It’s hard to narrow down Kanye’s songs because frankly, he’s a musical genius. His giant ego aside, it’s impossible to argue that Kanye has an unbelievable talent for song production, lyricism, and staying relevant in the media. From his debut album, The College Dropout in 2004 to his most recent album, Yeezus, Kanye has not only profoundly developed as an artist, but he has also continually set the standards for the industry. Here are 10 Kanye songs that you absolutely cannot miss out on:
1. Jesus Walks (The College Dropout, 2004)
“Jesus Walks” is one of Kanye’s most performed songs, and it’s for a very good reason. The vulnerable lyrics and heavy beat create a breathtaking tension.
2. New Slaves (Yeezus, 2013)
Don’t be deceived by the simple beat; this hauntingly gritty song deals with slavery, racism, and materialism in the music industry. This song is ahead of its time and I guarantee that it will be coined a masterpiece within the next 5 years.
3. Flashing Lights (Graduation, 2007)
This song has the capability of capturing its listeners in an absolute trance. Get lost in this old-school jam that gets more intriguing with every listen.
4. Monster (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010)
“Monster,” featuring Jay Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver, is a monster in itself. The disturbing, creepy, and ominous song is a lot to take it, but the journey is 100% worth it. Plus, this is one of Nicki Minaj’s best verses.
5. Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Late Registration, 2005)
If you haven’t heard this song, listen to it right now. “Throw your diamonds in the sky.”
6. Runaway (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010)
Kanye made a 30 minute film about this haunting song, which deals with relationship failures and the media’s daunting influence on him. The complex composition of the song mirrors West’s inner turmoil.
7. Blood on the Leaves (Yeezus, 2013)
Kanye presents an intriguing contrast between sacred and profane, which is presented through his lyrics and through the song’s unique composition. The tension is overwhelmingly beautiful.
8. Ni**as in Paris (Watch the Throne, 2011)
Jay Z and Kanye create an irresistible club anthem, embodying strong beats, art, and excitement. This hit will go down in history.
9. Bound 2 (Yeezus, 2013)
This song is the most controversial on my list because many people think that the music video is laughable due to its inclusion of Kim Kardashian and its overly-cheesy graphics. Many rap fans also hate the messy composition of the song, but I think that the unique messiness of the production is a perfect representation of a relationship. This song is broken, but I think it’s beautiful and poignant. This, like many other songs on Yeezus, is ahead of its time.
10. Stronger (Graduation, 2007)
This hip-hop song, infused with electronica, was an immediate hit. It’s almost impossible not to sing along, especially when you’re dancing at a club.