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My 10 Favorite Songs Produced by Kanye West

  • Sep 21, 2010
  • by
As hype starts to build around the upcoming release of Kanye's album (title still unknown), I've thought of all the songs the man has contributed to. While Through the Wire, Jesus Walks and Good Life are all great hits, there are several more by other artists like Jay-Z, Drake, Alicia Keys and Common who have Kanye to thank for a great beat. It's easy to forget that Mr. West was a great producer before he was a performer! His ability to take songs from different eras and genres and turn them into new creations is phenomenal. Here are my ten favorites along with their original sampled credit.
Show Me A Good Time
I had to start off my list with one of hip hop's newest - Drake! Having one of the greatest producers whip something up for your first album is never a bad way to start off your career...

Artist: Drake

"I live for the nights I can't remember,
with the people I won't forget.
Spending all the money I just work my ass off, 
for the things I won't regret."

Overnight Celebrity
Having a real dope beat is even better when the person you have singing on it is the world's fastest rapper. Twista made the most of Kanye's creation "Overnight Celebrity" in 2004, and has been a favorite of mine for quite some time now. 

Artist: Twista feat. Kanye West
Sample Credit: Cause I Love You by Lenny Williams

"Come here girl I can see you bored,
take you to tha queen that I see you for,
Take you shoppin' on Sprees in stores,
Im'a get you to the MTV awards,
We about to do a show tonight,
you lookin' good girl show you right,
Take you places I know you like,
I can make you a celebrity overnight,"

Kanye made great beats for slower jams, also. "Selfish" by Slum Village was a great surprise to me when I heard it. I loved this one especially because Kanye made his own appearance on a verse, making it a great one to remember. 

Artist: Slum Village feat. Kanye West
Sample Credit: Call Me by Aretha Frankin

"From the Polo fleece to the Jesus piece 
I got family in high places like Jesus' niece 
Can I please, say my peace 
If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased."


Let the Beat Build
There are some beats that can get your day off to a great start. In college, this song was my alarm clock for the entire fall semester. Let the Beat Build is song that does just what it's title says; Lil Wayne raps to Kanye's slow beat the builds up by the end of the song. Together, they make some fun songs to listen to!

Artist: Lil Wayne
Sample Credit: Day By Day by Eddie Kendricks

"Like a F-350 tank never empty,
Damn, everybody in the bank act friendly.
Used to think my sh*t didn't stank, boy I was wrong
Approving million dollar deals on my iPhone."

I love how positive this song gets. It's no secret that Common and Kanye West have worked together extensively to make great music. While Kanye has produced some of Common's albums entirely, Faithful remains my favorite of his series of creations for his fellow Chi-town rapper. 

Artist: Common
Sample Credit: Faithful to the End by DJ Rogers

"I was rolling around, in my mind it occurred
What if God was a Her?
Would I treat her the same?
Would I still be runnin' game on Her?
In what type of ways would I want Her?
Would I want her for her mind
Or her heavenly body?
Couldn't be out here bogus with somebody so godly."

Forever Young
Jay-Z has the most number-one albums of all time, recently breaking the record he shared with Elvis Presley. Crazy to think that Kanye's career took off once he began contributing his produced beats to Mr. Carter. This next song on my list is on Jay-Z's latest album, Blueprint 3. Check out the timeless feel on this track.

Artist: Jay-Z feat. Mr. Hudson
Sample Credit: Forever Young by Alphaville

"Fear not when, fear not why, fear not much while we're alive
Life is for living, not living uptight, see ya somewhere up in the sky.
Fear not die,  I'll be alive for a million years
Bye-byes are not for legends, I'm forever young, my name shall survive."

'03 Bonnie & Clyde
One of the biggest hits in 2003. Created with Beyonce on the track, it's a great listen. Another Jay-Z hit.

Artist: Jay-Z feat. Beyonce
Sample Credit: Me and My Girlfriend by 2Pac, If I Was Your Girlfriend by Prince

"Put us together, how they gon' stop us?
Whatever she lacks, I'm right over her shoulder 
Whenever I'm off track,  mami is keeping me focused. 
So let's lock this down like it's supposed to be. 
The '03 Bonnie and Clyde, Hov' and B." 

The Black Album was one of the most anticipated hip hop albums of all time. Supposedly the album that Jay-Z would take into retirement, it was to be his last and final one. Each of the hits were praised by everybody, especially Kanye's contribution - Encore. 

Artist:  Jay-Z
Sample Credit: I Will by John Holt

"Who you know fresher than Hov? Riddle me that. 
The rest of ya'll know where I'm lyrically at. 
Can't none of  ya'll mirror me back 
You hearing me rap is like Hearing G. Rap in his prime. 
I'm young H.O., rap's Grateful Dead
Back to take over the globe now break bed.
I'm in Boeing jets, Global Express
Out of the country but the blackberry still connect."

Find Your Love
Another favorite coming from Drake.  This half slow jam half pop song performed by a rapper came off smoothly. It was definitely a summer favorite. 

Artist: Drake

"I'm more than just an option, refuse to be forgotten."

It wouldn't be right to not include Kanye's work for the slower side of hip-hop. John Legend has also worked with Kanye on various songs through his albums. One of them being Heaven which came from the Once Again album. Kanye's production made listening to this song easy and smooth, while still keeping up a nice beat. And of course, with John Legend's voice - you can't go wrong! 

Artist: John Legend

"Last night was the worst night, beginning of the end.
Or maybe it began before it here we go again." 

What did you think of this list?

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September 24, 2010
Dig this list, Angelo! I had no idea that Kanye West produced some of these hits.
September 21, 2010
great list! his talent really does overshadow his major personality flaws, imo ; ) the man just has a gift.
About the list creator
Angelo Ignacio ()
Ranked #40
I'm a Filipino-American living life as a post undergrad making a start here in beautiful Los Angeles. I love the weather and diversity here and enjoy everything this city has to offer. I'm excited to … more
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