Celebrating Kanye West On His Birthday
Article By: Nate Ruben
This morning, I was on twitter and found out Kanye West turns 39 today. I am a huge Ye fan, but I’m not the kind of guy to know his birthday. Sending out a generic tweet didn’t feel right either. So I embarked on a challenge I’ve always wanted – put out a “Best Of” list for Kanye West. Separated into four categories (Hits, Deep Cuts, Celebration/Ignorance, and Group Tracks), I hope this list brings out the best of his very extensive catalog. Please join the conversation on social media so we can hear your opinion and find out what we missed.
All Falls Down
One of West’s first big hits, this song managed to score major radio play while also touching on key social issues and attacking consumerism. Mainly die-hard “Old Kanye West” fans cite this as the litmus test for how out of touch Kanye has become. In my opinion, it was easier for him to rap about struggling with these issues while he was still poor enough to stunt at the average person’s level. Now his spending and materialism are just put on the main stage. But my favorite lines will always be the following:
“We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us
We trying to buy back our 40 acres
And for that paper, look how low we a’stoop
Even if you in a Benz, you still a n***a in a coop/coupe”
Rest of Hits
- Heard Em Say
- Can’t Tell Me Nothing
- New Slaves
I’ve worked a lot of jobs. By 20, I had worked as employee for over 15 companies. To me, this track represents the struggle of having larger than life dreams and feeling suffocated by the process of reaching them. Working retail (especially at a mall) is really hard for an entrepreneur. So grateful for the struggle because it helped mold me into the man I am today! Shout out to GLC The #ism
Rest of Deep Cuts
- Never Let Me Down
- Family Business
- Made in America
- The Joy
I listened to this song EVERY DAY after work from May – Jul 2011. It made my drive home. I didn’t even own a car. I would drive my dad’s Camry, open all the windows, and crank this song for the world. I was so pumped for Watch The Throne to come out. From the back and forth between Kanye and Jay-Z, to the grandiosity of the lyrics, it just felt like a party. The music video puts it over the top!
Send It Up
“This the best thing in the club…since in da club.”
Yeezus, which was met with univerally mixed reviews, was all over the place. From depressing tales in “Hold My Liquor” to downright freaky and pornographic “I’m In It”, “Send it Up” was the life of the party. King Louie (or King L) kills his verse. Ye is brash, funny, and makes use of great word play. But most of all, it’s a fun dance track in the bizarre world that is Yeezus.
Rest of Celebration/Ignorance
- We Major
- Hell of a life
Drive Slow (Remix)
Patience. This song reminds me that I’m working towards something big, and I need to pace myself if I hope to fulfill my dreams. I love the story telling, and Kanye picked great artists to get on the track with him (Paul Wall, GLC and T.I. on the remix). In fact, T.I. delivers my favorite lines:
“Life’s about who make it not about who make it the fastest. Drive slow homie.”
Rest Of Group Tracks
- Us Placers
- Swagger Like Us
- Good Friday
Be – Common Album
Kanye West produced one of Common’s best critically and commercially received albums with Be. It is a staple of mine for listening to while I work, and the intro is one of my all-time favorites!
Thanks For Reading! What did you think?
If you made it all the way to the bottom, thank you. It was a lot of fun to put together this blog and I hope you enjoyed it. Please join the conversation on social media and let us know your thoughts and what you would’ve added! Don’t forget to tag your friends so they can jump in too.