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Introduction: Kanye West. The self-proclaimed genius and the Jose Mourinho of hip hop. For a man that exhumes such confidence and pride, you’d think he was immune to making sad songs. Well you thought wrong, while Kanye has made many uplifting and happy songs, he has also made sad songs that could essentially be considered as some of his best work. This list looks at 808sandblues saddest/depressing songs that Kanye West has made up until now. There were many we could relate to and some that just made us break down and cry our eyes out.

 

10

Kanye West – I Feel Like That

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: N/A

Release Date: N/A

Song Length: 3:47

You’ve probably never heard of this track produced by Hudson Mohawk. Not even most of Kanye stans have heard of it, this is because it was never actually released and was leaked on the net in early 2016. I Feel Like That is the depression anthem of the last few years. It is a song where just by listening to it you’re bound to fall to your knees and drown in deep thought. It is relatable in the sense that Kanye sings about suffering from chest pains, loneliness, anxiety and overall not feeling happy about himself. We’ve all hard dark periods in our lives and just because a man like Kanye West has wealth and riches doesn’t make him exempt from it. And we shouldn’t downplay megastars who have depression just because they can afford anything in the world.

Key lyrics

Do you experience nervousness or shakiness inside, faintness and dizziness? The idea that someone else can control your thoughts.Feeling others are to blame for most of your thoughts. Trouble remembering things, feeling easily annoyed and irritated. Feeling afraid in open spaces or in public. Thoughts of ending your life.Feeling that most people could not be trusted. Poor appetite, heart or chest pains?

 

9

Kanye West – Bad News

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: 808s & Heartbreak

Release Date: November 24 2008

Song Length: 3:58

The 9th cut on Kanye West’s groundbreaking 808s & Heartbreak album happens to be one the saddest songs on it. Kanye wrote he song in the perspective of a female, waiting for Kanye to rekindle their relationship. The bad news was that she was never going to get Kanye back as he moved on with another woman, leaving her distraught. What makes this track sad was the use of autotune and vocal manipulation, as well as a minimalist production and a sensitive approach to the lyrics . The last two minutes of the song will literally have you in shambles.

Key lyrics

Didn’t you know, I was waiting on you
Waiting on a dream that’ll never come true
Didn’t you know, I was waiting on you
My face turned to stone when I heard the news
When you decide to break the rules
Cause I just heard some real bad news

 

8

Kanye West – Welcome to Heartbreak

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: 808s & Heartbreak

Release Date: November 24 2008

Song Length: 4:23

Money can’t buy love. Honestly it really can’t. It can buy hoes, bitches and instathots but never a woman who loves you for who you are and not your material assists. Kanye sadly founds out the hard away. Kanye first begins to realize how fame affects his personal life and realizes that fame means nothing without love. He accepts that material assets cannot replace true love. Kid Cudi on the infectious hook sings about how sadness leaves his head spinning with bad thoughts. Welcome to Heartbreak is the song every rich successful man should listen to. You spend all that time making your money, only to fall short of what everyone truly needs, true L.O.V.E.

Key lyrics

My friend showed me pictures of his kids
And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs
He said his daughter got a brand new report card
And all I got was a brand new sports car, oh

7

Kanye West – Family Business

Artist: Kanye West

Album: The College Dropout

Release Date: February 10 2004

Song Length: 4:38

Bittersweet, honest and heartfelt. This is one of Kanye’s most emotionally driven song and examines how clearly he feels about his family ties after achieving superstardom. “Abi, remember when they ain’t believe in me? Now she like “See, that’s my cousin on TV!” is one of the most memorable lines on the track. The children singing, the melody and the laid back chill beat make the song a tear jerker. This is a man who has a achieved his dreams and but hasn’t forgotten his cornerstone, his family.

 

Key lyrics

This is family business
And this is for everybody standing with us

Come on, let’s take a family Grammy picture
Abi, remember when they ain’t believe in me?
Now she like “See, that’s my cousin on TV!”

Now, we gettin’ it and we gon’ make it
And they gon’ hate it and I’m his favorite

I can’t deny it, I’m a straight rider
But when we get together be electric slidin’
Grandma, get ’em shook up
Aw naw, don’t open the photo book up
I got an Aunt Ruth that can’t remember your name
But I bet them Polaroids’ll send her down memory lane
You know that one auntie, you don’t mean to be rude
But every holiday nobody eating her food

6

Kanye West –  Street Lights

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: 808s & Heartbreak

Release Date: November 24 2008

Song Length: 3:09

Key Lyric

Honestly, 808s & Heartbreak should have been called 808s & Sadness. This is the third time a song a from the album has been listed and it’s as clear as ever that Ye will never make a sadder album. Street Lights is one of those songs that you can’t really explain why it makes you sad, you have to listen to the song and experience it yourself. For us it was the subtle piano in the background and the line “Let me know
Do I still got time to grow?, Things ain’t always set in stone” which resonated with us the most. So many of us can relate to that. That feeling when you’re striving for something but not sure you can overcome yourself.

Key lyrics

Seems like street lights, glowing, happen to be
Just like moments, passing, in front of me
So I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare
See I know my destination, but I’m just not there
All the street lights, glowing, happen to be
Just like moments, passing, in front of me
So I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare
See I know my destination, but I’m just not there
All the street lights, glowing, happen to be
Just like moments, passing, in front of me
So I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare
See I know my destination, but I’m just not there

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5

Kanye West – Blame Game

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Release Date: November 22 2010

Song Length: 7:49

Blame Game showed us Kanye’s struggle with women and love, and at that time it seemed like the Chicago native would never find true love. Like the title states, Kanye and his lover play the blame game on each other, with neither backing down. There are hints of an abusive relationship when Kanye raps “Been a long time since I spoke to you in a bathroom, Gripping you up, fucking and choking you” and signs of paranoia. However Blame Game perfectly captures the problems of a troubled relationship. it’s a view that we don’t often see when it comes to songs about unrequited love. Kanye touches on themes of guilt and utter heartbreak, yet he does so in a defiant and aggressive way that only Kanye’s ego can.  Even then he’s still so vulnerable and fragile.

 

Key Lyric

1AM and can’t nobody get a hold of you
I’m calling your brother’s phone like what was I supposed to do?
Even though I knew, he never told the truth
He was just gon’ say whatever that you told him to
At a certain point I had to stop asking questions
Y’all got dirt on each other like mud wrestlers
I heard he bought some coke with my money
That ain’t right girl
You getting blackmailed for that white girl
You always said, “Yeezy, I ain’t your right girl”
You’ll probably find one of them “I like art”-type girls
All of the lights, she-was-caught-in-the-hype girl
And I was satisfied being in love with the lie
Now who to blame, you to blame, me to blame
For the pain and it poured every time when it rained
Let’s play the blame game

 

4

Kanye West – Only One

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: N/A

Release Date: December 31 2014

Song Length: 4:42

Only One is sung from the perspective of Kanye’s late mother, Dr. Donda West as she looks down on her son from Heaven. She tells Kanye to tell Nori (his daughter) about her. The line “Tell Nori about me” repeats like a mantra which just makes the song even sadder.

Key Lyric

So hear me out, hear me out
I won’t go, I won’t go
No goodbyes, no goodbyes
Just hello, just hello
And when you cry, I will cry
And when you smile, I will smile
And next time when I look in your eyes
We’ll have wings and we’ll fly

 

3

Kanye West – Hey Mama (Grammy Version)

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: Late Registration

Release Date: February 10 2008

Song Length: 2:55

On November 2007, Kanye’s mom died of complications from cosmetic surgery and Kanye went through a very hard moment on his life. Originally Hey Mama was an upbeat and soulful song dedicated to his mom when she was alive for believing in his dreams and supporting him. In February 2008, he performed a new version on the Grammy Awards with a new hook and broke down in tears. The song became so much more powerful because he wrote it before his mom died yet still feels like he wrote it after she died as a tribute to her.

Key Lyric

You work late nights just to keep on the lights
Mommy got me training wheels so I could keep on my bike
And you would give anything in this world
Michael Jackson leather and a glove, but didn’t give me a curl
And you never put no man over me
And I love you for that mommy can’t you see?
Seven years old, caught you with tears in your eyes
Cuz a nigga cheatin, telling you lies, then I started to cry
As we knelt on the kitchen floor
I said mommy I’mma love you till you don’t hurt no more
And when I’m older, you ain’t gotta work no more

 

2

Kanye West – Roses

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Artist: Kanye West

Album: Late Registration

Release Date: 30 August 2005

Song Length: 4:05

Everyone knew from Kanye’s debut album The College Dropout that he was a man full of confidence and arrogance. But his following album Late Registration showed us a side of Kanye that we thought we would never see on a Kanye West album. Kanye is vulnerable on Roses as the song tells the story of his grandmother’s near death experience. Anyone who has been at the hospital and praying that your loved one makes it, this song hits home. Kanye and his family are faced with one thing certain in this life, death and he really isn’t ready to handle the death of this Grandma, she’s still got a bunch of roses to smell. Thankfully his grandma makes it through but the whole experience was terrifying for Kanye and his family.  Kanye West isn’t known for making sad songs, but he’ll never make a sadder song than roses no matter how hard he tries.

Key Lyric

I know it’s past visiting hours
But can I please give her these flowers?
The doctor don’t wanna take procedures
He claim her heart can’t take the anaesthesia
It’ll send her body into a seizure
That lil’ thing by the hospital bed, it’ll stop beepin
Hey chick, I’m at a loss for words
What do you say at this time? Remember when I was 9?
Tell her everything gon’ be fine, but I be lyin’
Her family cryin’, they want her to live, and she tryin’
I’m arguin like what kind of doctor can we fly in
You know the best medicine go to people that’s paid
If Magic Johnson got a cure for AIDS
And all the broke motherfuckers passed away
You telling me if my grandma’s in the NBA
Right now she’d be okay? 

 

1

Kanye West – Runaway 

 

Artist: Kanye West

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Release Date: October 4 2010

Song Length: 9:08 (Album Version)

It’s funny how Kanye West’s greatest song (yes Runaway is his best) is also his saddest song. Runaway is an almost 10 minute epic that details Kanye’s frustration with himself and his tendency to always fuck up a good thing. He admits he’s a cheater, a scumbag, an ass hole and better yet tells is girlfriend to runaway from him as fast she could, before he self destructs. Kanye yet again fails with love and we kinda feel sorry for him because it fails. To top it off, the auto-tune at the end of the track just adds to the misery.  Stunning classic track.

Conclusion: Thanks for reading. Do you agree with our list? tell us what you think and write your own list in the comment section below.

 

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