Few bands have what it takes to come up with that one massive hit that most people in the world will instantly associate with their name. It may not be their greatest or their most unannoying song, but it's the one they'll be thankful for when someone inevitably uses it for a cellphone ad. Of course, many times "what it takes" has less to do with their own talent and more to do with their capacity to take songs someone else rejected or flat-out steal them from another artist.
6 Kanye Wrote "Gold Digger" for a Female Rapper
Matt Carmichael/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Ah, the halcyon days of 2005. It was an innocent time when we were still optimistic about Episode III, getting our hopes way up about Lost, and not entirely sure that Kanye West was an asshole. In all three cases, of course, our naive optimism was dashed against the hard, cruel rocks of reality. For Kanye, those rocks came in the form and were even the central theme of "Gold Digger," a misogynistic but endlessly danceable ode to bitches obsessed with money and jewelry.
George Napolitano/FilmMagic/Getty Images
"Irony? Nah, I get my shit steam cleaned."
If you've somehow made it to 2014 without hearing it, the chorus to this delightful little number goes "Now I ain't sayin' you're a gold digger, but you ain't messin' with no broke [word that rhymes with 'digger']." To Kanye's credit, he never intended to record it himself. To take that credit right the hell back, Kanye's head was so far up his ass even back then that he earnestly believed any woman on Earth would want anything to do with this song. According to A&R rep Patrick "Plain Pat" Reynolds, Kanye crafted the entire song specifically for rapper Shawnna.
Cracked Fact: Not male.
Now, you may think that having a woman recite those lyrics actually makes the song less offensive, since it would turn into a denunciation of shallow hoes from an independent woman, but you're forgetting that Kanye West operates on a different logic from the rest of us mortals. We say that because the song was actually meant to be recited from a first-person perspective, i.e., "I'm not sayin' I'm a gold digger, but I ain't messin' with no broke n-----." Reynolds says he's "not sure why" Shawnna passed on the song, because he's apparently never spoken to a woman ever.
Utterly surprised that a woman wasn't interested in publicly declaring herself a hooker, Kanye flipped the perspective and recruited Jamie Foxx to sing some verses in his best Ray Charles voice (because, again, Kanye logic). The song, of course, became a huge hit for Kanye, catapulting him to a career filled with more opportunities to be a clueless jackass about things. Thanks, Shawnna.