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Ranking Every Song on ‘The Life Of Pablo’ by ‘Kanye West’

Released: 2016

Label: Rock The World/IDJ/Kanye LP7

With “The Life Of Pablo,” Kanye West crafted a tumultuous sonic collage that delved deep into his psyche, oscillating between tales of fame, fortune, and fallacies. This project, another vibrant chapter in Yeezy’s discography, was a departure from the polished precision of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and the industrial rage of “Yeezus,” leaning into a chaotic and improvisational aesthetic that mirrored the topsy-turvy nature of Kanye’s public life.

Replete with gospel undertones, stark confessionals, and braggadocious punchlines, “The Life Of Pablo,” encapsulated the many sides of Kanye: the dutiful Christian, the fame-stricken celebrity, the loving husband and father, and the controversial figure. Songs like “Ultralight Beam” and “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” showcased Kanye’s religious fervor, while tracks like “Famous” and “Feedback” gave listeners a glimpse into his struggle with fame.

The beauty of Kanye’s artistry on this project lies in its rawness and unpredictability, much like Pablo Picasso, the namesake of the album. The lyrics, embedded with multiple layers of meaning and complex themes, require an intensive study to extract their full essence. So let’s get into it. From “Ultralight Beam” to “Saint Pablo,” here we are ranking every song on “The Life Of Pablo” by Kanye West.

Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1

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Ye turns introspection into performance, flipping the script between confession and conceit. The track, with its sample of Pastor T.L. Barrett’s “Father Stretch My Hands,” gives us that classic Kanye duality—spiritual yearning meets mortal impulsiveness. From invoking Metro Boomin’s infamous tagline to referencing a morning imbued with love and desire, Kanye harnesses the chaotic energy of self-revelation. It’s a lyrical exploration of freedoms, contradictions and apologies. The narrative veers to a controversial line about a model and ends with an admission of guilt, reflecting Kanye’s perpetual tug-of-war with fame, relationships, and his own insecurities. It’s raw, it’s Kanye, it’s hip-hop poetry in motion.


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The track is quintessential Kanye, blending audacious lyrical claims, snide wit, and references to real-world situations, provoking dialogues and debates. There’s the killer line about Taylor Swift that sparked firestorms, underscoring Kanye’s self-proclaimed role in her fame. There’s also the juxtaposition of his personal and public life, with Kanye noting his simultaneous existence as both a mega-star and a boy from Chicago’s Southside. He taps into the duality of fame and anonymity, where one’s reputation permits ubiquity yet invites judgment. It’s brash, it’s unapologetic, it’s quintessentially Kanye—flaunting his influence, critiquing detractors, and asserting his emblematic arrival to this game of life, and his determination to conquer it.


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Kanye spits bars about the fluctuating nature of fame, relationships, and self-awareness, reminding us that these aren’t static entities, they’re “waves,” continually in motion. The track offers a metaphorical peek into Ye’s grappling with fame, serenading us with the idea that highs and lows are transient, much like waves that don’t die, they just crash then retreat, gathering energy for the next surge. Although it’s packed with braggadocious lines, giving us a glimpse of Kanye’s cocky confidence, the persistent refrain strikes a more introspective chord, affirming that no matter the external chaos, he’ll always remain true to his core.

Ultralight Beam


It’s a beam of celestial introspection and vulnerability, with Yeezy grappling with the duality of faith as both a shield and a weapon. The lyrics unravel Kanye’s inner demons and external struggles, juxtaposed with affirmations of unwavering faith and divine resilience. Spirituality and existential dread collide in an almost bipolar rhythm, symbolic of Kanye’s own personal trials. The message? Despite life’s turbulence, faith is one’s ‘ultralight beam’ – the guide through the darkness. It’s a powerful start to an album, declaring West’s defiance against life’s trials and tribulations, all under the protective beam of his unyielding faith.


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Here, Yeezy is laying out feelings of vulnerability, lost love, and the struggles that come with fame. Drawing parallels between biblical figures like Joseph and modern-day reality, he’s making us question our own perspectives on purity and sin. He’s wrestling with his imperfections, talking about past mistakes, and expressing fears for his children, Nori and Saint, in a world filled with “wolves.” It’s a deep, introspective journey into the psyche of Kanye West – one that’s as twisted and convoluted as the man himself.



The track is a wake-up call to those sleeping on his genius and a declaration of his intent to not let people play him anymore. He subtly questions the system, hinting at the police brutality with “Hands up, we just doing what the cops taught us”, then flipping it in the final verse with “…then the cops shot us”. Kanye is raw and unfiltered with this piece, openly discussing his mental health and reinforcing his eccentric genius. Overall, it’s a chaotic symphony of defiance, brilliance, and introspection – a full throttle West extravaganza.

No More Parties In LA

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He drops references to his fashion exploits (Yeezys, Vans, and the Maybach), revealing his struggles around building his reputation as a fashion mogul. His vulnerability shines when he talks about being a family man, protecting his wife Kim and raising his kids in the limelight. Masterfully, Ye also flips the script on the LA party scene – once a platform for his ascension, now a symbol of superficiality he’s grown weary of. The lyrical brilliance matches the vivid beats, capturing the tension and complexity of Kanye’s life as an A-list rapper.

Low Lights


Keeping it 100, the track features an impassioned monologue from an unnamed woman (rumored to be Kings of Tomorrow’s house hit, “So Alive”), delivering a somber testimony about God’s unwavering presence in her life. Backed by atmospheric synths and a soulful choir, Yeezy uses this piece to reflect the crux of this album — the internal struggle between the saintly and sinful, the Pablo and Paul within. The raw emotion resonates, reminding us all that Ye’s artistry is as much about stirring sentiment as it is about spit bars and beats.

Real Friends

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The track is a melancholic introspection where Ye interrogates the very concept of friendship, his own shortcomings, and the toll taken by his high-profile life. It’s the Yeezy equivalent of peeling back the curtain, revealing the isolation that lurks behind the flashing cameras. The introspective lyrics demonstrate a stark departure from the braggadocious tone that characterizes much of his work, here he’s lamenting rather than flexing, dropping his larger-than-life persona to reveal the human beneath.



The unforgettable lyricism doesn’t shy away from his reality: the wins, the controversies, and everything in between. Yeezy juxtaposes the hedonistic “highlights” of his rap superstar life – think Grammy trophies, superstar family, and a shoutout to Equinox gym – with personal jabs, name drops and raw self-exposure, underscored by a distinct reference to his Christian faith. The song is filled with syntactic bravado, showcasing Kanye’s witty wordplay and unfiltered vocal delivery that embodies the juxtaposing highs and lows that are part and parcel of his controversial life.

Pt. 2

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Kanye presents a ruminative exploration of his own familial past, societal issues, and success’s paradox. It’s a no-holds-barred confession booth where ‘Ye details the struggles of his father and correlates them to his own. The track has him openly addressing the expectations around him, revealing his battles with control, and confronting a loss of innocence. Illustrative of Yeezy’s genius as a curator, the song integrates a controversial interpolation of Desiigner’s “Panda”, thereby portraying the opulence and darkness associated with fame. The ending signals a spiritual appeal, reflecting on Kanye’s wrestling with faith, making the song a sonically chaotic yet poignant picture of Kanye’s world—an emotional rollercoaster, mirroring his life’s volatility in its tempo, lyrics, and mood.

Freestyle 4


Yeezy comes through with a spine-thrilling flow that drips unfiltered thoughts straight from the id. This gonzo-infused piece disturbs as much as it incites, playing out like a feverish nightmare sprung from West’s psyche. His lyrics are raucous, perched between the profane and profound as they critique party culture’s shallow excess and sexual liberation. Driving home the point is the spine-chilling production, reminiscent of Ye’s ‘Yeezus’ era, laced with dissonant strings and hard hitting bass. It’s a raw and candid glimpse into West’s mind, laced with the artist’s trademark audacity.

I Love Kanye


No doubt, this is Yeezy taking a meta stance, acknowledging the chatter about his evolution and the longing some fans have for the “old Kanye”. It’s his unfiltered love letter to his evolution, a testament both to his growth and the controversy that often surrounds it. “I Love Kanye” is an assertive claim to his own narrative, confronting those who miss the “sweet Kanye” while showing he’s still consciously on his self-designed path, criticism be damned. Regardless of your camp, one thing remains true – Kanye’s artistic evolution is anything but dull. This joint right here? Pure Kanye, in his most authentic form.



He grapples with his fears of jeopardizing his marriage and the weight of being the sole person in control of his enterprise. It’s a raw depiction of the tightrope he walks between his ego and vulnerability, between the public spectacle and the private man, culminating in a defiant assertion of self in the face of external pressure. Known for pushing boundaries, Yeezy doesn’t shy away from addressing his battles with mental health, shattering the façade to reveal the layers of his soul. The track starkly contrasts with the braggadocious persona we often associate with Ye, showcasing his will to survive amid personal turmoil.

Frank’s Track


With a sonic scheme that’s stripped and stark, it’s a delicate fragment of vulnerability in ‘The Life of Pablo,’ a testament to Kanye’s knack for showcasing talent. Frank’s lyrics paint a bleak picture of disillusionment, his voice echoing like a forlorn soliloquy in an empty theater. The metaphorical rings he speaks of could symbolize the cycles of fame and success that, once vibrant and alluring, now “burn out” and “cave in.” His voice, vacant yet plaintive, reveals the precious, bittersweet nature of life laced with a quiet sense of discovery – a testament to the introspection that often lurks beneath the rough exterior of hip-hop’s bravado.

30 Hours


It narrates rendezvous across state lines, dedicated gym routines, and the grind to glory as a young producer trying to get his flows off. With the song, Kanye reminisces on tough breakups, vulnerability, and the perseverance that pushed him to drive thirty hours across state lines for love. He lays out his journey, from trifling tribulations to major victories, with each line crafted meticulously, echoing the struggle of climbing to the top in a cutthroat industry. The song is a testament to his resilience, presenting a snapshot of a time when he was still yearning for acceptance and trying to prove his artistic worth.

Facts (Charlie Heat Version)


Yeezy takes aim at giants like Nike, throwing shade for their treatment of employees, while flexing his alliance with Adidas. He’s unapologetic, hinting at his business acumen and success off the mic with lines alluding to strong shoe sales and his successful Kimoji app. West reflects on personal victories and high-profile feuds, but also touches on broader societal issues. The unrelenting assertiveness is pure Yeezy, he’s cocky, yet his commentary is deeply entrenched in historical and social contexts – a nod to the complex tapestry that is Kanye West.



Hitting you with the hypnotic repetition of “I feel it fade,” Ye manifests the spatial emptiness of losing love, painting an intimate portrait of emotional dislocation. Wrapped in a clever sample of “Mystery of Love” by Mr. Fingers, the track cradles feelings of emotional desolation against the backdrop of an upbeat, disco-infused instrumental. Fade treads the delicate tightrope of Kanye’s paradoxical genius – it’s introspective, insecure, obstinate, and yet, seductively impenetrable. The continual interplay of the lyrics”deep, deep, down inside” with the fading love portrays the depth of unreciprocated emotions, subtly hinting at the fragility of Ye’s ego-driven bravado.

Saint Pablo


His palpable frustration with the media narratives and financial pressures offers a vulnerable look into his conflicted psyche. As the song progresses, West shifts his gaze from personal dilemmas to larger societal concerns – racial inequality, the perils of fame, and the struggle for authentic self-expression in the modern world. Underpinning it all is a spiritual invocation, a yearning for guidance, represented by recurring motifs of the “night sky” and the “church.” “Saint Pablo” serves as a raw, introspective finale to ‘The Life of Pablo,’ embodying West’s complex artist persona and his ceaseless quest for existential meaning.

Siiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission

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Instead of dropping bars, Kanye leans back and lets the wave expert, Max B, take the mic. And he ain’t spitting verses either but giving Yeezy a shoutout, effectively turning the intermission into an acknowledgment of their shared wavey spirit. This joint ain’t about lyrical depth or clever wordplay. Nah, it’s a testament to Kanye’s connection with the culture, a nod to his status in the game, and a testimony to the influence he holds. In other words, it’s Yeezy staking his claim as a wave maker, a trendsetter, a force to be reckoned with. Love him or hate him, but you gotta respect him. Yeezy season is always on.

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