The 50 Best Kanye West Songs Ever

36 of 51

16. Family Business

Release Date: February 10, 2004

Album: The College Dropout

Writer(s): Kanye West

Producer(s): West

Notable Lyric:

“As kids we used to laugh

Who knew that life would move this fast?

Who knew I’d have to look at you through a glass?

And look, tell me you ain’t did it then you ain’t did it

And if you did, then that’s family business”

It’s a little known fact that “Family Business” isn’t actually about West’s own family. While he did write the song, he relied on anecdotes and details given to him by one of his backup singers, Tarrey Torae, during the production of The College Dropout.

She came from an especially large family and, as such, had all manner of juicy ideas that Kanye — an only child raised by his mother — simply lacked.

He would write the song from his own perspective, though all that stuff about granny and the cooking impaired aunt and Stevie were all culled from stories told to him by Torae.

It’s still a touching and well made song about the at-times conflicted drama of being part of an especially big family. Kanye raps it out with enough conviction and heart to really sell it.

Next: 15. Love Lockdown