20 Times Kanye West Showed Love to Chicago in His Lyrics
“Never think I’m not from Chicago for one second." —Kanye West, 2013
After word got out that the couple was having difficulty landing on a name, some eager fans offered their two cents, suggesting ‘Ye name his baby girl after his late mother, Donda, among other creative pitches. Kim finally confirmed the name Chicago, noting via retweet that the nickname “Chi” will be pronounced like “Shy.”
While the name was met with a variety of reactions—much like the attention the names of their two children North and Saint garnered when they were first born—it doesn’t come as a surprise to diehard Yeezy fans that he took it back to the Chi. Despite currently residing in a $60 million Los Angeles mansion, Kanye always has and always will rep for his hometown of Chicago, as evident through his music.
“I’m lucky because I’m from Chicago and because I’m from Chicago, I don’t give a fuck,” West said in a recently unearthed Hypebeast interview from 2013. “I care, but I don’t give a fuck. That’s what it is. Someone from Chicago is very sincere. They got their heart like that... but they don’t give fuck about what anybody is saying as long as it’s from their heart. And that’s like what it is to be from Chicago, to be from the Midwest.”
From his interviews to his music to his daughter’s name, Chicago will always hold a special place in Kanye West's heart and his life alike. XXL looks back at Yeezy's rhyme book to cite 20 examples of when the rapper/producer showed his love to the city of Chicago in his lyrics.
"You see how I creeped up?/You see how I played a big role in Chicago like Queen Latifah?"
“Every interview I'm representin' you, makin' you proud/Reach for the stars, so if you fall, you land on a cloud/Jump in the crowd, spark your lighters, wave 'em around/If you don't know by now, I'm talkin' 'bout Chi-Town”
“For you to ever deny, that I'm about Chi-Town/Represent the city with the deal for 12 years/And sell a couple of mil' and still hold it down, that's possible”
“Chi nigga but these hoes love my accent”
“Free Bump J, real nigga for life/Shoutout to Derrick Rose, man, that nigga nice/Shout out to L.E.P., Jay Boogie, right?/Chief Keef, King Louie, this is Chi, right? Right?!”
“You already know I’m straight from the Chi, all day, nigga/South, south, south side! All day, nigga.”
“I fantasized 'bout this back in Chicago/Mercy, mercy me, that Murcielago/That's me, the first year that I blow/How you say broke in Spanish? Me no hablo/Me drown sorrow in that Diablo/Me found bravery in my bravado/DJs need to listen to the models/‘You ain't got no fuckin' Yeezy in your Serato?’/Stupid, but what the hell do I know?/I'm just a Chi-Town nigga with a Nas flow”
“I'm back from the future seen it with my own eyes/And yep, I'm still the future of the Chi"
"But this is for the mobsters, Holla/We some true Chi-Town legends, accept no imposters”
“What if somebody from the Chi' that was ill got a deal/On the hottest rap label around?/But he wasn't talking about coke and birds/It was more like spoken word/Except he's really putting it down?”
“I wanna tell the whole world about a friend of mine/This little light of mine and I'm finna let it shine/I'm finna take y'all back to them better times/I'm finna talk about my mama if y'all don't mind/I was three years old when you and I moved to the Chi”
“I can’t let these people play me/Name one genius that ain't crazy/Follow our father/You borrow our motto/I'm a Chicago Southsider/I'm a Chicago Southsider”
“It feel like L.A., it feel like Miami/It feel like N.Y., summertime Chi/Ah! (Now throw yo' hands up in the sky)”
“Southside, Southside/We gon' set this party off right/Westside, Westside/We gon' set this party off right/Chi-Town, Chi-Town/We gon' show 'em how we get down”
“Somebody tell these (niggas) who Kanye West is/I walk through the valley of the Chi where death is”
“I'm so Chi that you thought I was bashful/But this bastard's flow will bash your skull”
“Two words, Chi-Town, South Side, worldwide/Cause I rep that 'til I fuckin' die/One neck two chains, one waist two gats/One wall twenty plaques, dues paid, gimme that"
"Two words, Chi-Town raised me crazy/So I live by two words: ‘fuck you, pay me’”
“All my niggas from the Chi, that's my family, dog/And my niggas ain't my guys, they my family, dog”
“It’s a war going on outside we ain’t safe from/I feel the pain in my city wherever I go/314 soldiers died in Iraq, 509 died in Chicago”