Lost in The World – Dark Fantasy – Kanye West
What I love about this song is the poeticism in which Kanye starts the song. The theme is of being lost in the world like we all are to some degree. Like at the end of the day, we’re all like ‘what are we doing here?’
Beyond our goals and relationships, what are we doing here? You could make such a valid argument that our world is just pointless, and we are lost.
However, when Kanye goes onto express his love for a woman in this song, it shows how love itself is what brings meaning.
Lost in this plastic life,
Let’s break out of this fake-ass party
Turn this into a classic night
It’s like he’s done with the pretending and the appearances. He’s done with the persona and the veneer and he just wants to live authentically with this beautiful woman, who is all he really cares about in his world.
Kanye actually wrote this verse for Kim Kardashian, who you know turned out to be his wife. So there is so much meaning to this verse for him.
You’re my devil, you’re my angel
You’re my heaven, you’re my hell
You’re my now, you’re my forever
You’re my freedom, you’re my jail
You’re my lies, you’re my truth
You’re my war, you’re my truce
You’re my questions, you’re my proof
You’re my stress and you’re my masseuse
Every line here is just contrasted by the next. It doesn’t really make sense pragmatically. But then from another perspective, this contradiction that this woman provides Kanye is like the meaning for his life. This woman is what brings Kanye the meaning to his existence.
This song means so much to me, because whenever I feel ‘lost in the world’ I’ll turn this on and I feel related to.
Run from the lights, run from the night, run for your life
This is a line that comes later, which is like – just keep moving forward, don’t stop. Run for your life! Because life never stops, you have to keep moving forward or you’ll be left behind and swallowed up.
Hate It Or Love It – The Game & 50 Cent
“Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top
And I’m gon’ shine, homie, until my heart stop”
What I love about this song, is that it talks about what it’s like to come from nothing and rise to the top.
50 Cent and The Game both talk about the bullshit they had to endure whilst growing up in the hood.
50 starts with a verse about his childhood situation, and how he had ambitions on how to get out of that situation and be highly successful.
Coming up I was confused, my mommy kissing a girl
Confusion occurs coming up in the cold world
Daddy ain’t around, probably out committing felonies
This initial verse gives us a sobering insight as to what it was like to be 50 Cent when he was growing up. His childhood was confusing. His mother may have been lesbian, but she was also a prostitute who was killed when he was a young kid. His dad wasn’t around so he obviously didn’t have many role models. Being in that situation, most would feel hopeless, but 50 Cent has got that winner mentality, to which he goes onto the next line:
I wanna live good so, shit, I sell dope
Obviously, being in the hood, opportunities are slim and the way that a lot of people make money from that environment is by dealing drugs, and so he turns to that. He goes onto the next verse however, talking about his ambitions furthermore to break out of the hood, the drug scene and live a life of prosperity.
Tossed and turned in my sleep that night
Woke up the next morning, niggas had stole my bike
Different day, same shit, ain’t nothing good in the hood
I’d run away from this bitch and never come back if I could
What really gets me is the ‘I’d run away from this bitch and never come back if I could’ line, which I’m sure we’ve all felt at sometime in our life. When this song was released I was like 7 years old, and my family home was a very turbulent one. My parents had divorced, and my dad had left home, which meant that my mother had to take care of older siblings never-ending arguing. I was a decade younger and physically weaker then everybody. I remember feeling just helpless within the midst of it all.
At school at the time, I had no friends at the time – I just felt disconnected from everyone, like I had nobody. I had low self-esteem, and I was a loner at school at the time.
I literally used to listen to this kind of rap music when I was 7-8 years old. So when I’d here 50 Cent say “I’d run away from this bitch and never come back if I could”, even though I was 7 years old, hearing him say that, I could relate and I felt like someone had been through what I’d been through.
50 Cent grew up in the hood of Queens, New York – I grew up in the green suburbs of Wolverhampton. Hardly much of a similar background from that perspective. But from the pains of growing up and feeling helpless to your environment, and having the hope of breaking out one day was very much where I related to 50 Cent in this song.
And then the chorus goes onto the beautiful, poetic verse:
Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top
And I’m gon’ shine, homie, until my heart stop
I love this so much, because the ‘Underdog’s on top’ is like 50’s perspective now he’s broke out of that situation and he’s winning at the highest level. To go from the bottom, where he has no parents, and it seems like his only way out is selling drugs, but to then go to the top where he has the highest form of success is just truly inspirational. For me as a child as early as eight years old listening to that, is just priceless man.
I feel like rap music can really appeal to one’s ambition and to the hero that’s within all of us.
Finally, ‘I’m gon’ shine, homie, until my heart stop” is like that winner mentality – that all or nothing mentality. I’m going to be virtuous until the day I die, I’m going to give my all until I stop breathing, I’m going to put my all into getting out of this situation and succeeding no matter what it takes – whether that be a bullet in the heart – I will NEVER give up.
I love this song so much, that I get goosebumps every time I hear it. The Game’s verses are equally exceptional, but I think 50’s bars are just on another level.
Reborn – Kids See Ghosts – Kid Cudi & Kanye West
Kids See Ghosts is the collaborative album and group of the same name comprised of Kanye West and Kid Cudi. The album was only released in 2018, and the reason this album had such an impact on me was the main theme which was mental health.
The song ‘Reborn’ is one of the highlights of the album, where the theme is about going through something hard or even tragic, and coming out the other end killed, but then to be reborn – which is a very real concept.
Kanye West talks about his depression and nervous breakdown. This line stands out to me the most:
I was off the chain, I was often drained
I was off the meds, I was called insane
What an awesome thing, engulfed in shame
I want all the rain, I want all the pain
I want all the smoke, I want all the blame
What really gets me about these lines, is that it’s an almost Christ-like comparison.
Ye calls himself Yeezus, but it’s in these lines where he is most like Christ, where he is talking about taking all the hits, taking all the pain and lifting the heavy load, so other people don’t have to bear that responsibility.
‘I want all the rain, I want all the pain, I want all the smoke, I want all the blame’ is so powerful, because it’s a line about taking responsibility for all the bad things in your life, and inviting that responsibility in.
Once you take responsibility, you have control, and because you’re no longer in defence, whatever people say cannot harm you any further. It’s like you take that ammo away from other people. And whether you may be in the wrong or not, by taking that full responsibility, you’re doing a heroic thing.
It’s like the scene in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises when Batman takes the atomic bomb with him and flies away from the city, to avoid the whole city getting blown up, and obviously taking his own life in the process.
Relating it back to the Kanye verse ‘I want all the rain, I want all the pain, I want all the smoke, I want all the blame’, Batman is taking all of the pain and sacrificing his most precious thing – his life – so that other people don’t have to suffer.
Check it out below.