10. Can’t Tell Me Nothing
Released in 2007, this song came out from his third album, Graduation. In the song, Kanye talks wealth and the power it brings with it. He tells the tale of the dream of wealth and how one day he will have all the materialist desires he had in his dream and how no one can take his journey to make happen away from him. This song was nominated for “Best Rap Song” at the 50th Grammy Awards.
The awaited album of 2016, The Life of Pablo, brought with it this banger of a track. It completely broke the internet when its music video came out starring Teyana Taylor. The Tidal-exclusive music video premiered at the 2016 Video Music Awards. It peaked at the 47 spot on Billboards Hot 100.
It debuted at #4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 where it eventually peaked at #2 and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks and U.S. Hot 100 Airplay. The song was released November 4, 2008 from Kanye’s fourth studio album, 808’s & Heartbreaks. “Heartless” is one of the best selling singles of all time with 5.5 million digital copies in 2009.
7. Good Life
Two legendary musicians of the 2000’s come together to make this masterpiece that come out in 2007 from Kanye’s third studio album, Graduation. “Good Life” managed to be entered in charts even before it was released as a single. It won the Grammy award for “Best Rap Song” at the 50th Grammy Awards. It has since sold over two million copies and has been given the title of double platinum.
From the fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, this was a comeback from the incident that happened at the 2009 Video Music Awards with Taylor Swift. He was harshly criticized after the whole situation and he mentions in the song what it people would say about him such as, “the abomination of Obama’s nation”. It payed off because the song was listed as 2010’s best track by Rolling Stones, Pitchfork Media, Times, and Spin. It was nominated for the 53rd Grammy Awards for “Best Rap Solo Performance”.
“Homecoming” was the debut single for Kanye’s third studio album, Graduation. The lead vocals come from the uncredited Chris Martin, from Coldplay. The song serves as a tribute to Kanye’s hometown of Chicago and his dedication to his city for making him what he is today. The song is a platinum and was nominated for “Best Hip-Hop Video” for 2008 MTV Music Video Award.
4. All of the Lights
This song was a collaboration with Rihanna which came from Kanye’s fifth studio album, Graduation. This song has gone platinum four times and won multiple Grammy awards such as “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” at the 54th Grammy Awards. Fun fact fourteen artist lent their voices as background vocals such as: Drake, John Legend, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Alicia Keys, The Dream, Elton John, Ryan Leslie, Charlie Wilson, Elly Johnson, Tony Williams, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, and Rihanna. Kanye wanted all his favorite vocals from around the globe to help him achieve his idea for this amazing layered vocal, textured song.
Released from Kanye’s third studio album, Graduation, West speaks on the resolve when one comes to adversity, he commonly uses the phrase coined by Friedrich Nietzsche, “What does not kill him, makes him stronger”. This is a different sound than what Kanye’s usually samples but he came with great results because it top the charts on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as top the charts in 10 different countries. The song won “Best Rap Solo Performance” at the 50th Grammy Awards.
This song came from the 2010 fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. This inspired Kanye’s 35 minute short film “Runaway”; it tells the story of Kanye falling in love with a half-Phoenix woman. During the time of the writing for the son, Kanye was faced with harsh backlash from his actions in the media’s eyes, such as the Taylor Swift incident and his recent arrest for hitting a paparazzi. He accepts his failed relationships and the depiction the media had given him. This song is featured with Pusha T, who is signed to Kanye’s label “GOOD Music”.
1. Gold Digger
This song was released in 2005 from Kanye’s second album, Late Registration. It is easily Kanye’s most recognized song. It is featured with Jamie Foxx, it peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming West’s and Foxx’s second #1 single together. The single broke records as most digital downloads in a week selling over 80,000 copies as well as the fastest-selling digital download of all time. It was 2005’s second-longest running number one behind “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey. It won the “Best Rap Solo Performance” at the 2006 Grammy Awards and has gone platinum 5 times now.