14 Most Quotable Lyrics On Kanye West’s ‘Ye’ Album

Music News

While Kanye West’s tweets may unpack a series of thoughts within spectators’ minds, his lyrics do just the same. With the arrival of his Ye album (June 1), the words that lie within the soundscape direct listeners to the emotional sides of Mr. West.

From introspective to borderline disrespectful, West managed to convey the scope of his inner thoughts within seven tracks. On Ye, he outlines his wishes for his daughters while calling out the demons that continue to nestle within his psyche.

Here, VIBE breaks down a few of the lyrics that stood out the most.

Song: “All Mine”

Lyric: “All these thots on Christian Mingle/ Almost what got Tristan single/ If you don’t ball like him or Kobe/ Guarantee that b**ch gonna leave you”
Breakdown: When Khloe Kardashian was nearing childbirth, her child’s father, Cleveland Cavaliers Tristan Thompson, popped up in the tabloids with another woman. Khloe’s sister, Kim Kardashian, spoke her piece on the controversial situation, and now it’s Kanye’s turn to name-drop the NBA star. - Camille Augustin

Song: “I Thought About Killing You”

Lyric: “The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest”
Breakdown: The genius term that some bestow upon Ye can be rooted in his most dim moments. In 2008, West decided to lay bare the things that kept him up at night on 808s and Heartbreaks, a moment that the New York Times described as his “first disruption.” With time, the album became glorified as one of not only Ye’s most vulnerable pieces of work but a watershed moment for artists who may have shied away from confronting their emotions on wax. - CA

Song: “Ghost Town”

Lyric: “Some day, some day/ Someday I’ll, I will wear a starry crown/ Some day, some day/ Someday I wanna lay down, like God did, on Sunday”
Breakdown: By way of PARTYNEXTDOOR and Trade Martin, this song seemingly touches on suicide and an outward struggle with self-love/acceptance. “Ghost Town” also adds to the list of songs on Ye that captures West at his most transparent. During a 2010 screening of his visual, Runaway, West shared with the crowd that he contemplated suicide, but he “will not give up on life again.” - CA

Song: “Violent Crimes”

Lyric: “Til ni**as have daughters, now they precautious/ Father forgive me, I’m scared of the karma/ ‘Cause now I see women as somethin’ to nurture/ Not somethin’ to conquer”
Breakdown: On the final track, West claims the birth of his daughters (North and Chicago West) changed his view of women from items you pick up and discard to actual humans that are keeping this world from falling out of thin air. – CA

Lyric: “I hope she’s like Nicki, I’ll make her a monster.”
Breakdown: Like Nicki Minaj, who had her “break out” verse on Kanye’s track, “Monster,” West hopes his daughter has the skill and tenacity the Queens native displayed. He prays she has the talent and fortitude to be as successful as he knows she can. - Xavier Handy-Hamilton

Song: “No Mistakes”

Lyric: “I don’t take advice from anyone less successful than me”
Breakdown: During the weeks leading up to his album, Kanye became the ringmaster of a media circus. From calling Donald Trump his “brother” to wearing the president’s signature Make America Great Again hat, many people close to Ye thought it was necessary to reach out to him and increase his connectivity on these topics.

To this, Kanye thanked them, but also posted screenshots of their calls/texts on the Twitter, something that angered many, including label mate, John Legend. J. Cole was also vocal about his disdain for the gesture; in an interview with Angie Martinez, Cole expressed his displeasure. And while Ye did apologize, it makes for a great line and following bar of “Calm down, you light-skinned!” - XHH

Song: “Wouldn’t Leave”

Lyric: “Oh, don’t bring that up, that’s gon’ get me sentimental/ You know I’m sensitive, I got a gentle mental/ Every time something happen, they want me sent to mental/ We had an accident but I cover incidentals”
Breakdown: Kanye’s battle with mental illness made headlines in 2016 when the Chicago native endured a nervous breakdown. Fast forward two years and the father-of-three spoke at length with Charlamagne Tha God about that period. Referring to the incident as a “breakthrough” and not a mental breakdown, West shared that stress and the sport of competition contributed to him facing mental health head-on. - CA

Lyric: “Thinking like George Jetson, but sounding like George Jefferson”
Breakdown: Like the above bar, this line speaks to Ye’s mixed delivery. To himself, he feels like his message is so far in the future (like where the cartoon character George Jetson lives), that he has a difficult time conveying it in terms that people understand. Therefore, his frustration takes over creating a boisterous, loud, overbearing caricature of himself that resembles the personality of the star of the classic sitcom, The Jeffersons, George Jefferson. - XHH

Lyric: “Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn’t leave”
Breakdown: When the Rhymefest and Kanye tensions broke out, Kim was the first person to say that she’ll always “ride for her man.” But it sounds like Kanye asked her to dip a few times. “Wouldn’t Leave” is dedicated to Kim, on which Ye says “told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn’t leave.” Kim must be “in too deep,” to quote Kanye. Could this be loyalty or voluntary disregard? - Lola Jacobs

Song: “Yikes”

Lyric: “I can feel the spirits all around me/I think Prince and Mike was tryna warn me/ They know I got demons all on me/ Devil been tryna make an army”
Breakdown: Since “Jesus Walks” (2004), Kanye has referenced the devil’s role in his life. His struggle with breaking free of the evils that accompany fame has played out in the international spotlight from his stream of consciousness that took place during his Saint Pablo tour in 2016 to his past decisive tweets. Here, we listen and visualize Kanye’s continued battle to break free from that dark, immense grip. - CA

Lyric: “I hear y’all bringin’ my name up a notch/Guess I just turned the clout game up a notch”
Breakdown: Is Kanye referencing Rhymefest who previously said (in a more profane way) that West doesn’t care about the youth of Chicago, or the many news reports that churned out content from his TMZ Live interview, OR his MAGA hat-wearing photo? There are several angles or interpretations one could take, but that classic Ye brag is in full effect. - CA

Lyric: “Turn TMZ to Smack DVD”
Breakdown: During the early 2000s, underground rap battles (packaged on the famously known Smack DVDs), became popular amongst hip-hop fans. They are characterized by their aggressive banter and over the top gestures, like the energy West and TMZ correspondent Van Lanthan brought to the show during their exchange about Ye’s infamous “slavery comments.” - XHH

Lyric: “Just a different type of leader he can go to North Korea, I can smoke with Wiz Khalifa”
Breakdown: Shortly before his “breakthrough,” Ye and rapper Wiz Khalifa engaged in a Twitter argument where Kanye told Wiz that his music was “corny” and brought Khalifa’s son into the equation. The motives behind this were unknown, but Wiz unapologetically ceased contact with Ye. This is put into perspective with Ye comparing his “energy” to that of Trump who, at the time the song was being created, was scheduled to meet with America’s perceived enemy, North Korea. - XHH

Lyric: “Ni**as been tryna test my Ghandi, just because I’m dressed like Abercrombie”
Breakdown: Kanye is notoriously off the grid but allegedly self-aware so he may not have been online when it was discovered that Mahatma Gandhi, an emblem of peace, harbored some of the same prejudices as British colonists, calling Africans “kaffirs” and “savage.” In trying to declare his awareness of media and fan accusations of him being a sort of “race traitor,” his message collapses. A few lines later, Ye redefined his bipolarity; he said it was a “superpower” and “not no disability,” which really says enough in itself. Flashback to KKW’s late April statement about the media “demonizing” Kanye for having a mental health issue that he doesn’t have and it all sounds about right. - LJ

Tags: Kanye West, lyrics, ye