Lines is a series shining a spotlight on the songs and lyrics of our favorite artists. For this installment, we're focusing on Kanye West, the legendary Chicago emcee who just turned 40 today. Here's three of our favorite tracks.
Can't Tell Me Nothing // Graduation
Few believed a pink polo wearing producer and wanna be rapper, from Chicago would become one of hip hop's most recognizable names. Two classic albums later, and a W in a legendary beef with 50 Cent, his hip hop supremacy was cemented following the release of his 2007 album Graduation. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was Kanye's declaration of victory over those that doubted him.
Eyes Closed // Non-album Release
Eyes Closed was made during a recording session for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but didn’t make the final track-list. However, Kanye premiered the verse at the B.E.T. Hip Hop Awards via the GOOD Music cypher and the song later made its way to a one-off release featuring Snoop Dogg. The lyrics encapsulated many of Kanye's internal struggles after losing his mother, ending his high-profile relationship with Amber Rose, and public backlash for the infamous Taylor Swift incident.
Dark Fantasy // My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Arguably one of the best rap albums ever released, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy broke all the rules of conventional rap. The intro track “Dark Fantasy” set the tone immediately with its avant-garde combination of antagonistic lyrics filled with disparate cultural and musical references. All of this laid over distorted 80’s British pop rock sample sprinkled with Justin Vernon and Teyana Taylor vocals.