One Thread Only: "One Song Only" Podcast Discussion


Man the glory is great and only like 25% of get em high is great smh

I know either one would probably not make it past the next round but still, this is one of their first decisions I’ve really disagreed with, the glory is actually one of my favorite songs on graduation.


Upcoming set of songs:

Jesus Walks vs Murder to Excellence (1st seed vs 16th)
Street Lights vs We Don’t Care (8th seed vs 9th)
We Major vs 30 Hours (5th seed vs 12th)
Stronger vs Black Skinheads (4th seed vs 13th)


man Murder to Excellence 16th seems low, love the beat/beat switch. Shame I don’t think it’ll get anywhere vs Jesus Walks.


This upcoming quadrant is strong. Maybe three of my top five Kanye songs are coming up here.

My picks:

Jesus Walks vs Murder to Excellence (1st seed vs 16th)

Jesus Walks is just too strong. Great song, outstanding sample.

Street Lights vs We Don’t Care (8th seed vs 9th)

I like 808s and I think Street Lights is one of the best songs on it.

We Major vs 30 Hours (5th seed vs 12th)

Not too interested in this matchup, a couple of decent songs.

Stronger vs Black Skinheads (4th seed vs 13th)

Stronger is my pick to win this entire competition. I like techno and I love Daft Punk, and I think this is Kanye’s strongest sample.

That said, Black Skinheads, like a lot of newer songs, is way under seeded. I would have given it like a 4th or 5th seed, not a first round battle against Stronger.


Get Em High wins this whole region of the bracket for me, and it’s because it’s Kanye’s best live rap song. He has songs that do very well live but Get Em High was written from the ground up as a live song (hard to do!) And it nails it, honestly.


Get Em High is a trash beat with a decent hook and a good first verse. It sounds like some shit I could get in a Kanye West sample pack during Late Registration time. It’s proof he doesn’t always keep the best beats for himself. Holy shit, you were not lying about this being your hottest take, my friend.

I’ve really been enjoying One Song Only. I didn’t realize this thread was a thing until now, so here’s my sole input on the latest episode besides why Get Em High is trash.

First off, it is so rough that Ali is singlehandedly fighting for the College Dropout stuff. Secondly, though it’s wild controversial, I do think Blame Game is actually not that good and Roses was the right choice. All the voice-changing stuff in the production really fucks that song, all he had to do was just rap over that great beat. Half of it is barely intelligible and it doesn’t have any great significance that makes it work. Roses is competently produced, extremely strong lines, keeps changing throughout and ends with you feeling like you just had a journey every time.


I even like Common’s verse on the track!


every few weeks things are going normal, when out of nowhere it creeps back into my mind and i remember:

real rappers are hard to find,
like a remote


The worst part is the pause and the line after

“control rap is out of”
Like come on dude


I appreciate your dedication to being wrong here.


My picks/comments/musings for the upcoming round:

Jesus Walks vs Murder to Excellence (1st seed vs 16th)
I am strongly of the opinion that the Watch the Throne stuff doesn’t belong on this bracket, but also Murder to Excellence stinks out loud, so this is a slam dunk.

Street Lights vs We Don’t Care (8th seed vs 9th)
Street Lights is one of the stronger cuts from 808s and gets by pretty easily against the middling We Don’t Care.

We Major vs 30 Hours (5th seed vs 12th)
This was actually one of the toughest first-round match-ups for me. I’ve always thought of We Major as a pretty under-appreciated cut from Late Reg, so I was surprised to see it seeded so high. But I also love 30 Hours so much. The drum beat and sample are brilliant, and if my love for Last Call wasn’t enough, I’m doubling down on “let Kanye just ramble for a few minutes at the end of the song” being one of my favorite things. I fully expect the professed Late Registration-bias to win out here, but this region of the bracket is going to get steamrolled anyway, so I’m throwing my support for the Pablo underdog.

Stronger vs Black Skinhead (4th seed vs 13th)
I absolute abhor Stronger. It is a must-skip song for me. I will change the station if it comes on. I know Black Skinhead has absolutely no chance here (also I really hope they don’t refer to it as Black Skinheads as is incorrectly written on the bracket), but even if Stronger didn’t send unrelenting douche-chills down my spine, Yeezus is so underrepresented and this is one of its strongest songs. I hope we at least get good discussion from this match-up, because there’s a lot to go in on with Black Skinhead and its not coming back.


I am almost definitely in the minority but would pick murder to excellence over Jesus walks. One of my favorite Kanye beats.


I think I’m going chalk in this section, except for We Major. I hate We Major, it’s so long and I really don’t think that beat holds up for 7 whole minutes, also none of the verses are that good imo. It’ll probably end up winning, and I have no strong feelings towards 30 Hours so that’s fine.
I really wish Black Skinhead was a higher seed because it’s a great song and deserves to move on, but Stronger is just too much.


Austin brought up the SNL performance of New Slaves earlier; Black Skinhead was the other song he did on that show, and together they’re probably my favorite SNL music guest appearance ever.

Also I want to throw in for We Don’t Care because College Dropout needs more support, and I can clearly remember buying that album blind, hearing that as the first track, and realizing that this was going to be something worthwhile.


Once again mad about Yeezus underseeding: Stronger and Black Skinhead are probably two of the best three songs in the episode, so of course they meet in the first round. I didn’t feel strongly about any matchup other than Street Lights vs We Don’t Care, so glad to see that one went my way.


Episode reactions:

This is where my tastes have started to diverge the most from the podcast hosts. I love the high quality of the production in Kanye’s electronic/production-heavy music but it feels like Art is going to get most of them taken off by the end, he seems to have a “yeah I’m sure it’s a jaunty little tune but that’s just a side-attraction compared to the rap” attitude to music like Stronger or 808s that are some of my favourites.

I was also surprised that Jesus Walks got taken out so early. “It’s historically important but doesn’t hold up” wasn’t an angle that ever occurred to me - Graduation was my first album and Jesus Walks really impressed me when I went in to hear Kanye’s older work later, I think it still holds up.


I posted two weeks ago that I didn’t think Murder to Excellence would win, but I’m glad it did (and that it was advocated for on the pod!). I’m surprised at the level of…not dislike, but indifference? or however you would describe their reactions to College Dropout, I thought Jesus Walks would win for sure despite a lot of other CD tracks not making it.


Same for me too. Also as a 808’s apologist, I’m not really in love with Art’s criticisms of the tracks of the that album. So far his arguments against those songs seem to boil down to “I don’t like autotune” and “the verses are really short/repetitive” (I damn near cheered when Ali said “stop bring up math every time.”) Obviously, its perfectly fine that he doesn’t like those songs, but his arguments against them have felt pretty weak.

As far as Jesus Walks goes, I’m not surprised that it got knocked out, but I didn’t think that Murder to Excellence was going to be the song to do it.


Jesus Walks going down was unexpected but it really made sense they (Austin in particular) wouldn’t go for it when they started talking about it, “if I talk about God my record won’t get played” is lowkey one of the most bullshit Kanye lines ever, and Murder to Excellence’s political shortcomings are arguably smaller (and the crew seems more sympathetic to them, see Crack Music)

Art is the rap purist of the trio, which can fairly annoying from my perspective but I think it’s valuable for the conversation, he might be the one who most cares about flow and verses per se. I just end up rooting for him to lose those arguments really often. We Don’t Care is a good song but Street Lights wipes the floor with it.


Art’s great and this sort of silly dunking is what I want from a podcast about friends going through a Kanye bracket. Serious analysis is great, but I’m delighted whenever the knives come out over a song.

Streetlights is great tho.