The 50 Best Kanye West Songs Ever

50 of 51

2. Ni**as in Paris

Release Date: September 13, 2011

Album: Watch the Throne

Writer(s): Kanye West, Shawn Carter, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky, Jeff Cox, Craig Cox, busy Philipps, Reverend W.A. Donaldson

Producer(s): West, Hit-Boy, Mike Dean, Anthony Kilhoffer

Notable Lyric:

“Excuse my French but I’m in France, I’m just sayin’

Prince Williams ain’t do it right if you ask me

Cause I was him, I would have married Kate and Ashley”

It’s a testament to the talent of Kanye and Jay-Z that “Ni**as in Paris” could include a reference to a relatively obscure Will Ferrell vehicle (Blades of Glory), some clunky rhymes like the one included above, and still be this freaking great.

Seriously, what is missing from this song? Two rappers bringing their best, rejoicing in their own success and enjoying luxuries not necessarily historically associated with black men.

In so doing, they turn the tables on where they came from and their past selves, making fun of inadequate taste (“fish filet”) and enjoying being at the top. It’s hard to be upset by what could be misunderstood as hypocrisy, though. These are two men that worked hard to get to a level that few others reach, so why shouldn’t they revel in it?

Next: 1. Runaway