Bring back the Old Kanye West

I’ve been a little bummed about Kanye West spouting pro-Trump idiocy. I’ve long learned to tune out Kanye’s eccentric personal life, but his first four albums are some of my favorites. Not only for the stellar music, but because of the social issues he spoke about  in his lyrics. Kanye is by no means a “conscious rapper,” but he’s never been shy to speak on important topics. He was even one of the first mainstream hiphop icons to speak positively about LGBTQ people. And who can forget when he accused the Bush administration of perpetuating racism?

I’ve compiled a by-no-means complete playlist of some classic Kanye tunes where he brings up some pretty topical stuff. Here’s to hoping he gets his life straightened out!

Jesus Walks:

To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers, even the strippers
(Jesus walks for them)
To the victims of welfare feel we livin’ in Hell here, hell yeah
(Jesus walks for them)

Heard ‘Em Say:

Claiming money is the key, so keep on dreamin
And put them lottery tickets just to tease us
My Aunt Pam can’t put them cigarettes down
So now my little cousin smokin them cigarettes now
His job try to claim that he too niggerish now
Is it cause his skin blacker than licorice now
I can’t figure it out, I’m sick of it now

Amazing (featuring Young Jeezy):

Victorious, yeah we warriors
We make history, strive off victory (yeah)
Standing at my podium, I’m trying to watch my sodium
Die high blood pressure, either let the Feds catch ya (yeah)


Last week I paid a visit to the institute
They got the dropout keepin’ kids in the school
I guess I cleaned up my act like Prince’d do
If not for pleasure, then at least for the principle

Who Will Survive In America (featuring Gil Scott-Heron):

Us living as we do upside-down
And the new word to have is revolution
People don’t even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel
Because God’s whole card has been thoroughly piqued
And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey

New Slaves:

Meanwhile the DEA
Teamed up with the CCA
They tryna lock niggas up
They tryna make new slaves
See that’s that privately owned prison
Get your piece today
They prolly all in the Hamptons
Braggin’ ’bout what they made

Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix):

Good mornin’, this ain’t Vietnam still
People lose hands, legs, arms, for real
Little was known of Sierra Leone
And how it connect to the diamonds we own
When I speak of diamonds in this song
I ain’t talkin’ about the ones that be glowin’
I’m talkin’ about Roc-a-Fella, my home
My chain, these ain’t conflict diamonds
Is they, Jacob? Don’t lie to me, man

As I said before, there are definitely more that aren’t here. Feel free to offer suggestions!

UPDATE: I forgot about “Hey Mama,” which was a surprisingly sweet ode to his mother before she died. Classic song with refreshingly wholesome lyrical content. Only Kanye could make “I love you mommy” sound cool.