‘All Falls Down’ And 24 Other Reasons Why Kanye West IS A [Musical] God

Throwback Thursday Celebrates The Coming Of 'Yeezus'

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!!!

25 Reasons Why Kanye West IS A [Musical] God

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.

2. Power


 

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!
 

 
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  1. Shannon, i have no idea how you narrowed this down to 25, cause i would have put up every.single.song. lol.
    i can understand why people may not like/respect Kanye “the person”, but i just dont understand how anyone not respect Kanye “the artist” his songs & lyrics are always on point. and his videos are always so well thought out & executed.

    side note- “Gold Digger” is totally my dads jam. he had that song has his ringtone for like 2 years.

    • nicole, it was tough, lol! I just had to let some things go at a certain point (i.e. ‘Blame Game,’ ‘Family Business’ ‘School Spirit,’ etc.).

      I guess for me, all of Kanye’s public acts/antics always get explained in his music. He’s so willing to admit that he’s over-the-top, arrogant, self-conscious, and thirsty for attention and I appreciate that so much, it overshadows everything else.

      Don’t know your Dad but now have an image of “him” jamming to ‘Gold Digger’ every time his phone rings. Thanks for that!

    • if you need help with that image, hes now 63 and still dances like theres no tomorrow to that song. lord help me if it comes on in the car. he gets down lol.

  2. Alecia

    I saw Kanye in concert back in ’06 when Late Registration was still the movement. I won’t lie he pissed me off by not coming to the stage until we got loud enough and then he had the nerve to ramble about how he’s the business. But he put it down for real.
    That was the first time I heard “Spaceship” and that’s a moment I will never forget- it was just like he put the struggle into a song.
    And also “Crack Music” was one that had me thinking deeply as well.
    Even though he made me mad, I can’t front on the experience at all. It was definitely one I’ll remember.
    But you’re right about his lyricism- it’s nearly unmatched. I especially like songs like “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”-it’s bragging and worrying all at once.
    As much as I hate what he comes off as at times, he sure knows how to make a statement.

    • Alecia, thanks for sharing this. I’ve never seen him in concert, so I can only imagine what that would be like. I will admit that I’ve had my ‘WTF’ moments with him, but it’s never overshadowed the music. Like you say, he’s ‘bragging and worrying all at once’ and I haven’t seen anyone else pull that off and still make SUCH good music.

  3. Ahhh, Can’t Tell Me Nothing is my fave Kanye song too. I can’t get enough of it!! Love this post. I may not looove Kanye as a person/celebrity, but hot damn he makes amazing music.

  4. Nikka

    Shannon,

    It’s been a minute since I’ve professed my love for you and this post has just solidified any doubts I may have had about that love.

    Fun fact: I also listened to “All Falls Down” my freshman year, and even though I am white, “single black female addicted to retail” has resonated with me so much.

    Ugh, please stop being so en pointe.

    • Nikka, THANK YOU! I read this comment last night and I was actually thinking about what you wrote when I was getting ready for bed… lol. Isn’t that the sign of a great artist? Someone who can say something so specific (i.e. ‘single black female addicted to retail’) that it becomes universal and resonates with any and everyone? I’m no longer a single black female addicted to retail but I remember when I was and I remember why and I know lots of people who fit into that category. And now I know that there are people who DON’T fit in but can still identify with the message. Love it.

      Thank you so much for sharing that!

  5. Now that I can finally comment – Oh. Yeezus.

    However the one song that cemented EVERYTHING for me with him? Roses that is a story about his grandmother being sick.

    “I’m arguin like what kind of doctor can we fly in
    You know the best medicine go to people that’s paid
    If Magic Johnson got a cure for AIDS
    And all the broke motherfuckers passed away
    You telling me if my grandma’s in the NBA
    Right now she’d be okay? But since she
    Was just a secretary, worked for the church for 35 years
    Things ‘sposed to stop right here…”

    My favorite lines are:
    “My grandfather tryin to pull it together, he’s strong
    That’s where I get my confidence from…”
    and
    “To get there, we run, we fly, we drive
    Cause with my family we know we know where home is
    And so instead of sendin flowers, we the roses”

    • Iris B, ‘Roses’ was one of those songs I left off… but kinda regretted it after I posted, lol. You’re right! I think it literally used to make me so sad to listen to it, that I never gave it the chance to become one of my faves. But it def belongs here so thanks for posting. I’m about to go read your ‘Yeezus’ review, lol…

  6. Em

    Shout out to Connie Mitchell for getting two features: Can’t Tell Me Nothing & Flashing Lights – Aussie represent.

    I’ve said before how he is too full of himself, but I still love his music. But you’re right Shannon, he is just too funny, that I really do like him. Even if he is apart of that ‘wealthiness lifestyle’ he is challenging. I guess he knows it’s not going back to the early 90s, but unsure where it proceeds from here, creating debate.

  7. Kayla

    YESSSS! I’ve been waiting anxiously for this. Imagine my delight when I came here this morning, before my university graduation ceremonies, and found throw back Kanye. Don’t tell my boyfriend, who got me a fancy watch, but this is such an amazing gift! I’m gonna jam to Kanye sooo hard while I get ready.

    I’ve always loved Kanye. No hate for him as a person or an artist. Is he over the top? Hell yes. Can he be a total douche? Dear lord yes. Do I care? Oddly, no.

    Also, yay for the little dash of Lupe in this post!!

  8. Emily

    Shannon – I don’t know where to start with the awesomeness here
    1) thanks for the Mos Def shout out. I squealed when I saw my future husband on here
    2) Hey Mama – gives me goosebumps every time I listen and I’ve never seen those vids before. Stop. I need to pull myself together over here.
    3) I really love that you included lyrics here. I think people are so turned off by his persona that they don’t realize he writes really profound lyrics. His lyricism is unparalleled.
    4) I’m listening to NPR right now and they’re talking about Kanye. They actually said, “Come on, he’s so good he’s actually got us talking about him on here.” They called him the Andy Warhol of music – mixing high art and high culture in the pop atmosphere. They pointed out he can talk about private prisons and gold diggers. My favorite line – “He’s a Pentecostal preacher with a sampler.”
    5) if Mos Def won’t marry me, I’m asking you next.

  9. Linnea

    How can i say this in a not disturbing superficial overhyped pervert way..?
    Let’s give it a try:
    Kanye is a legendary god. If he , at any point comes to Norway, i would effing freak out! I would probably be that bastard that gets thrown out because of.. Well, let’s just let the fantasy put its word here.. But ya feelin’ me?

  10. This is EVERYTHING! It musta been torture to narrow it down to 25. I cannot even begin to describe the lyrical genius ‘Ye is. A few months I went thru his entire collection and I cannot wait to do it again. He’s one of the few artist that I can listen to their entire album from start to finish… and he did it multiple times. After reading this entire post, I immediately went to the FUSE channel to see when their Kanye Takeover was happening (ugh… Tuesday.. makes sense, I’ma be all over it at 6am though…lol) I love everything this man puts out. like EVERYTHING! And I’m pretty sure I’ve already started a sick obsession with New Slaves. sigh… going back to start my 8th full album stream of Yeezus. Thank you Shannon!

  11. Christie

    Going on my lunch to pick up the new album!!!!! I am a huge Kanye Fan and I always have been. This is strange as I do not listen to any other rap/hip hop/r&b and all of my friends love rock/metal/pop. I do not know what it is that got me into him in the first place but he is amazing and I will never stop pushing the Kanye gold onto my non Kanye loving friends. I have even converted a few. Great list!!!!

    • @Christie — “This is strange as I do not listen to any other rap/hip hop/r&b and all of my friends love rock/metal/pop.”

      This is me, too. Kanye manages to transcend his genre tho, the music he creates really does speak to fans of many types of music. This album is deffo in the running as my fave album of the year. It’s def my fave album of the year so far.

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