Throughout his career, Kanye West has been the target of much controversy. Whether it’s his music or his antics, everyone has their own opinion of the famous rapper. From his history with Taylor Swift, his recent fallout with Jay-Z, his relationship with his wife, Kim Kardashian, or his overwhelming confidence, he has been a hot topic of conversation for several years. Rather than discuss his behavior, I’m here to focus solely on his music. Love him or hate him, there is no denying the influence he has had on the Rap game from the time he released his very first album.

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As a big Kanye West fan myself, I believe his powerful lyrics and innovative style power his musical genius. I will be delving into each of Kanye West’s albums to shed some light on his less well-known tracks from each album.

The College Dropout

Song: Family Business

Best line(s): “I woke up early this mornin' with a new state of mind,

A creative way to rhyme without usin' knives and guns,

Keep your nose out the sky, keep your heart to God, And keep your face to the risin' sun”

Analysis: Kanye West dives into the history of his family, describing the good and bad times that have had a strong impact on him.

He describes how simple life was when he was younger, yet how different things became as he grew up. While his background is entirely different from mine, he presents his life in a way that is easy for anyone to connect to.

Late Registration

Song: Gone

Best line(s): “Y'all don't want no prob' from me,

What you rappers could get is a job from me,

Maybe you could be my intern and in turn,

I'll show you how I cook up summer in the winter”

Analysis: Kanye’s confidence shines through in this track.

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Featuring Cam’ron and Consequence, Kanye samples Otis Redding’s “It’s Too Late,” to deliver a track that bangs on all cylinders. The catchy beat is paired with a strong string progression throughout the song, making the song multi-dimensional while conveying how Kanye has been able to build up his confidence throughout the years.

Graduation

Song: Good Morning

Best line(s): “They tell you read this, eat this, don't look around,

Just peep this, preachers, teach us, Jesus,

Okay look up now, they done stole yo' streetness,

After all of that you received this”

Analysis: Kanye tells of his problem with public education, as he has described in past albums, yet with more detail than his other works.

He preaches of how today’s society values a degree over individuality, and how even though some people go to college and some don’t, schooling doesn’t necessarily translate into smarts.

808’s and Heartbreak

Song: Welcome to Heartbreak

Best line(s): “My friend showed me pictures of his kids,

And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs,

He said his daughter got a brand new report card,

And all I got was a brand new sports car”

Analysis: Throughout this contemplative album, Kanye uses unique beats and lyrics that properly convey a somber tone.

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In this track, Kanye looks back on his life and wonders if he’s missing out on important parts. He feels that he’s putting too much emphasis on money and his career, and not enough time on things like family. Featuring Kid Cudi singing the chorus, the duo is able to show fans exactly what is going through Kanye’s head.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Song: So Appalled

Best line(s): “I'm so appalled, Spalding ball,

Baldin' Donald Trump, takin' dollars from y'all,

Baby your fired, your girlfriend hired,

But if you don't mind I'ma keep you on call”

Analysis: Kanye describes the problems he has with today’s society and the negative comments that surround him.

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A team of Jay-Z, Pusha T, Swizz Beats, RZA, and CyHi The Prynce, and Kanye himself, aggressively attack various aspects of their lives, most of which are associated with fame and status.

Yeezus

Song: Bound 2

Best line(s): “Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures”

Analysis: Sure, this song is fairly more well-known than others on this album, yet it has received a lot of mixed reviews. While this album was very bold and in-your-face, this song delivers a more mellow note. Kanye describes his past with love and how it has affected his life. The line above is a play on the famous saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” However, Kanye switches it around, implying that the single word “love” can bring a thousand strong memories to one’s mind.

The Life of Pablo

Song: Saint Pablo

Best line(s): “I'm prayin' a out-of-body experience will happen,

So the people can see my light, now it's not just rappin',

God, I have humbled myself before the court,

Dropped my ego and confidence was my last resort”

Analysis: Kanye addresses the media surrounding him and the struggles he’s dealt with. At the time, Kanye was frequently in the news about his enormous debt, and rumors about his relationship with Kim Kardashian and mental health. While Kanye speaks strongly of his confidence throughout the track, he also describes his relationship with God and how his confidence has wavered as of recent. In the line above, Kanye tells of how he wants people to remember him for more than his rap music, and how he had to establish a healthy level of confidence to power his life.

All of these tracks show the musical genius behind Kanye West. However, don’t just take my word for it. I hope you look up all these songs for yourself and form your opinions on some of my favorite tracks.

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