Whether you like him or not, Kanye West has dominated the 21st Century rap game. Therefore, we thought it’d be cool to Power Rank the Top 50 of Kanye’s discography.
(NOTE: FourFive Seconds was considered ineligible as it was not a sole Kanye release)
50. Lift Off
Kicking off our countdown is the Beyonce, Yeezy and Jay-Z number. Beyonce’s hook is the highlight of the song.
49. Get Em High
Talib Kweli, Common and Kanye combine for a banger off of the “College Dropout.” Kanye’s delivery is second to none on this.
48. Drunk and Hot Girls
The lethargic delivery on this song creates a cult favorite.
47. Only One
You know Kanye’s discography is incredible when this can only make it as high as 47…
The production of this song is worthy of making the top 50. Kanye goes for the extreme, and he captures it!
45. So Appalled
The first of 10(!!!!) entries off of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” The ensemble on this track combines for a classic.
This song (which Aziz Ansari references frequently in his standup) is one of the standouts off of “The College Dropout.
43. Love Lockdown
This song is chilling. The autotune, the bassline, the piano progression and the hard hitting drums create one of Ye’s most vulnerable tracks.
42. New Slaves
“You see there’s leaders, and there’s followers, but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower.” This song epitomizes the present Ye.
41. Hell Of A Life
The backing synths on this are haunting as Kanye just wants to fall in love with a pornstar. Real question: is this the preview to Kanye’s relationship with Kim Kardashian?
40. Heard ‘Em Say
The opening track to “Late Registration” just shows how far Kanye has come. Here he’s talking about the struggles of life, whereas now he’s talking about spending all day at the mall…
39. We Don’t Care
The first song off of “The College Dropout” again shows a different Kanye. Here, he’s celebrating all of the drug dealers for their hard work.
38. Good Life
Recorded at the peak of T-Pain’s career, this song knows how to get the people going!
37. Say You Will
This song marked the transition from happy Kanye to angsty, chip on his shoulder Kanye. The lyrics are so simple, but Kanye sets the tone here for his most depressing album to date.
36. Cold (Theraflu)
The DJ Khaled produced track produces one of Kanye’s hardest verses. He calls out Kris Humphries for stealing his girl “Lucky I ain’t J had him drop him from the team.” Definitely a cult classic.
35. I’m In It
The vulgarity of the song combined with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) makes this an essential Kanye track.
It’s not often Chris Martin records a song out of Coldplay. The combo these two have is devastating, with Martin recording one of Kanye’s best hooks ever.
“Alec, Heartless is only 33? You’re really stupid.” A lot of people may be surprised by this, but because it was the most mainstream song of the “808’s and Heartbreaks” album allowed it to be pushed so heavily. Still a great song, just not as great as everyone hypes it up to be.
32. Send It Up
“Rockstar Bitch call me Elvis” is one hell of a way to start off a song. The sirens going off in the background of the song creates a brilliant, jarring track.
31. Devil In A New Dress
The way Kanye weaves from verse to hook is beautiful, and the lyrics themselves are fantastic. Rick Ross delivers a killer verse on this.
30. Welcome To Heartbreak
Kanye reflects on being alone for the first time in his life. He’s got no kids (at this point) and his mother just died. The end of this song is blood-curdling emotion.
29. All Of The Lights
“Hey Alec, how is my favorite Kanye song only 29?” Again, the radio stations pushed this song because of Rihanna’s hook. The song is fantastic, but it doesn’t even crack the top 5 off of this album (that’s saying how amazing MBDTF is).
28. Good Morning
This song sets the tone for “Graduation.” The sample from Elton John, the prominence of fashion and Kanye’s celebration create a great album opener.
“Hey Alec, you have to be pretty stupid to not include Power in the top 25.” Another one of Ye’s songs built for radio, this song is still absolute fire.
26. Niggas In Paris
Talking about getting the people going, this song does… literally. However, Jay-Z’s verse blows Kanye’s out of the water, thus it being so low.
25. Blame Game
Being perfectly honest, this could be my favorite Kanye West song. John Legend, Chris Rock and Kanye create a beautiful piece of work in just under eight minutes.
24. Touch The Sky
The song that brought Lupe Fiasco on the map is one of Kanye’s best. Again this song plays into early Kanye’s strengths: Fashion and hooks (this one is from Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up).
23. All Falls Down
This song is famous for Kanye (intentionally?) mispronouncing “insecure.” The hook is fire.
22. No Church In The Wild
World: Meet Frank Ocean. This song is pure genius for so many reasons, but Frank Ocean’s coming out party steals the show.
21. Black Skinhead
Keeping with the Yeezus theme of intense songs, this one trumps the lot. The erratic screams and heavy breathing combine for a masterpiece.
The Daft Punk sample changed the game for Kanye West. This is the song that gave him the status of best rapper in the game, and he’s held onto that title since the 2007 release.
A preview for what Kanye’s music would go into: self-pride. It’s the standout track from “808s” as it is the lone confident song on the album.
Another fire hook from Kid Cudi, Kanye’s wordplay is at his finest on this track.
17. Bound 2
Kanye’s selective delivery is all the more powerful. Allowing lots of space in between lines, he delivers quotable lyric after quotable lyric. Also, Charlie Wilson kills it.
16. Big Brother
Kanye’s “thank-you” to Jay-Z is one of his most forgotten tracks. The story that Kanye tells on this track is so clear and so vivid. It’s nice to hear Kanye say thank-you.
Kanye’s channeling 2005 Ye with this sample. The Grammy-winning song still doesn’t get enough credit. The two superstars trade verses effortlessly, creating one of the top songs of the decade.
14. Pinocchio Story
The live freestyle is another one of Kanye’s most forgotten songs. Kanye reflecting on his life so honestly and so in the moment is worth the six minute listen.
13. School Spirit
This is the definition of College Dropout Kanye. Kanye providing his own hook here is also amazing.
12. Gold Digger
Yes, Kanye’s most well-known track is only #12. Again, it’s a testament to Kanye’s discography. This song has everything though. Killer verses, a memorable hook (Ray Charles) and tons of quotable lyrics.
The lead single off of “Kanye West Presents GOOD Music” this song helped the careers of Big Sean and 2 Chainz more than anyone else. Kanye not coming in until after Pusha T’s verse is a stroke of genius. While he doesn’t necessarily deliver his best rhymes, the whole makeup of the featured song is priceless.
10. Diamonds From Sierra Leone
If you needed to choose one song to provide an example of Kanye delivering his best verse, this would be the easy choice. Everything that Kanye does in this song is amazing, literally. However, it’s not the best song off of this album. That title goes to….
9. Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)
Don’t you love it when your mentor completely shows you up on your own song? As Ye says in Big Brother “On that Diamonds remix I swear I spazzed, then my big brother came through and kicked my ass.”
8. Flashing Lights
Say what you want about Kanye’s production skills; this is his best beat and it’s not even close. The verses aren’t his best, but as far as music goes this is definitely one of his best.
The holy trinity (Jay-Z, Big Sean, Kanye) absolutely destroy this track. It’s tough to single out who’s performance is the best, but the meld of the three is honestly genius. Sean’s wit, Jay’s flow, and Kanye’s cockiness are just awesome.
6. Dark Fantasy
Try to find a better way to start an album off: I dare you. Mainly because there isn’t a better opening. Kanye’s got a chip on his shoulder throughout this whole record, and he makes it known on this track.
5. Blood On The Leaves
Channeling the “808s” mentality, Kanye goes from being incredibly emotional to delivering a scathing verse. With the horns in the background, Kanye shows no remorse with his lyrics. A must-listen.
4. Jesus Walks
It’s amazing that Kanye released this in 2004 because out of context it sounds straight off of “MBDTF.” Everything about this song is fantastic. I can’t write enough superlatives about it.
3. Can’t Tell Me Nothing
Even Kanye West has acknowledged that this is one of his best songs. He shouts out all of the haters and critics in this song, and his cockiness is admirable. The hook itself is one of (if not) Ye’s most powerful.
Rick Ross, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Justin Vernon and Kanye West are responsible for serious fire. So much content is jammed into 6 minutes, but it doesn’t feel rushed at all. Nicki Minaj’s verse is a critics favorite, but Kanye’s verse is my favorite. His ingenuity and conviction create pure beauty (if that’s possible). And yet somehow, this isn’t even the best song off of the album!
Seeing Kanye perform this live is on my bucket list. The piano’s simplicity is haunting; Pusha T’s verse is faultless; and Kanye apologizes? While many view it as an apology, it’s Kanye’s plea to the world to accept him for being a dooshbag (literally). He’s trouble, and he knows it. To me, this is Kanye’s best song by a mile.