Personally, I am very fond of Ye West’s “Gold Digger” from his album Late Registration. This song gives me nostalgia and reminds me of my childhood since this song was released in 2005. Even afterwards though, it would go on to be a classic by earning a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2006. It was also ranked number 9 for the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade and ranked number 63 on Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of All Time, making it one of the most popular songs of West’s career. It’s an upbeat song that was very popular at parties in the early 2000s and it in itself is legendary. This song is the pinnacle of Ye West’s reign in the first decade of the 2000s and still to this day.
The song talks about a woman who is a gold digger and uses the speaker to get her way to his riches. West makes the statement that money and fame attracts materialistic women primarily concerned with their own benefit. I believe the speaker of the song is West himself because he talks about his desires and how the gold digger compares. He talks about the gold digger as if he’s met her and interacted with her.
Cutie the bomb, met her at a beauty salon
With a baby Louis Vuitton under her underarm
She said: “I can tell you rock, I can tell by your charm
Far as girls, you got a flock
I can tell by your charm and your arm”
But I’m lookin’ for the one, have you seen her?
My psychic told me she’ll have a a** like Serena
Trina, Jennifer Lopez, four kids
And I gotta take all they bad a**** to ShowBiz?
Additionally, West references other music artists:
From what I heard she got a baby by Busta
My best friend said she used to f*** with Usher
This leads me to believe that he’s addressing other famous people to watch out for the gold digger. He uses the word “we” in order to talk about himself and other famous people as a collective to state that they should protect themselves against the gold digger.
If you ain’t no punk
Holla, “We want prenup! We want prenup!” (Yeah!)
It’s somethin’ that you need to have
‘Cause when she leave yo’ a**, she gon’ leave with half
The dialogue West uses in the song establishes two sides, the celebrities, and the gold digger who is trying to take advantage of them and their means. Something notable West did in this song was that he used a sample from Ray Charles’ song, “I’ve Got a Woman” from his album Hallelujah, I Lover Her. In Ray Charles’ song, he’s talking about a woman who treats him well and gives him money when he’s in need. West used a sample of Charles’ song to convey the opposite situation by changing the line “She gives me money when I’m in need” to “She take my money when I’m in need”. I think West used this as a way of symbolizing how unfortunate it is that the woman wants to take from him instead of help and be good to him like the woman Charles’ describes in his song. This part is found at the beginning of the song.
She take my money when I’m in need
Yeah, she’s a triflin’ friend indeed
Oh, she’s a gold digger
Way over town that digs on me
Ye West’s song “Gold Digger” is poetry to me because he provides an experience of being famous and wealthy and having to face the reality that some women only want him for what he has. He conveys the struggle of having status and attempting to find a woman who is interested in him, not his possessions.
2 thoughts on “The Best of Ye West”
I like the catch of the detailed pronoun “we” and I think it was very insightful to realize that in the song that speaks like poetry he was referring to a larger group of people. Also, the addition of how he is laying out how his life and others who are famous have to be guarded, which is a sad truth that I think he is trying to tell society. Plus, how the romanticized ideal of being famous has more complexity with how people treat you. Overall, I enjoyed the in-depth response to his use of language in the song.
I agree with your analysis, and I love the quotes you chose to help make your point. I think it is also interesting that in the beginning of the song, he also says “but I still love her”, saying that despite her desire for his money, he still does love her and acre about her. However, these feelings become less clear as the song goes on, and the song could also represent a coming of age for him where he realized everything she put him through and that she was not worth it.