Hey Mama is no mere highlight, it's the only 15-year-old song to age so fine. But, Hey Mama never aged positively, it became more heart-wrenching as the years passed and watch Kanye West, the musical genius and path paving trailblazer slowly descend into insanity post his beloved mother's death. I'm never easily emotionally disturbed but this song is fucking painful.
"I want to tell the whole world about a friend of mine
This little light of mine, I'm feelin' let it shine
I'm feelin' take y'all back to them better times
I'm feelin' talk about my momma if y'all don't mind"
Kanye West didn't mind losing his relevancy to things that would portray him as an outcast among gangster rappers and coke rappers and that's what made him what he is, as "everything he's not made him everything he is", in his own words.
When rappers displayed their gritty masculinity and murderous attitudes, Kanye really decided to put an ode to his mother who raised him on his sophomore effort, who through the worst of circumstances toiled to get him a life, and how he failed her as a dropout but that she never lost hope in him. His love for his mother is childlike and innocent, and the cutest side of Kanye is portrayed around his mother. The great Kanye is clearly still his mother's little boy as he was in 2005 or 1985, and it's heartbreaking to see how it ruined him as time passed.
When Hey Mama came out, It was adorable, how he premiered it to his mother, live at Oprah's show. As much as it was an image boost, I can imagine what the hip-hop heads were thinking of.
But if it was a 95 then, the lyrics hit harder post knowing Bipolar Depression hit Kanye hard after her passing, and I'm sure I'd never love my mom the same way. This proves he's a gentle soul, tormented by the very genius that made him great and falsely portrayed. He blamed herself for her death.
Famous homemade chicken soup, can I have another bowl
You work late nights just to keep on the lights
Mommy got me training wheels so I can keep on my bike
And you would give me anything in this world
Michael Jackson leather and the glove, but didn't give me a curl
And you never put no man over me, and I love you for that mommy can't you see
Insanely relatable, if your mom's been around when you were sick, her care can be extremely relieving. Beautiful. My mom would hold my bike up endlessly to get me to cycle without training wheels too.
Can the choir please, gimme a verse of you, are so beautiful, to me
Can't you see, you're like a book of poetry, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni
Turn one page and there's my mommy
Come on mommy just dance with me, let the whole world see your dancing feet.
Like I said, cute, from the guy who made Yeezus.
I wrote this song just so you know no matter where you go I'mma love you
And that concludes the song. Set against the backdrop of a pretty instrumental, choir samples galore, and a beautiful preset for the amazing writing.
But that's not it. This song made me cry, when he performed a bittersweet rendition at the Grammys in 2008, after his mom was gone. The ode to versatility was how he performed this and broke down to it following a charismatic performance of Stronger with Daft Punk themselves.
Last night I saw you in my dreams
Now I can't wait to go to sleep
And this life is all a dream, these Grammys
And my real life starts when I go to sleep
My mama, mama, mama
I was left speechless, goddamn. Probably the first performance to move me to tears. Horrifyingly disturbing for such a wholesome song.
Whether it's Only One, another tear-jerking autotune ballad about his mom communicating to him in his dreams and talking to his daughter, or naming his new album Donda, or even catcalling the doctor who performed the dreaded operation on his mother, he's a strong man, but simultaneously plagued with a thousand setbacks that he overcomes using his ego. Fuck you taylor swift fanbase. You called this man worse than Selena Gomez.