“Stronger”, however, was unlike anything Kanye had done before.
The futuristic fusion of Kanye’s mythological story of survival and the sample of Daft Punk’s 2001 single “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” made “Stronger” an international hit, taking the top spot on the Billboard charts in the US and bagging him his first UK #1 while acting as a key foundation in the development of what would become EDM in subsequent years.
By sampling Daft Punk, the music of that he “went back to songs like ‘Champion’ and ‘Good Life’ and put these type of chords on them that sounded similar to the type of sense that I put on ‘Stronger’,” going on to explain, “that’s why ‘Flashing Lights’, ‘Champion’ all of them have that certain synthesiser, a real 80s synthesiser type of sound.”These multiple sources of European influence, not to mention the futuristic sleeve art designed by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, mapped out the idea of Kanye as an urban creative magpie.
His lyrics offer more evidence of his tastes: On “Barry Bonds”, Kanye raps about being fresh off the plane and saying hello in Japanese, while “Flashing Lights”, “Good Life” and Chris Martin collaboration “Homecoming” make explicit references to air travel too.
Hustlers that’s if you’re still living, get on down Every time that we hear them Good morning!
You got D’s, muthafucka D’s, Rosie Perez And yer ass barely passed any and every class Looking at every ass, cheated on every test I guess, this is my dissertation Homie this shit is basic, welcome to Graduation Good morning, on this day we become legendary Everything we dreamed of I’m like the fly Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary Detroit Red cleaned up From the streets to the league, from an eighth to a key But you graduate when you make it up outta the streets From the moments of pain, look how far we done came Haters saying you changed, now you doing your thang Good morning, look at the valedictorian Scared of the future while I hop in the De Lorean Scared to face the world, complacent career student Some people graduate, but be still stupid They tell you read this, eat this, don’t look around Just peep this, preach this, teach us, Jesus Okay look up now, they done stole yo’ streetness After all of that you received this Good morning!
Nietzsche most certainly would have identified Kanye West as the Dionysian.
Nietzsche’s first work, , argued that all art is born from tragedy and explores the human condition through the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy; based on his readings of Greek culture, the Apollonian is rational, orderly, and driven by intellect, whereas the Dionysian is irrational, chaotic, and driven by emotion.
“Can’t Tell Me Nothing” detailed an individual triumph in answering the critics he faced in the first three years of stardom, while explicating on the pressures of fame.
At this point, the song was one of the most revealing and personal he had put down, and despite the lyrics suggesting Kanye was still learning to cope with celebrity, it presaged the swaggering nature of what was to come with his music.