The 100 Best Kanye West Songs

19. Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx "Gold Digger" (2005)

Album: Late Registration
Producer: Kanye West
Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam


Most thought this Ray Charles-sampling, Jamie Foxx-featuring slapper was crafted to capitalize off the success of Foxx’s award-winning performance in Ray. When in fact, this beat—created in Ludacris’ basement in 2003—was originally meant for Shawnna. Initially, the hook was written from a first-person female perspective: “I'm not sayin' I'm a gold digger, but I ain't messin' with no broke niggas.” For whatever reason, Shawnna passed on the future smash.

Not letting the concept go to waste, Kanye recruited Jamie to re-record Ray Charles’ vocals from “I Got A Woman” and gave the world its best battle-of-the-sexes record since TLC’s “No Scrubs.” The song was an instant hit, spending 10 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 10, and selling over 3 million copies in the United States alone. It currently stands as the ninth most successful US single of the 2000s.

“Gold Digger” also gave DJs the laziest trick in history—mixing “Gold Digger” with Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman.” Admit it, you’ve seen and heard this done no less than 1000 times since the the song dropped in ‘05. Time for a new trick, Disc Jockeys.

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