Top Five, Top Five
When I first heard “Wake-Up Mr. West” did you all think it was Bernie Mac? Apparently, it was DeRay Davis from Wilin’ Out. Why did I watch that show so much back then? It was too corny. DeRay sounds just like Bernie. Rest in Peace to one of the greatest comedians.
Anyway, “Heard Em Say” with Adam Levine is bae. He was perfect for this tune.
Track three, Touch the Sky, introduces the dude representing that First and Fifteen: Lupe Fiasco. In fact, he had to be talked into writing a verse for this project. “Yes. Yes. YES. Guess who’s on third? Lupe steal like Lupin the 3rd” (shoutout to you anime lovers out there!) Love that track and loved the video simply because Nia Long. Hearts. T
Track four is Gold Digger with Jamie Foxx. The film Ray, starring Jamie Foxx, was released a year before this album was out. It was only right to sample “I got a woman” by Ray Charles.
Skit #1 is the fifth track. It has an HBCU feel talking about how this fraternity can’t get no hoes, with no money and no cars, claiming that they ain’t got it. This fraternity it known as THEE Broke Phi Broke Fraternity, Incorporated. Welcome to the bottom.
“Drive slow homie, you never know homie”, sitting sideways at track six with a super cool ride on the bus when I was in 10th grade, feat. Paul Wall, GLC, me and my Walkman. You couldn’t tell us anything!
“My Way Home” was brief yet I played it constantly. Bars upon bars by Common Sense and the sample “Home is where the Hatred Is” by Gil Scott-Heron. This song was also played on the film Dope when Malcolm was sitting on the bus. Dope scene, dope movie, go watch it.
What I find ironic about this whole, Crack music, is how Kanye West identifies George Bush has the answers in this eighth track. This album was released August 30, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico the day before. And what did Kanye West say at the concert to help with the hurricane relief program? It’s safe to say Ye is not a fan of former president George W. Bush so we gonna keep bagging up this here, crack music.
In the following track, Roses, Ye changes up on me. Heartfelt, relatable, and you can paint the picture. Especially, when he says “my grandfather trying to pull it together, he strong, that’s where I get my confidence from” I can see the male role models in my life in a time of stress trying to bottle up their emotions to keep it together and be strong. Roses was everything.
I love Brandy because I grew up on Moe to the E to the. By default, I like “Bring Me Down”.
“What’s your addiction, is it money, is it girls, is it weed? I’ve been afflicted with not one, not two but all three.” I feel him. Well, I was in the 10th grade and grew up in a church at the time so I was not exposed to much. This song made me live life vicariously through Kanye. Needless to say, it became relatable as I grew up.
Skit #2 BROOOOOKEEEE PHIIIIIII BROOOOKEEEEEEE
Track thirteen is when the Hov + Ye duo began!!!!! Next, “Feeling better than some head on a Sunday afternoon, better than a chick that say ‘yes’ too soon.”
Ye feat. Nas & Really Doe on “We Major”. I love that track and the instrumental alone is about as easy to pick up as it is like a Kardashian picking up a black entertainer. Pun, intended.
Skit # 3 is a history lesson about how Broke Phi Broke was founded.
Hey Mama is another heartfelt track. Puberty kicked in but I still loved my mama. Even through the struggles, mama was always there. It’s a celebration bitchesssss! Sometimes, you gotta shine on them. Self-doubt is fatal, so celebrate while you can.
In Skit #4, the transition was everything. They were quietly chanting Broke Phi Broke and quietly throwing shade on a brother coming up. It’s not appreciated so your own brothers will kick you out for changing for the better.
The next song transitions into Gone feat. Consequence & Cam’ron talking about how he had to let it burn and go off his instincts; signing with Roc Nation. What’s that saying we said as kids: “poof, be gone, your breath is really strong”- Sorry Mr. West is gone.
Track twenty, yes it was a lengthy album but every track hits! Diamonds from Sierra Leone fueled the fire. Show up and show out, Kanye!! Throw ya diamonds to the sky if you feel the vibe. You couldn’t help but feel happy for him, after the struggles, long nights, separating yourself to get to where you need to be. Again, relatable!
Now to the final track: Late. it’s sick how well I know this whole song, even the piano part. I even loved the part when he couldn’t find a line that could rhyme with “Like them Eskimos, what would you do for a Klondike, with two dykes that look Christina Milan like, MMH I’ll be on time for that.” One of his addictions being women. I thought it was brilliant!
Instrumentals, verses, and featured artists throughout the album was clevertly orchestrated. It provided a spectacular mix of old school feels with modern day inventiveness. This is honestly one of my top five favorite albums and #1 favorite Kanye West album.
What’s your top five favorite albums? Also, what is your favorite Kanye West album?