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Meaning of ‘Ghost Town’ by ‘Kanye West’ feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR

Released: 2018


If you examined the surface of Kanye West’s track “Ghost Town,” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR, it might seem like a convoluted song, filled with esoteric references and metaphoric images. But beneath its complex exterior, the song communicates a deep, introspective look into Kanye’s psyche with themes of longing, liberation, and aspirations of glory.

The opening lines, “Some day, some day/Some day I’ll, I will wear a starry crown,” reflect a dream of ultimate achievement, an aspiration for recognition and prestige. The “starry crown” represents a symbolic apex of success, a crown adorned with stars representing accolades and acknowledgment in the hip-hop community. Yet, Kanye tells us this day is “some day”, an undefined time in the future, suggesting it’s a dream he’s yet to realize.

However, Kanye also expresses a desire to “lay down, like God did on Sunday.” This biblical reference eludes to the day God rested after creation, indicating a need for respite from his artistic creation. It’s an introspective glimpse into his struggle for success and his yearning for respite from the constant pursuit of greatness. The line “Some day we gon’ set it off… Baby, don’t you bet it all on a pack of Fentanyl,” warns against betting everything on one high-risk chance — Fentanyl being a dangerous, highly potent opioid, symbolizing a destructive, high-stakes gamble.

Agonizingly, he sings “I’ve been tryin’ to make you love me, but everything I try just takes you further from me.” Here he is torn between his pursuit of recognition and the emotional detachment it causes. It’s a candid expression of the paradox of fame — the more you strive for love from the public, the more you potentially isolate yourself because of the persona you have to maintain.

In the climactic lines, he proclaims, “And nothing hurts anymore, I feel kinda free. We’re still the kids we used to be… I put my hand on a stove, to see if I still bleed. Yeah, and nothing hurts anymore…”. It’s a stark revelation of numbness and desensitization born out of relentless pressure and scrutiny. Yet, he reaffirms that he’s still the same person he used to be, indicating a resilience, and an adherence to his roots amidst the chaos. The act of putting his hand on a stove to see if he ‘bleeds’ manifests as a test of his emotional capacity, to feel pain or anything at all in his state of desensitization.

Through this intricate web of metaphoric introspections, Kanye West delivers “Ghost Town”, projecting the nuances of being a hip-hop superstar — its glory, its struggles, and its debilitating highs and lows.

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