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'808s' ▱ Jonathan F for Pigeons & Planes
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Flashback Friday: Can’t Tell Me Nothing by Kanye West

Jonathan F for Pigeons & Planes
‘808s’ ▱ Jonathan F for Pigeons & Planes

As a writer, when I first heard “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” instantly I fell in love with its honesty, delivery and assurance from the very first stanza:

I had a dream I could buy my way to heaven, when I awoke, I spent that on a necklace

He then continued,

“I told God I’ll be back in a second”…

I’m sure every Christian fan that heard those lines for the first time, said seventeen Hail Mary’s. Some people take an entire lifetime to keep it real with themselves, let alone anyone else and for some odd reason, Kanye West seemed to bring it on this record, and share just about everything with us: Everything from behavioral issues to being rich and materialistic, and being scrutinized for just about everything, and when Kanye hums and la la las on the hook, it sealed the deal.

By the time the second verse comes in, Kanye sounds even more confident (if possible) about what his life has become and says, “This is my life, man. You decide yours.” Going back into that Christian bag, he continues, “I know that Jesus died for us but I couldn’t tell you who decides wars…” It was 2007. I was 21-years-old heading for 22, still on MySpace, working and building this business. No one couldn’t tell me anything… and they still can’t.

If you’re young and not familiar with this song, the third verse is cancer.


GrungeCake


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the Director of Content for Duke Concept.