Rappers who have reused Kanye West’s lyrics
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Rappers who have reused Kanye West’s lyrics

Hip-hop artists often remix and reuse each other’s lyrics to pay homage and put their own spin on what are considered classic lines. Many MCs have done this with Kanye West. The rapper, producer and fashion designer is one of the greatest minds in hip-hop. Regardless of whether or not he always behaves appropriately, it is impossible to say that he is not talented. Although Kanye won’t go down in history as an untouchable lyricist, he has most definitely delivered some classic lines that have stood the test of time.

During the early stages of his career, Kanye took a lot of inspiration from his parents concerning politics. His father, Ray West, was an active member of the Black Panther during its most volatile period in the 1960s and ’70s. Subsequently, the Chicago act was made aware of this growing up and most definitely included lines about race relations in his early music.

‘Never Let Me Down’ from West’s 2004 debut album, College Dropout, featured some pretty heavy-hitting lyrics, such as,Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it,” and “Now n*ggas can’t make it to ballots to choose leadership.” And with such a large platform, these messages were entering public discourse.

Almost all of the most prominent new-generation rappers have cited Kanye West as an individual who has influenced them. As such, they often pay homage to him in their songs. Many acts, including Lil Uzi Vert, Tyler The Creator, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and countless others, have openly expressed their love for West and his music. That said, it is no surprise that now and then, we hear contemporary rappers reusing Kanye’s lyrics and putting a modern twist on them. Below we highlight some of the artists that have done precisely this.

Kendrick Lamar is an artist who was heavily influenced by Kanye and has even worked with him. On his 2012 track, ‘M.A.A.D City’, Lamar word for word, integrated a line from Kanye’s 2005 track ‘We Major’ in which he raps, “Projects is torn up / Gang signs get thrown up.” Lamar is a lyricist, and J Cole is another revered rapper of a similar calibre who has paid homage to West through his lyrics. On ‘1985’, a track from Cole’s fifth album, KOD, the North Carolina musician proclaims, “We wasn’t supposed to get past 25 / Joke’s on you motherfucker, we alive!”This is a famous line featured in the chorus of ‘We Don’t Care,’ the second track of College Dropout.

Many more artists have reused or revised Kanye’s lyrics in a similar fashion. You can see other songs that feature Ye lyrics in the video below.