This album is filled with multiple classics songs, beats and verses but what were our personal favs?
Beat: Last Call
Its been my favorite for quite a while so no need to change now. That Rockefeller sample is the cherry on top of such a chill beat. That baseline is smooth as hell and the drums are fat. This combination makes a controlled head nod mandatory. What i didn’t know until recently is that they replayed the sample for whatever reason, Evidence found the original sample, Kanye put his touch on it too and oh yeah, Jay-Z declined the beat on Fade To Black. This is one of few beats I could listen to all day.
Song: Through The Wire
This track feels so good inside, its something special to me. First off, whoever did the baseline on this deserves a high five. Its a triumphant tale to be heard, with so much perserverance and drive from Mr. West. “trying to be a millionaire, how i use two life lines”. The story behind the track adds even more depth to it and you got all of this on top of Chaka Khan yelling what sounds like “through the wire”. Its the perfect match for the lyrics. To this day, this is a top track from Kanye period and my favorite from this album. It’s him in his best form. “but I’m a champion so I turned tragedy into triumph, make music thats fire, spit my soul through the wire”
Verse: All Falls Down (Verse 3)
This track established Kanye and everything about him, the whole song. In particular verse 3 every word comes off as 100% honest. Up into then, that was rare to hear. We all had to feel it because we know he was speaking the truth. And this is what made me become a fan of Kanye. I first heard this in spoken word format on a mixtape and it left me hitting repeat as it still does today. Line for line, he killed it.
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
Cause I want to be on 106 and Park pushin’ a Benz
I want to act ballerific like it’s all terrific
I got a couple past due bills, I won’t get specific
I got a problem with spendin’ before I get it
We all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it
Beat: Last Call
There are so many levels to this beat. You have the humming sound bites and then that powerful “here’s to the roc”. The cutting in and out of the beat was perfect for the song. I like how the keys are subtle even to a point that he has them lower than any of the other sounds in the production. The ghostly sound effect in the background was something unexpected; I wonder what made him put that in the beat. When that sax comes in during Kanye’s talking portion my face always gets screwed up. What’s so unique about this beat is that it’s so long but it keeps changing slightly which keeps your ears trapped.
Song: Get Em High
What I like about this song is that it has a nice bounce to it. It’s easy on the ears in other words. I like the how the beat drops out at the beginning of the Kanye’s first verse. I also like the part when he starts to talk about Talib and that girl comes in, such a smooth transition. Kweli’s flow was authentic. Common came and did his thang. “that’s why nobody don’t know your name like Alicia Keys” ha! The production always makes my head bob.
Verse: Two Words
Truly everybody had an excellent verse on this song but Kanye knew he had to step it up with the level of lyrical talent featured. I like how he started out showing respect to the Chi and describes the traits that many of his people inherited while living in the Chi. Then he goes on to share his frustrations with how he wasn’t get the proper amount of respects back then for his work. I like how he flipped that “pimped up and hoes down” line, genius! Then when he came in with that “f#ck you, pay me” my face got extremely screwed up. He made it more about the two words he helped the listener to feel how hungry he was.
Two words, Chi-town, Southside, worldwide
Cause I rep that ’til I fuckin’ die
One neck two chains, one waist two gats
One wall twenty plaques, dues paid, gimme that
I am limelight, Blueprint five mics
Go Getters rhyme like, should’ve been signed twice
Most imitated, Grammy nominated
Hotel accommodated, cheerleader prom-dated
Barbershop playa-hated, mom-and-pop bootlegged it
Felt like it rained ’til the roof caved in
Two words, Chi-town raised me crazy
So I live by two words: “fuck you, pay me”
Screamin’ “Jesus save me”
You know how the game be
I can’t let ’em change me
Cause on judgment day, you gon’ blame me
Look, God, it’s the same me
And I basically know now
We get racially profiled
‘Cuffed up and hosed down, pimped up and ho’d down
Plus I got a whole city to hold down
From the bottom so the top’s
The only place to go now
What were your favorites?