Top 10 Kanye West Songs

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The 10 Best Kanye West Songs

 Kanye West is one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. West is a bold and creative spirit who continues to evolve his sound with each subsequent release. His albums range from soulful (College Dropout) and autotune-ful (808s & Heartbreak) to experimental (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) and wildly experimental (Yeezus). Let's look back at his catalog and take stock of his finest moments. Here's a list of the best Kanye West songs of all time...OF ALL TIME!!

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10. "Gone"

Kanye-West.jpg
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Listen: "Gone"

AlbumLate Registration

Collaboration is the key here. Cam'ron turns in what's arguably the most impressive guest verse of his career; Consequence shows why Kanye loves collaborating with him; and Kanye brings it all together. From the production to the hook to the 16s, "Gone" clicks on all cylinders.

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9. "Spaceship"

kanye-west.jpg
(Photo © Peter Kramer/Getty)

Listen: "Spaceship"

AlbumCollege Dropout

We've all been there. Rough day at the grind and a boss straight out of Office Space. Here, Kanye manages to take that empty feeling and fill it with new meaning. It's a gumbo of frustration, hope, uncertainty. It won't make you feel better, but it it's a reminder that we're all connected in more ways than we realize.

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8. "Coming Home"

Kanye West
Kanye West. Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Listen: "Coming Home"

AlbumCollege Dropout Mixtape

Not to be confused with "Homecoming," the Chris Martin-aided version that eventually wound up on Graduation. "Coming Home," which first showed up on a pre-College Dropout mixtape, sports a different beat and John Legend delivers the hook. What makes the original song slightly superior to the Coldplayfied version is that it has more heart and rawness. It's like jean shorts and a t-shirt vs a tailor-made suit. Which would you choose on a hot, sunny day in Texas?

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7. "Coldest Winter"

Listen: "Coldest Winter"

Album808s & Heartbreak

Recorded shortly after Kanye lost his mother, "Coldest Winter" is a standout cut on 808s & Heartbreak. Kanye creates an experience that deeply penetrates the subconscious and leaves the listener with a visceral residue that sticks in one's brain long after the song has ended.

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6. "Big Brother"

Jay-Z-Kanye-Tidal.jpg

Listen: "Big Brother"

AlbumGraduation

Big Brother was a song Kanye had been dying to get off his chest for a while. He kicks back and reflects on his rise to fame, while tossing a few barbs at Jay-Z for biting his style.

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5. "Flashing Lights"

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Photo © Noel Vasquez/Getty

Listen: "Flashing Lights"

AlbumGraduation

A revered producer, Kanye West demonstrates his sonic range on "Flashing Lights." He doesn't disappoint on the mic, either: "Martin with no Gina,” he quips on “Flashing Lights,” while Detroit's Dwele rides shotgun.

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4. "Through the Wire"

Listen: "Through the Wire"

AlbumCollege Dropout

The first time I heard "Through the Wire" I immediately knew I was experiencing a defining moment in hip-hop. Kanye sounded like no other rapper out at the time. That was due, in part, to the fact that he was rhyming through the wire. Literally.

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3. "Diamonds From Sierra Leone"

Jay-Z-Kanye-West.jpg
(Photo © Christopher Polk/Getty)

Listen: "Diamonds From Sierra Leone"

AlbumLate Registration

Remember when Yeezy could rhyme like this? He makes it look easy here, as metaphors roll off his tongue with ease. Everything from the cinematic beat to Kanye's naked honesty made "Diamonds" such a great movie-on-wax moment. "You gotta love it that somebody still speaks from his soul." I wish he still did.

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2. "New Slaves"

Kanye West - New Slaves
Kanye West - New Slaves. © GOOD Music

Listen: "New Slaves"

AlbumYeezus

"New Slaves" finds 'Ye raging against the system over congas: "You see it's broke ni--a racism that’s that ’Don’t touch anything in the store' / And this rich ni--a racism that’s that ‘Come in, please buy more'" It's the best song on the crazed and confused Yeezus.

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1. "Jesus Walks"

Listen: "Jesus Walks"

AlbumCollege Dropout

Kanye West has never made a song as important as "Jesus Walks." Sure, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" comes close enough, but no other song in his catalog can rival the depth and nuances of "Jesus Walks." That it went on to become a huge commercial hit is even more perplexing. Such is the mark of a genius.