Release Date: October 23rd, 2010
Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Writer(s): Kanye West, Shawn Carter, William Roberts, Onika Maraj, Justin Vernon, Daniel Lynas
Producer(s): West, Mike Dean, Plain pat
“I heard that people sing raps to give the track pain
Bought the chain that always give me back pain
F*cking up my money so yeah I had to act sane”
There’s a temptation here to pretend this list isn’t about Kanye West and, just for the next few paragraphs, talk exclusively about Nicki Minaj. So let’s just do that.
She was just in the early stages of her musical career by the time My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was being produced, so the opportunity to be on the album was a chance she couldn’t miss on. And boy did she ever hit. Her verse is one of the best rap verses in the past decade, and perhaps ever. It’s confident and raw and playful and abrasive, all of which took a lot of talent to condense into what amounted to a handful of seconds.
Now, of course, the whole track is great. Kanye and Jay deliver as usual, and both Rick Ross and Bon Iver provide some assists as well. All in all, a great track made greater by a burst of blinding quality at the end.
Next: 19. Spaceship