64. “Send It Up,” Yeezus
Much of what makes “Send It Up” intriguing is the open and closing samples of Beanie Man’s “Memories,” which points out that living in the past isn’t as important as living in the present. Of course Yeezus is known as the hugest tonal shift in Kanye’s career, one that alienates, yet, allows Kanye to experiment with what’s he’s interested in. “Send It Up” might not be the best track of Yeezus, but it does reiterate that Kanye is going to do basically whatever the hell he feels like.
63. “Celebration,” Late Registration
If you’re Kanye West and you’ve just made an excellent sophomore release, what do you do next? You have a celebration, y’all! “Celebration” is an incredibly simple Kanye song, talking about little more than getting a little drunk and high, hitting on some ladies and maybe having a baby. On an album that discusses everything from death to blood diamonds, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun, too.
62. “I Wonder,” Graduation
“I Wonder” has Kanye playing around with his song structure in a fascinating way. With the first verses, Kanye is in a difficult relationship, with his lyrics staggered and unnatural. However in the final verse, with the relationship supposedly cut off, Kanye goes back to being himself, with his usual cadence. The sample of “My Song” by Labi Siffre does get a bit insistent, but it’s overpowered by Kanye’s interesting song construction.
61. “I’m In It,” Yeezus
Yeezus is an album that takes sharp turns and goes in insane directions, probably no more so than in “I’m In It.” In a Pitchfork interview, even Justin Vernon, who is on “I’m In It,” has stated that he’s even confused as to what is going on in the song, stating he has no idea what Assassin is saying and that he’s not even sure what his lyrics were. But Vernon is right, “I’m In It” is violent and sexual and it’s a crazy awesome combination of strangeness.
60. “Good Morning,” Graduation
While the first two West albums begin with intros featuring a school administrator calling Kanye a disappointment, “Good Morning” starts off Graduation by making Kanye the valedictorian of his own story. “Good Morning” has West graduating to the next level of success, as the cover for Graduation implies, with the College Dropout bear being shot out of college and into the stratosphere. “Good Morning” isn’t West just waking himself up to the next level of his evolution, it’s West waking up the world to its next legend.
59. “Barry Bonds” feating Lil Wayne, Graduation
Remember when Lil Wayne was still considered one of the greatest rappers in the world? “Barry Bonds” is now a reminder of when Lil Wayne could do nothing but make hits, since this track predates Tha Carter III’s popularity. “Barry Bonds” is little more than Wayne and West going head-to-head, knocking it out of the park with each verse, and of course bragging.
58. “Family Business,” The College Dropout
Kanye has always put a strong importance on family, from his clear love for his mother on his first album to “Only One” that’s dedicated to his daughter. With “Family Business,” Kanye shows love for his entire family and the love they had for him even in the darkest of times. Even though he might act like he’s all business, he says that when he gets together with his family, he’s basically just a regular, goofy guy. “Family Business” has a wonderful warmth to it that makes you want to join the West family for a Sunday cookout.
57. “Bring Me Down” featuring Brandy, Late Registration
“Bring Me Down” is just a gigantic middle finger to anyone that has tried to keep Kanye from reaching his dreams, and to those who wanted nothing to do with him but now want his help for their own careers. “Bring Me Down” builds to an exciting crescendo, with the entire song beginning and ending with fantastic Brandy verses. “Bring Me Down” also presents a perfect encapsulation of who Kanye is—a man who will speak from his heart, regardless of what that means. At the very least, it gives people an opinion of him, which is more than can be sad about most musicians.