I know, I know.
It’s kind of annoying for me to delay revealing the Top 5 by throwing out several songs that didn’t make the Top 20.
I promise that I’m not doing this to build any type of suspense. To be completely honest, I added Honorable Mentions because I’ve had so much fun doing this list that I wanted to talk about every Kanye song that I possibly could.
And who doesn’t like more Kanye?
Anyway, these are a few songs that are either personal favorites of mine, or songs that I think some of the more hardcore fans wold appreciate being mentioned. Here are the Honorable Mentions:
All controversial videos aside—this is a great song.
Yeezy comes out in a full satirical fury with this one, as he parodies the ridiculous climate that modern dating has reached. West takes the brutal honesty and narcissism which dominate the modern realm of romance, and puts them into over drive in order to prove a point.
The “Uh-huh, honey” is timed to interrupt the song whenever the vibe gets too romantic, usually while cutting off Charlie Wilson’s larger-than-life chorus.
With some of the most ridiculously snarky lyrics he’s come up with, (“She asked me what I wished for on my wish list/ Have you ever asked your b*tch for other b*tches?”) West created an experience that’s as relevant as it is side-bursting.
Drive Slow—Late Registration
This track off the Late Registration album gives us a rare glimpse at the low hat-wearing, hyper-urbanized side of West’s musical ability.
However, in true Kanye fashion, the first verse of this slow-crawling street piece serves as a warning flag to younger people from overstepping their britches.
Along for the ride are Paul Wall and GLC, both of which give the song a completing fullness through their silky-smooth baritone delivery.
A hidden gem in the Kanye collection, this track is often overlooked in favor of more socially-conscious tracks.
The New Workout Plan—The College Dropout
Now, if I had things my way, this song would have made the Top 20. But, again, this was a collaborative effort, so I had to withhold my ego and keep this track as an honorable mention.
With what originally starts as a “How To” guide for women to find the perfect Sugar Daddy, the track quickly dissolves into a frenzy of nonsense that’s as fantastically frantic as Miri Ben-Ari’s violin playing.
There isn’t much more to this song other than a strong “fun factor”. I’m sure it was a blast to record, and we have just as much fun experiencing it.
It also gave us an auto-tuned ramble towards the end that would eventually be used as a sample for J Cole’s “Work Out”.
Never Let Me Down—The College Dropout
Clearly not one of the more popular songs during Kanye’s tenure, I nevertheless think that it deserves a listen.
The main reason for this, of course, is what I think to be one of the most humbly excellent verses that West has ever delivered:
“I can’t complain what the accident did to my left eye, ‘cause look what an accident did to Left Eye”.
The hard-hitting verse, coupled with an evangelical poem delivered mid-song and a church choir section, really pushes the limits on the song’s “cheesiness” levels. However, the content is sincere enough to keep the track grounded throughout the phases it goes through.