The 50 Best Kanye West Songs Ever

4 of 51

48. FourFiveSeconds

Release Date: January 24, 2015

Album: Non-album single

Writer(s): Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Kirby Lauryen, Mike Dean, Ty Dolla Sign, Dave Longstreth, Dallas Austin, Elon Rutberg, Noah Goldstein

Producer(s): West, McCartney, Dean, Longstreth, Goldstein, Kuk Harrell

Notable Lyric:

“Woke up an optimist

Sun was shinin’, I’m positive

Then I heard you was talkin’ trash

Hold me back, I’m ’bout to spaz”

Like “Only One,” this was a unique diversion for Kanye. Again, McCartney’s influence comes to the forefront, but Kanye and Rihanna pull the wheel enough to their side of the musical spectrum to create a song that feels like a middle ground between classic rock and modern pop.

The lion’s share of the work falls to Rihanna, who turns in a great performance for the hook and verses, while Kanye’s contributions are limited to a kind of manic-but-restrained attempt at singing — though this time without the obvious Auto-Tune adjustments that helped so much in 808s & Heartbreak.

In truth, it’s not all that bad. His attempt to stay within the same cadence as Rihanna actually helps, as do McCartney’s gentle strums on the guitar. Overall, it’s a decent effort considering, you know, Kanye’s a rapper by trade and not a crooner.

Next: 47. Cold