I clicked a buzzfeed link to Kanye West’s Album Tracks Ranked From Worst to Best (I regret my decision). It was wrong in so many ways. Ranking Gorgeous 68 out of 72? smh
Kanye has a lot of good songs, from top to bottom. But while everyone is familiar with his hits, a lot of gems go unnoticed.
Here are, in my opinion, five of his most underrated songs:
1. Street Lights is an emotionally distressed, auto-tune heavy song about depression, life’s repetitiveness, it’s quick passing, and the difficulty in finding meaning as you age. The song is comprised mostly of a chorus, but the words are poetic and full of deeper meanings:
“So I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare. See I know my destination, but I’m just not there. All the street lights, glowing, happen to be just like moments, passing, in front of me”
2. Gorgeous is a well played song, but because it’s on Kanye’s most popular album, it doesn’t gets the respect it deserves, evidenced by the reviews it receives online (fucking buzzfeed). Gorgeous showcases some of Kanye’s best lyrical work. The verses are ingeniously written, have an amazing flow, and make social commentary on race, inequality, and how music fits in between.
“Inter century anthems based off inner city tantrums, based off the way we was branded. Face it, Jerome get more time than Brandon, and at the airport they check all through my bag and tell that it’s random”
3. Hey Mama is a super emotional song dedicated to Kanye’s mom. It talks about everything she sacrificed for him and attributes his success to her. Two years after this song released, his mom died, and this song has a different but just as important meaning today. It’s a great rap song and the topic is something everyone can get behind.
“I was three years old when you and I moved to the Chi. Late December, harsh winter gave me a cold. You fixed me up something that was good for my soul. Famous homemade chicken soup, can I have another bowl?”
4. Can’t Tell Me Nothing doesn’t lack in popularity. It was a single off Graduation but was out-shined by other hits on the album like Stronger. Apart from being one of Kanye’s most defining songs, it shows the beginning of his “me vs. the world” attitude and his “no fucks given, I am a god” bravado that we would see again in MBDTF and Yeezus.
“I had a dream I could buy my way to heaven. When I woke up, I spent that on a necklace…. So if the devil wear Prada, Adam Eve wear nada, I’m in between but way more fresher”
5. Robocop is one of my personal favorites. It’s a catchy song with a different style that traverses his relationship with a “Robocop” girl, in this case his ex-fiance. It’s funny, sarcastic, melodic, and even slightly relatable, which is rare with Kanye.
“Who knew she was a drama queen, that’d turn my life to Stephen King’s. Up late night like she on patrol, checking everything like I’m on parole. I told her there’s some things she don’t need to know. She never let it go. Ok, ok, ok, ok”
You may have noticed that 808’s and Heartbreak got decent representation on this list (2/5). That’s because if we were to talk underrated albums, it’d be number one. I recommend listening through completely and really trying to understand the lyrics. You’ll get used to the auto-tune and lack of verses, trust me.