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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #3 Kanye West “Through the Wire”

Posted by Nathan S. on 12/18/09 | Filed under Features, Kanye West, Best of the 2000s
Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s
With the number 3 pick of our "Top 25 of the 2000s" countdown, and are proud to select...Kanye West's "Through the Wire"!

Crashing your car on Sunset Blvd. and breaking you face is never a good thing, unless you're going to turn it into a rap career. Surprisingly, that was the case for the one and only Kanye West, a producer who didn't get any respect on the mic until he dropped his breakthrough single "Through the Wire", a song that set off an improbable chain of events that would end with Kanye becoming the most talked about rapper of the decade. Peaking at number 15, staying on the charts for twenty-one weeks and earning a Grammy nomination (perhaps setting in motion Kanye's hatred of award shows), "Through the Wire" might just be the most influential song of the decade.

It's always great to play the "What If"game (ex. what if JFK hadn't been killed?) and "Through the Wire" is one of the greatest What Ifs in hip-hop history. What if Kanye never drops this track and it never blows up? Then no one hears his four near-classic albums of the 2000s, plus his countless guest verses go to some other rapper (maybe making their career). Mainstream America loses the rapper they love to hate, Taylor Swift becomes just a cute country singer and Amber Rose is just some bald chick with a big ass. Plus, let's say "Through the Wire" doesn't get made - "The College Dropout" would have flopped and Kanye might have given up rapping and just focused on production. How many albums would have been affected? At the very least Jay's "Kingdom Come" and "BP3" would have been better with some extensive Kanye production behind them. There's no telling how far the effects would have reached.

Not only that, but I'm pretty sure "Through the Wire" was the only song ever recorded with a broken jaw, giving the track a gripping sense of realness and immediacy. (It was also the only rap song in history to shout out Ensure and Boost, but that's another story). Simply put, if there's no "Through the Wire" there's no Kanye West, and without Ye the hip-hop landscape, and American pop culture at large, in the 2000s changes drastically. Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for him to complain that he's not number one.

For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.

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