65)Kanye West – I Wonder

Song: I Wonder

Album: Graduation

Year: 2007

After kicking through the door then becoming the best mainstream Hip-Hop act in the game with The College Dropout and Late Registration respectively, Kanye West had nothing to do other than stunt about how far he had come, the basic premise of his third LP Graduation. “I Wonder” is one of the most influential boom-bap records ever, the synths over the sample is dope and the orchestration on the breakdown is just beautiful.

My theory is Kanye used the tragedies that would follow this to shape him from a Hip-Hop artist into an “artist” who makes what would pass for Hip-Hop. I’m no one to direct anyone’s art but he could have easily taken time off, stuck to his roots and made a heartfelt song about his mom passing away on the project that would follow (though I love 808’s & Heartbreak). With My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy I feel like he was lacking inspiration and needed to become America’s enemy just to have some sort of tribulation to hurdle over, which led to him seizing the opportunity to pull the Taylor Swift stunt (he showed up to the VMAs drunk that year, ready to do something). Basically what I’m saying is I fear we’ll never again see the Kanye that made whole albums standing for the embodiment of purism. Intermittent moments like “Chain Heavy” are fine but yeah…

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