I recently went through Kanye’s entire discography, and I was amazed. Right now he is without a doubt my favorite hip hop artist. I don’t think anyone else has transcended the genre as much as him. He’s unique in his uncanny ability to simply be unique, especially in a field where conforming to the norm seems to be turning into the norm. An egotistical narcissist he may be, but when he calls himself a musical genius, I’ll believe him.
Here’s my list of favorite songs by Kanye West, sorted by album (all of which, by the way, I highly recommend going through). Oh, and one more thing. A lot of these songs are not readily available on YouTube – a shame really. If you’re like me and don’t like torrenting (not due to morals, but for a fear of viruses), you can find all the music on Spotify.
The College Dropout
- Family Business
- School Spirit
- Never Let Me Down
- Jesus Walks
- All Falls Down
Was there ever a greater debut album than The College Dropout? I don’t think so. It’s incredible how a lot of the songs on his first album are still relevant and catchy as hell today. Not to mention the skits are entertaining and actually meaningful – waht more could you ask for? Stylistically, this is probably my favorite album by him – I really like the soul sampling he used to do back in the day. Phenomenal album.
- Heard ‘Em Say
- Touch The Sky
- Gold Digger
- Diamonds From Sierra Leone
This album is generally accepted by critics to be even better than his debut album, but I never got into most of the songs the same way I did with The College Dropout. It’s still unquestionably a great album, and one cherished by most fans. These songs apart, however, I wasn’t too big a fan of (primarily the beats).
- Good Morning
- I Wonder
- The Glory
Graduation turned Kanye into a pop star as well as a hip hop star, and deservedly so. This is his first album which I remember hearing, and while not understanding the lyrics, definitely enjoying the top-notch production. Even the songs I haven’t listed as being my favorite I still really enjoy. I can’t think of any other album that comes close to pumping out hits like this one did.
808s And Heartbreak
- Welcome To Heartbreak
- Love Lockdown
- Coldest Winter
A lot of fans hold this to be his weakest album (until Yeezus), but I disagree. I can see why people didn’t dig the monotonous autotune that defined this album, but there was strength in that style, and helped him convey his state of being at that time in an extremely powerful way. In terms of production, this is classic Kanye.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
This is, without a doubt, the pinnacle of Kanye’s work. If any analogy can be applied, I’d say this album vaulted him from a bonafide all-star to a surefire hall of famer. Instead of listing my favorite songs from this album, let me instead list the one song I didn’t enjoy on the album: Gorgeous. Ironic, because that just about sums up this album. I hold that it is one of, if not the best modern hip hop albums ever dropped. Absolutely perfect.
I’m with a large portion of Kanye’s fanbase when they say this was his weakest solo effort. The beats were just so…different. It was a highly experimental album, to be sure, but it just didn’t sound like anything you’d look forward to hearing over and over again. It is his style to always switch his style up with each album, but I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t see the harsh, unforgiving production of Yeezus again. Hell, not even Daft Punk could make this album better. Lyrically, though, I think this was one of his stronger albums – he adresses a lot of issues concerning racism, and the message conveyed is as harsh and unforgiving as the beats that accompany it.
What do you think? I won’t list my favorite albums right now, because they’re always changing according to my mood. Again, these are only his solo efforts; for example, I didn’t include his collaborative work with Jay Z on Watch The Throne, which is just as good as any one of the aforementioned albums. I can’t wait to see what Kanye West comes up with in the future. You may or may not agree with my list, but there’s no denying his creative talent. If nothing else, I hope you check out some of the songs I’ve listed, and enjoy them as much as I do.