Top 20 Kanye West Songs: 15-11

And we’re back! 

Whether you’re just joining us, or are coming back for a second helping after yesterday, we’re going to keep this thing moving right along. As always, I appreciate your readership. Here’s numbers 15-11:



15. Gorgeous—My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

I’m going to go ahead and say that Twisted Fantasy was the pinnacle of Kanye’s career. Though it’s not my personal favorite (that distinction belongs to College Dropout), the top-to-bottom strength of the album is almost untouchable.

In fact, some—like my good College Friend and Hip-Hop advisor, Chijioke Orijakor—are confident in labeling Twisted Fantasy as one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time.

The reason for the heavy praise is due to West’s ego being more present within this music than ever before. This would eventually go a bit too far in Yeezus, but tracks like Gorgeous are a good example of West at his best (rhyme!).

There’s nothing really fancy about this track, besides the Kid Cudi (who I hate) chorus. This track is all bars—some of the best of his life. Here’s an example:

“I treat the cash the way the government treats AIDS/ I won’t be satisfied ‘til all my n*ggas get it, get it?”



14. Monster—My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Another thing that Chijioke had to say about Twisted Fantasy was how every artist who was featured on a track practically performed out of their minds.

No song is a better example of this than “Monster”, which is a titanic clashing of self-praise between some of the biggest names in the game.

A part of me is still suspicious about whether Nicki Minaj wrote her entire verse herself, or if West gave some assistance. Apparently, both Kanye and Ross have attested to the verse being written by Nicki. But, ya know, of course they would say that. What are they gonna do? Sell her out to the public?

Either way, Minaj’s delivery alone is responsible for about 40% of the song’s quality.

Her presence is a present. Kiss her ass.


13. New Slaves—Yeezus

I had a lot of help with putting this list together, so I’m going to call on another friend to help describe this song.

George Jefferson, a fellow UCSB graduate, commended Black Slaves for how it “Connects to his struggle to be transformative while still building his wealth and being wealthy”.

What George means is how West is recognizing how “the Man” has pushed Black society to want wealth, practically in order to buy expensive material items and hand money right back to the system. However, this phenomenon is described from West’s unique perspective, who has escaped this vicious cycle through his sudden fame and is now viewing his people through the lens of the elite–and doesn’t like what he sees.

While a bit brash at first, West’s labeling of this phenomenon as “New Slaves” set to an impossibly ominous beat will hopefully open your eyes by the time “I can’t lose” starts repeating. Which–by the way– is one of the best ending sequences that I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.



12. Touch the Sky—Late Registration

This is a track that has transcended the usual Kanye West fandom by being a song that nearly everyone enjoys listening to.

It’s cheeky, uplifting, and is another romanticized tale of Kanye’s rise to fame.

There’s also two other noteworthy aspects about this song:

  1. It is the only song on the album not to be at least partially produced by Kanye.
  2. It marked the radio debut of Lupe Fiasco, kicking off the young man’s phoenix lifespan of a career

This is a track that, despite your opinion on West, is just impossible to dislike. Especially with the masterfully incorporated sample of “Move On Up”.


11. SpaceshipThe College Dropout 

Blink-182 said it best in the year 2000: “Work sucks, I know”.

In “Spaceship”, Yeezy injects this universal opinion with soul and experience to really make the struggle of the working person come to life.

Told from the perspective of a man on the verge a meltdown, through lines like “Lock yourself in a room doin’ five beats a day for three summers”, Kanye creates the impression of a friend telling us about his work struggles. It’s honest, real, and on the cusp of being too relatable for comfort.

This is the type of “everyman” theme that College Dropout has (literally) written all over it, and a large reason why West’s first album is my favorite.

The kid that made that, deserves that Maybach.


Tune in next week for numbers 10-6!

And in case you missed out, here’s 20-16

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