Thursday, March 12, 2009

Throwback Thursdays: Kanye West feat. Syleena Johnson - All Falls Down (2004)

Remember back when Kanye West used to rap?? (shots fired.)

This is hands down my favorite single from Mr. West, no question. I remember the first time I heard this song, too. I was in the senior cafeteria at MVHS (Shout outs to Vernon!), and one of my friends had the spoken word version of this song. I thought the lyrics were pretty awesome, and at the time I didn't even realize it would become a hit rap song. I think that's why this song stands out so much to me. Besides it having a beat that knocks, the lyrical message about materialism is particularly refreshing, in my opinion.

The original version of the song, as a matter of fact, is even more amazing than the version featured above. That's because the original features the one and only Ms. Lauryn Hill, who is pretty much a legend despite dropping only one LP (Unplugged albums don't count). Unfortunately, Kanye couldn't get the rights cleared in time for his album release, so he had to call Syleena Johnson at the last minute and have her fill in.

The video is an interesting one, and I liked the idea of having the entire thing in first person. The part at the 2:50 mark where he goes through the metal detecting machine and his X-ray starts rapping was a bit corny in my opinion, but overall, I thought it was executed well. I'm personally more a fan of videos that depict the song, so I would have liked to see maybe a visual story of the people he's rapping about in each verse, but I guess that would have made too much sense. On the bright side, the video features the ever-beautiful Stacey Dash.

Miss Dash, who is 43 and was 38 when this video came out, still manages to look like she's 25. In fact, she was 29 when she played a high school student in Clueless. Stacey is actually a relative of Dame Dash, who was an executive at Roc-A-Fella at the time. I assume he hooked this up for Kanye. Of course, it would be ludicrous to even mention Stacey Dash without mentioning how ridiculously hot she is. Of all the celebrity Playboy pics I've seen, hers have to be the best (NSFW, clearly).

Now, five years later, Kanye is putting out songs like this, and Dame Dash is no longer with the Roc. Instead, he's backing Jim Jones and making ridiculous statements like this. My, how times have changed.

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