So why does this lyric make the list? Well, if you delete this line, the entire song comes off as an ultra-sincere meditation on the plight of single women. However, by claiming that he's the only man in the world who cares about single women, he stumbles into the realm of "pathetic guy saying anything to get laid." We're guessing it was written during or immediately following one of Pac's longer stints in prison, because, to borrow a phrase from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he is clearly putting the pussy up on a pedestal. With this line he momentarily became the rap equivalent of your buddy who's willing to throw you under the bus to impress a girl he just met. Only Pac seems to be willing to throw all of his buddies, and every other guy on the face of Earth under the bus with the outlandish claim that he is the only person in the world who cares about women on welfare.
He also refers to himself in the third person, giving the whole affair an odd "Jimmy likes Elaine" vibe that's pretty tough to get over. We can just see him at the bar: "Your grandma died of stomach cancer? Tupac worked in a lab for the past 12 years trying to cure stomach cancer! The other scientists are always telling me, 'Fuck stomach cancer, it's a dead end cancer research field.' I guess you could say that Tupac's the only person in the world who cares about stomach cancer. Don't be alarmed by my erection. It's just all this talk about stomach cancer, which I care about."
3. "Jesus Walks"
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers,
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that's the way y'all need Jesus.
Kanye is not a traditional rapper in many senses. He dresses like he's being photographed for GQ (even on the rare occasion when he's not being photographed for GQ) and he's one of the few rappers that openly admits to having attended a college other than the school of hard knocks, which under normal circumstances, is a clear violation of the rapper's social contract. He's able to get away with violating the college clause because a) he's pretty damn good, and b) his first two albums were almost entirely about how much he hated college (rappers aren't stupid, they know about the contract). But mostly, he gets away with it because he's an extremely gifted musician. And "Jesus Walks" is a great song. Which is strange, because ever since MC Hammer's ham assed "Pray," religious rap has made us throw up a little bit in our mouths. With "Jesus Walks," Kanye made it work again, which makes the Kathy Lee and Regis reference that much more profoundly upsetting. The line is so bad that it defines the way one experiences the entire song. There's the part before, marked by a vague sense of doom that comes with the knowledge that he's about to compare Jesus to Regis Philbin. Then there's the part after, marked by you cringing and looking around you to see if anyone else noticed how profoundly bonkers that line really is.
The only excuse we can come up with is that this is Kanye's point. As he says in the song, "they say you can rap about anything except for Jesus." By the time he raps that line, he's already proven them wrong on both points. You can rap about Jesus and make it cool. But you can't rap about anything because you sure as shit can't rap about Kathy Lee Gifford.