In light of many recent events, Kanye West has gotten a bit of a bad rep. This is not to say that he has not earned the controversy sparked by his statements, but it is not to say that his legacy should be tarnished either. He is a musician -a famous musician- and I understand that this fact gives him a platform to pass on an encouraging and wise message. But let us not forget exactly how Kanye grew to be the voice he is now. Under all of the scrutiny and controversy surrounding his name, is the same Kanye that a generation of kids fell in love with.
This article is an homage to the Mr. West that we know and love: The musician who lived a hell of a life while trying to engrave his name amongst the stars; The dropout that encouraged us to learn from him. This article is an homage to the music that still plays in our hearts from the Van Gogh of the rap world. Here are the top five dopest Kanye tracks.
5. There isn’t a Kanye album in existence that doesn’t contain at least one trademark track on it. My Dark Twisted Fantasy is no exception to this. But what many people forget to do while bopping out to his songs, is recognize that Kanye is a man with an energetic penchant for storytelling. One of the most iconic cases of this is noted in “All of the Lights.“ This song has an amazing narrative of a father having issues with the world around him. However, the entirety of the story is metaphorical. It left many stumped as to what the true meaning of the story could be, but one theory states that celebrities are represented by the father, and his “girl” is a metaphor for society. I personally favor this theory because, if you think about it, when a celebrity does something audacious, they are attacked hard for it and ridiculed in such a way that would seem like chaining negative connotations to them (this is referenced by the line “I slap my girl/she call the feds”). For Kanye to weave the lines together and make such an elaborate metaphor is one of the dopest things an artist can do, in my opinion. Therefore, “All of the Lights” makes it to the top dopest because of how interesting I believe the interpretation to be.
4. There is a stubborn teenage drama queen in us all: I believe Mr. West describes it best with the statement “You can’t tell me nothing” in his track “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.“ This track just oozes swag from the beat to the bars. What I like most is how smooth it all runs and how understandably cocky it sounds. This song is enjoyable in every element, so, for that reason, it will always be in my top dopest.
3. Is there really such a thing as a beautiful disaster? If so, I would imagine that “Stronger” was West’s way of communicating just that. Recorded over Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger,“ this track was destined to be the jam from the get-go. The techno beat and the aggression of the words makes this song an all-time-favorite for working out and pushing the listener to go harder, and be better. For the aggressive vibe and altogether excitement of this track, it holds a high place in my top dopest.
2. The depth of Kanye as an artist has been a constant question for his listeners. One moment he’s ending a song with “poopy di scoop” and the next he’s conveying his inner spirituality through a track like “Ultralight Beam.” If you have not heard this song yet, I highly suggest you check it out before finishing this article. “Ultralight Beam” is basically a Kanye gospel song that communicates his true spirituality. I love this song because of how soft and meaningful each utterance is. “This is a god dream/This is everything.” It’s not the Kanye that we’ve known. This is something different. This is a Kanye with noticeable humility, and that fact empowers this song even more. For this reason, among many others, this track is unforgettable and, therefore, a top dopest contender worthy of its position.
1. Last but certainly not least, ending this top dopest list is the tribute that West did for his daughter. This is the most heartfelt and dope of experiences that Kanye has given, and personally, it holds a high spot in my heart as the dopest work of art that West has given us. “Only One“ is a song that will go down in history a soothing homage to North West that the rest of us get to experience. The beat is emotionally sustaining, the background vocals are legit, and the message is amazing; what more could we ask of an artist? I think the personality of this track is what makes it reverberate in the souls of the people that hear it. In my opinion, this is the epitome of beautifully dope. Therefore this is the final entry for top dopest.
This concludes my top five dopest Kanye songs. Like him or hate him, there is no denying that the man is a musical deity. Let us show some respect to the side of Kanye that we still rock with. We miss you, Mr. West. I hope we still get visits from you in the future.