According to a dated reader poll from Rolling Stone 2013, here is a list of reader’s favorite Ye songs:
1. Runaway –
If Kanye’s Kid A is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, then “Runaway” is his “Idioteque.” The massively ambitious record was a significant departure from his prior work, and its genius was unveiled gradually. There’s far too much to take in in just one or two listens. The nine-minute “Runaway” is the album’s longest and most bizarre tune. It’s the sound of him absorbing and feeding on all the hatred directed at him. Kanye will raise a glass to the douchebags, scumbags, jerks, and jerk-offs if everyone agrees with Obama’s description of him.
The tune revolves around a single eerie piano note. His voice are mangled beyond recognition at the end. It’s Kanye’s way of saying that no one can comprehend him or even hear what he’s saying. The song appears to be fiercely uncommercial, but it reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. If nothing else, it demonstrates that if given enough exposure, the public will accept anything more complicated than a brief pop song.
Whatever Kanye does in the coming decades, “Runaway” will almost surely go down as one of his best masterpieces.
Watch the video “Runaway“
2. Jesus Walks –
When the Beach Boys attempted to release a song with the word “God” in it in 1966, they encountered considerable opposition, and Kanye West had a similar challenge with “Jesus Walks” 38 years later. Kanye started the song before establishing any form of solo career, and management were concerned that people might mistake it for a Christian rap tune. They were also concerned that it would not receive radio play, and West addressed this concern in the final version of the song. “But if I mention God, my album won’t get played,” he rapped. “Well, let this detract from my spins/Which will most likely detract from my ends.”
It turns out that it had no effect on his spins or endings. Radio and MTV adored the tune, and it was soon blasting from vehicle stereos across the country. It’s probable that if he hadn’t persisted on releasing the song, his career would have died at that critical juncture.
Watch the video “Jesus Walks“
3. Gold Digger –
Kanye West’s breakthrough single “Gold Digger” catapulted him from famous rapper and producer to international pop phenomenon. It also generated difficult circumstances for white folks everywhere: how can you sing along to this song when it includes the term “nigga” repeatedly? There’s a clean version of “she ain’t messing with no broken broken,” but no one feels cool singing a Glee rendition of a song. The standard response was to just not vocalize that word and instead sing along with the remainder of the song.
Aside from the discomfort, the music is simply amazing. After one listen, you’ll have it stuck in your mind, and it’s hilarious. Could anyone else think of a statement like “She was meant to purchase your shorty TYCO with your money/She went to the doctor and got lypo with your money”? In addition, the song concludes, “But when you get on, he leave your ass for a white chick.” Kanye is very pleased with that one. In 2006, he told Rolling Stone, “When I spoke that sentence in my head, I was like, ‘This is why I get paid the big money.'” “Lines like those are what distinguishes the excellent from the great.”
Watch the video “Gold Digger“
4. Flashing Lights –
“Flashing Lights” wasn’t a big radio success, but in retrospect, it’s the greatest song on Graduation. “Flashing Lights,” which features vocals from soul artist Dwele, seems like both a throwback to disco and a futuristic rock tune. It’s about a man dealing with the loss of a romance, like are many great Kanye tunes. He raps, “Feeling like Katrina without FEMA.” “Like Martin without Gina/Like a plane without a visa.”
Watch the video “Flashing Lights“
5. Power –
Kanye West has enraged the public in a variety of ways, but nothing has enraged the public more than his upstaging of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Based on her ferocious response, you’d believe he shiv’d her in the stomach as he exited the stage, rather than simply temporarily taking the mic in a silly, drunken stunt. Kanye responded to the backlash by canceling a scheduled tour with Lady Gaga and flying to Hawaii to start production on his fifth album. He was enthralled with every note on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, including “Power.” The song, which is based on a sample of King Crimson’s 1969 classic “21st Century Schizoid Man,” demonstrates Kanye’s great tenacity in the face of enormous hostility.
It’s also a favorite of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s Greg Lake, who sings lead on “21st Century Schizoid Man.” This song opens each event on his current solo tour.
Watch the video “Power“
6. Devil in a New Dress –
Kanye’s ability to choose the best samples and collaborators is one of his most valuable assets. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the only record that contains samples of both Greg Lake and Smokey Robinson. The Miracles’ leader performs “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” on “Devil in a New Dress,” and Rick Ross delivers one of his all-time best guest verses. It was one of the final tracks completed for the album and is certainly one of the most laid-back and least harsh songs on the record.
Watch the video “Devil in a New Dress“
7. Through the Wire –
Kanye West’s rap career was almost over before it began. He was severely injured in a car accident in California in October 2002, just as he was planning his debut album. Surgeons had to repair his jaw, which had to be wired shut for many weeks. West refused to let this hold him down and began the album in this state. “Through the Wire,” the lead song, was recorded while his jaw was still wired shut, and it relates the narrative of his suffering. It took the Roc-a-Fella execs by surprise and made them realize he was deserving of their attention. In the ten years after he released this song, he has controlled the business.
Watch the video “Through the Wire“
8. Stronger –
Everyone in America now knows who Daft Punk is, but back in 2007, many casual music enthusiasts had no idea who they were. Kanye West sampled their 2001 song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” for his smash track “Stronger.” The song quickly went to number one, and Daft Punk even made a rare television appearance to perform it with him at the 2008 Grammys. It marked the start of the group’s ascension to mainstream success.
“Stronger” is one of Kanye’s most radio-friendly tunes, but it wasn’t strong enough to withstand Alison Williams’ terrible acoustic interpretation on a recent episode of Girls. After that fiasco, it’s difficult to hear the song in the same way again.
Watch the video “Stronger“
9. Diamonds from Sierra Leone –
Writing a successful song on conflict diamonds is a difficult task, but Kanye accomplished it with his 2005 single “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.” It educated numerous people that the diamonds we buy in America are frequently the result of unspeakable brutality, and it introduced Dame Shirley Bassey’s vocal stylings to a new generation of listeners. The song failed to make the Top 40 in 2005, but West has sung it at the majority of his gigs over the last eight years, and it has become a fan favorite.
Watch the video “Diamonds from Sierra Leone“
10. All Falls Down –
Kanye West’s second song off his 2004 debut The College Dropout showed to all naysayers that he was a talented rapper. “I couldn’t create ‘All Falls Down’ in 15 minutes until I hung out with Dead Prez and learned how to make, you know, raps with a message seem great,” West recently told the New York Times. “‘All Falls Down’ has the same content as ‘Watch the Throne.’ That is, I am my father’s son. I’m my mother’s son. That’s how I was brought up. I am from the same family as Gil Scott-Heron, a tremendous activist-type artist. But I’m also descended from Miles Davis, who, you know, appreciated good things.”
“All Falls Down” (with Syleena Johnson on vocals) expresses Kanye’s confused views about riches and success, as do many of his later tracks. “I promise, man/I’m so self-conscious,” he raps. “That’s why you’ll always see me wearing at least one of my watches/Rollies and Pashas drove me insane/I can’t even pronounce anything, pass that Versace!”
Watch the video “All Falls Down“
Source – Rolling Stone – Readers’ Poll: The Ten Best Kanye West Songs