The 50 Best Kanye West Songs Ever

35 of 51

17. Otis

Release Date: July 20, 2011

Album: Watch the Throne

Writer(s): Kanye West, Shawn Carter, James Brown, Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Roy Hammond, J. Roach, Kirk Robinson, Harry Woods

Producer(s): West

Notable Lyric:

“I made Jesus Walks, I’m never going to hell

Couture level flow is never going on sale

Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses

Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive”

After Watch the Throne had been produced and compiled into a prototype album of sorts, Kanye and Jay-Z were forced to return to it in order to add one more track.

They were compelled to do so due to the intervention of No I.D., Kanye’s Chicago mentor and the man who introduced him to Jay. The famed mogul criticized the pair’s work on the album for being cynical, for coming from a place other than the heart. How did he deduce this? Neither of them had produced a track of their own on the whole record.

In order to prove his mentor wrong, Kanye quickly got to work re-tooling an Otis Redding track into a beat that both he and Jay could rap over. The result was the aptly titled “Otis,” one of the standout tracks from the album. Thanks for shaming them into this one, No I.D.!

Next: 16. Family Business