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10 Kanye West Lyrics From ‘Graduation’ That Ring True Today

Music
Photo courtesy of Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam

Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy

Kanye West, more or less, graduated a decade ago. September 11, 2017, marks the 10th anniversary of Yeezy's third studio album, Graduation, that completed the trilogy begun by The College Dropout (2004) and Late Registration (2005). It marks the beginning of the persona upon which he famously reflects on in 2016's The Life of Pablo. It's the album on which Kanye solidified who he was to the public. From the anthemic message of "Stronger" to the questionable one of "Drunk and Hot Girls," Graduation is marked with West's viewpoints about fame and success. It's the album that made it possible for West to make 808s and Heartbreaks and the masterful My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West didn't peak with Graduation, but he certainly became a legend because of it. 

Since then, West has become an icon, both for his music and other professional endeavors as well as his personal life. Graduation is where that all began—the cockiness, the forward thinking, the everything. It's Kanye, the car crash survivor at the top of his game. So, to celebrate its 10th birthday, let's look back at Graduation's entire lyrical archive and find the Kanye-isms that still ring true today. Because Kanye will say what Kanye says; we just have to make sense of it.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3

"Champion"
Kanye West made it very clear during his 2015 MTV VMAs Video Vanguard Award acceptance speech that it is, indeed, the kids he listens to. My, how the tables have turned. Listen to 'em, bro!

Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Agyness Deyn also star

Elisabeth Moss is trying to keep it together as punk rock artist Becky Something in the trailer for forthcoming movie Her Smell. She's surrounded by iconic faces who make up her band Something She, Gayle Rankin as Ali van der Wolff and Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell, as she grapples with the fact that her musical prowess just doesn't draw as big a crowd as it used to.

In addition to the wavering fame, Becky is "grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom," according to a press release. "When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success." And what's clear from the trailer, Moss is absolutely meant for this role, transforming into the punk on the brink of collapse.

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, and Dan Stevens. Watch the official trailer, below. Her Smell hits theaters on April 12 in New York and 14 in L.A., with "national expansion to follow."

Her Smell | OFFICIAL TRAILER HD www.youtube.com

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Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In an acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards

As The 1975 accepted the BRIT Award for Best British group, outspoken frontman Matty Healy shared the words of journalist Laura Snapes as a way of calling out misogyny that remains ever-present in the music industry. Healy lifted a powerful quote from Snapes' coverage of allegations against Ryan Adams for The Guardian: "Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of 'difficult' artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don't understand art."

Snapes reacted almost immediately on Twitter, saying she was "gobsmacked, and honoured that he'd use his platform to make this statement." Snapes had originally written the line for an interview she published with Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek back in 2015, in response to Kozelek publicly calling her a "bitch" who "totally wants to have my babies" because she requested to speak in person rather than via e-mail, which she brought up in the more recent piece on Adams. Kozelek's vile response, and the misogyny that allowed it to play out without real consequences, it could be argued, could have easily played out in the same way in 2019, which makes her reiteration of the line, and Healy's quoting it on such a large platform, all the more important.

It should be noted that back in December, Healy caught a bit of heat himself on Twitter for an interview with The Fader in which he insinuated that misogyny was an issue exclusive to hip-hop, and that rock 'n' roll had freed itself of it. He clarified at length on Twitter and apologized, saying, "I kinda forget that I'm not very educated on feminism and misogyny and I cant just 'figure stuff out' in public and end up trivializing the complexities of such enormous, experienced issues."