Everything I Am From Old Kanye (Be You)

Artist: Kanye West
Track Name: Everything I Am
AH Track Rating:

A track I just don’t ever hear anybody talk about, or play … from “Old Kanye” … which may be even more relevant now than ever. Here we go again, people talkin shit but when the shit hit the fan, everything Kanye’s not, made Kanye everything he is…. What a commentary, as we enter into 2019 at the time of this review for the single, “Everything I Am”, off that Graduation Album, from the Old Kanye. Produced by none other than the legendary D.J. Premiere, back when Ye was sure to hit us with bars on bars.

“Remember him from Blackstreet? He was as black as the street was….. I’ll never be as laid back as this beat was…”

Socially conscious, while lyrically painting pictures for us all to listen over a smooth beat. The hook, is a real sermon all by itself, especially for those seeking understanding. Circumstances and environment determine so much in the lives of each person walking this planet.  It often answers all questions, on why anyone, does anything.

I know people wouldn’t usually rap this
But I got the facts to back this
Just last year, Chicago had over 600 caskets
Man, killing’s some wack shit
Oh, I forgot, ‘cept for when niggas is rappin’
Do you know what it feel like when people is passin’?
He got changed over his chains a block off Ashland
I need to talk to somebody, pastor
The church want tithe, so I can’t afford to pay
Pink slip on my door, ’cause I can’t afford to stay
My fifteen seconds up, but I got more to say
That’s enough Mr. West, please, no more today

What I still love about this track, is D.J. Premiere scratching it entirely the fuck up. Keeping the ‘music’ aspect of hip hop entirely at its roots, and showing how classic and timeless scratching will forever be. While, what better way to address where too many black people are at.  Combined with the losses, that too many black people continue to take. The experiences that lead to the mental breakdowns, that too many of us fall into ‘making fun’ of. Perhaps, some laugh to keep from crying as they realize they too, could be next.

Writing this, while also being responsible for writing about whether Kanye West was cloned; after his “Radio Fuck You” speech, an entirely different “new” Kanye has emerged. Prophetic really, since the track, “I Miss the Old Kanye”, off The Life of Pablo was recorded long before that … concert spazz out. Was he already the ‘new’ Kanye …. ?

In his spazz out up in Sacramento, California Kanye was raising real questions about why radio stations choose to push and promote the messages that they do.

“Killing some wack shit, oh, I forgot, cept when niggas is rappin…. ” – Kanye West, Everything I Am

But, as Furious Styles once told us, by way of John Singleton’s classic film, Boys in the Hood … They want us to kill ourselves.  So yea, these radio stations would rather promote negative messages to our youth, than positive ones.  That’s why a song like this didn’t get much radio play… I can’t say I ever heard it on the radio to be honest. In the first verse, Kanye tells the youth, be yourself not anybody else. That’s a positive message our youth need to hear more and more. Instead of being ‘encouraged’ to indulge in the kinds of activities that harm them (as J. Cole addresses on KOD) 5 lit fires for this classic collaboration, Everything I Am.

I’ll never be as laid back as this beat was
I never could see why people reach a
Fake-ass facade that they couldn’t keep up
You see how I creeped up?

*Quick Update : May 15, 2020 – D.J. Premier made hip hop history with RZA in an epic battle of the hits; during Quarantine 2020 – check it out now!

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