The College Dropout & His Poetic Alter-Ego

All Falls Down, written and produced by Kanye West, was the third single off Kanye’s 2004 album, The College Dropout. You can find the lyrics to the song right here.

All Falls Down was Kanye’s attempt at poking fun at the concepts of materialism and consumerism, and he did exactly that. Not only is Kanye mocking the world’s obsession with designer items and luxurious-looking lives, but he is recognizing his own struggle with materialism and how he has dealt with it. Alternatively, this song represents Kanye’s view of a flawed society and how a higher education may receive more hype than it deserves. When Kanye raps “Man I promise, she’s so self conscious — she has no idea what she’s doing in college”, he’s self-reflecting his own issue of self-consciousness and insecurities. This piece of multi-dimensional language serves to show his inner battle with materialism, but it also shows the consequences of straying away from what society might expect or want from an individual (college, or a higher education).

The hook of the song, “Oh when it all, it all falls down — I’m telling you oh, it all falls down”, encourages the reader to visualize a life without material possessions. The idea of everything “falling down” is repeated many times and weaved throughout the song, displaying the importance of finding meaning in your life behind the walls of materialism. When Kanye states “It seems we living the American dream — But the people highest up got the lowest self esteem”, his lyrics are representative of the meaninglessness of being the “highest up”, or the most successful and/or rich, when compared to the value of self-security and non-material pleasures in life. Throughout the song, Kanye uses imagery to depict the struggle of a young woman dealing with the thought of going to college and being materialistic, but what he is really showing is his own insecurities and hopes of society being a different way.

4 thoughts on “The College Dropout & His Poetic Alter-Ego

  1. Natalie S

    This is really cool because as a song that I just listened to casually, you made me realize that there is a lot more depth to it. I like how you focused on two major problems that society faces: materialism and the fact that being on top isn’t all that.


  2. Paige M

    I really like your analysis! I especially liked how you talked about the song reflecting Kanye’s struggles with materialism and insecurities. I never really realized the depth of the song until now.


  3. Alex W

    This is an awesome post because there is such a deep meaning to this song that you wouldn’t think when originally listening to it. I think Kanye talking about materialism and higher education in society is super interesting and I love how you analyzed it.


  4. Ella B

    I really like this post because I didn’t catch all of the meaning you analyzed the first time I listened to the song. I think that Kanye’s critique of materialism is especially poignant given that he is so successful.


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