Most of Kanye West’s songs would be great options for this prompt, and the one I chose just happens to be one of my favorites at the moment. “Homecoming” from Kanye’s Graduation album, may be part of the greatest collection of songs on a single record.
One of Kanye’s greatest strengths as a rapper or a poet, is the way he can manipulate words. He can use the same word multiple times, in one line after another, and they can possess completely different meanings.
But, my name is Windy and I like to blow trees”
And from that point I never blow her off
I guess that’s why I’m here and I can’t come back home
And guess when I heard that? When I was back home
If that isn’t poetic, then I don’t know what is.
Throughout the song, Kanye chooses to develop a story about his relationship with a childhood friend. He compares their relationship to aspects of the city of Chicago to develop a nostalgic tone.
- But, my name is Windy and I like to blow trees
- And when I grew up she showed me how to go downtown
- Knew I was gang affiliated, got on TV and told on me
- I guess that’s why last winter she got so cold on me
All of these lines possess notable aspects of Chicago “Windy”, “downtown”, “gang affiliated”, and “winter”. In order to put the listener in his shoes, to appreciate the nostalgic feeling he gets when he thinks about the girl and his hometown. He is trying to get listeners to think about their home town so that they can understand what he feels when he thinks about this girl.
The job of a poet is to give new experiences to audiences. And since Kanye is obviously not utilizing prose, it is safe to say that his music is poetry.
7 thoughts on “Homecoming King”
Overall, I really like your analysis of one of Kanye’s greatest works. Through the deeper meaning of Chicago and the perks of it, it is a great representation of the song.
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Thanks for the post Max. When I first got into Kanye, “Homecoming” was a real stand-out to me since it seemed like the most down-to-earth and comfortable song on his album. I feel like you captured this cozy feeling best with your explanation on the nostalgic feeling Kanye gets across with his musing about Chicago. Although I don’t necessarily think he’s talking about both Chicago and a childhood girlfriend, I think that your reading that he’s talking about Chicago to convey his feelings about his old girlfriend is definitely a fresh take that’s making me rethink the song a little. Thanks again!
This is a cool analysis. I don’t really listen to Kanye, but if I had, I definitely wouldn’t have made those inferences on the spot.
The first time I heard this song was on the way home from picking my sister up from college for the first time, and my brother blasted it in the car as the skyline came in to view. Since then, I’ve loved this song because of that memory, and also because it is a really poetic song about a girl who supported him before he became who he is.
I find it interesting on how a song I listen to quite a lot hides and shares many underlying meanings. His different uses of the same word make the song that much better.
This is a really solid write-up of this song. I’ve never really been the biggest Kanye fan, but this analysis definitely makes me appreciate his lyricism. The section about Chicago is especially cool as he never explicitly mentions Chicago itself. Again, really solid takes here.
kinda cool how he made her name windy then talked about blowing, winter, and the cold. they all seem connected. didnt realize till now.