting him
After I fuck the manager up then I’m gonna shorten the register up
Let’s go back, back to the Gap
Look at my check, wasn’t no scratch
So if I stole, wasn’t my fault
Yeah I stole, never got caught
They take me to the back and pat me
Askin’ me about some khakis
But let some black people walk in
I bet you they show off their token blackie
Oh now they love Kanye, let’s put him all in the front of the store!
So I’m on break next to the “No Smoking” sign with a blunt in the mall
LMAOOOOooooo! What?! This is why I say folks don’t get how funny Kanye is. People say he takes himself too seriously, but he really, really doesn’t. He has too much of a sense of humor for that. OMG, ‘Oh now they love Kanye, let’s put him all in the front of the store!‘ I love it!
4. All Of The Lights ft. John Legend, The-Dream, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, and Rihanna
Did I say Kanye is a musical god? Um. Okay. Yes. Musical god. How else would he know that the simplest phrase ever– All Of The Lights– could make for such a brilliant hook/message for a song. Produced, wrote, and, like, invented this song. Stop it. Only Yeezy can you take to that ghetto university, and make it sound so effing good.
This is the part where we need a page break because Can’t Tell Me Nothing may or may not be on the next page, and may or may not need its own space. Like, its own separate page. Because it belongs in a class/page by itself. Get there faster!