Kanye's Nine Biggest Lyrical Fuck-Ups.
Ever since Kanye West got his first taste of success after producing Jay-Z's 2001 single “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” he's carried a huge chip on his shoulder.
And though he followed that No. 1 hit up with production work for Talib Kweli, Ludacris and Alicia Keys, among others, his true aspiration, all along, was to become a rapper in his own right. Hell, go back and listen to his 2004 debut album, The College Dropout. Kanye spends pretty much that whole LP boasting about how he'd proved that everyone who'd ever said that he was “just a producer” was wrong.
And, with each successive album West has released — to bite a line from 2004's “Last Call” — Kanye's used his dream-killers' steam to power his dreams. And it's definitely worked: These days, he's garnered a reputation as a more-than-capable emcee — or, at the very least, one of the most charismatic rappers in the game.
More recently, we've seen his career arc take him from underdog rapper to genius (even if, uh, he can't always spell the word “genius”) to king and, finally, to his current status as a god.
Still, even with his most recent turn as a newly anointed, croissant-demanding deity, the guy's retained much of his initial charm.
Personally, we think that's because, unlike a lot of other gods, Kanye has more than proven throughout his career that he's not infallible.
Our point? The guy's made more than his share of lyrical mistakes thus far in his nine-year rap career. Ultimately, though, his imperfections are partly how he's remained so likable — even when he's doing abominable things like using civil rights movement slogans to further a culture of misogyny or destroying Maybachs for the sake of a four-minute video clip.
With that in mind, and on the eve of his first solo tour in five years making a stop at the American Airlines Center tomorrow night, we give you Kanye's nine biggest lyrical fuck-ups.
Song: “Black Skinhead.”
Lyrics In Question: “I keep it 300, like the Romans / 300 bitches, where the Trojans?”
Where he went wrong: Were this simply a reference to Greek mythology, it would be a bit understandable to forgive this noted college dropout's confused belief that the Romans somehow had something to do with the Trojan war. Alas, given that his knowledge of these events appears to be solely derived from Zack Snyder's 2007 action film 300, the gaffe is virtually unforgivable. I mean, c'mon: That film's most memorable moment comes when King Leonidas yells, “This is Sparta!” And, no, Sparta ain't Rome.
Album: Cruel Summer.
Song: “Don't Like (Remix).”
Lyrics In Question: “I was in too deep like Mekhi Phife' / In that pussy so deep I could have drowned twice”
Where he went wrong: Like we all have at one point or another, Kanye confuses Mekhi Phifer and Omar Epps in this line. It was, in fact, the latter of those two that starred in the 1999 cop drama In Too Deep. It's OK, 'Ye. We've all been there.
Album: Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon: The End of Day.
Song: “Make Her Say (I Poke Her Face).”
Lyrics In Question: “Getting brain in the library cause I love knowledge / When you use your medulla oblongata”
Where he went wrong: Here's an extended blowjob metaphor that's all over the place. In particular, though, it's the bit about the medulla that's throwing us off. If we remember our The Waterboy quotes right, we know that the medulla is the part of the brain that makes alligators extra ornery when enlarged — but that it has nothing to do with a gator's acquisition of knowledge. Instead, the medulla is responsible for reflexes like breathing, heartbeat and vomiting. Sexy!
Album: The College Dropout.
Song: “Two Words.”
Lyrics In Question: “I live by two words: “Fuck you, pay me”
Where he went wrong: Here, Kanye once again proves there are three kinds of rappers — those who can count and those who can't.
Album: Brandy's Afrodisiac.
Song: “Talk About Our Love.”
Lyrics In Question: “You don't remember I called you Reese's Pieces / Cause it's no wrong way to do you know what”
Where he went wrong: This reference to a popular '90s advertising campaign was actually used to market the company's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and not its line of M&M-like Reese's Pieces, which were popularized after appearing in the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. By then, the entirely separate line of Peanut Butter Cups had been around for 54 years. As for the rest of the line? Well, let's just say we know plenty of women that would argue there's most certainly a quote-unquote wrong way to do “you know what.”
Album: Rhymefest's Blue Collar.
Song: “Brand New.”
Lyrics In Question: “They say your attitude determines your latitude”
Where he went wrong: Had Yeezy simply omitted the “they say” part of this line, we'd have assumed he was putting his own spin on the popular idiom “your attitude determines your altitude” to imply a deeper meaning about how one's own level of fortitude has a direct impact on their ultimate success or, inversely, their own failure. But he didn't, meaning he was just flat out wrong.
Album: Jadakiss' Kiss of Death.
Song: “Getting' It In.”
Lyrics In Question: “My apologies, are you into astrology / Cause I'm, I'm tryin to make it to Uranus”
Where he went wrong: Kanye's attempt here to deliver an anal sex joke that's as old as it is juvenile? It's lazy at best. To make matters worse, though, he forgets the difference between astronomy and astrology in the process. Tsk, tsk.
Album: Watch the Throne.
Song: “Who Gon Stop Me.”
Lyrics In Question: “Ix-nay off my dicks-nay / That's Pig Latin, itch-bay”
Where he went wrong: Well, it's almost Pig Latin.
Album: Late Registration.
Song: “Gold Digger.”
Lyrics In Question: “My psychic told me she'll have a ass like Serena, Trina, Jennifer Lopez / four kids and I gotta take all they bad asses to ShowBiz?”
Where he went wrong: After operating independently of one another in the early '80s, ShowBiz Pizza Place acquired the assets of Chuck E. Cheese's after the latter filed for bankruptcy in 1984. For the next few years, the owners kept operating the two entities as separate businesses — until 1990, when the company decided to cut costs by turning all locations into Chuck E. Cheese's. This bit of brand confusion isn't as much of a mistake as it is just plain puzzling. Even if Kanye was rapping in the past tense here — and we also assume he's talking about its most recent year of existence — that would still put 'Ye driving his girlfriend and her four kids to ShowBiz at the ripe old age of 13. Talk about robbing the cradle.