16. Young Jeezy f/ Kanye West "Put On" (2008)
Album: The Recession
Producer: Drumma Boy
Label: Def Jam, Corporate Thugz Entertainment
Yeah, this was a Jeezy record, but let’s keep it all the way real—it belonged to Yeezy. Dusting off the Auto-Tune skills he’d tinkered with on College Dropout, Kanye finally broke his silence about his late Mother, Donda West, as well as speaking on the perils of success. It was lonely at the top, and now felt more alone than ever.
Kanye was also addressing his fellow Chicagoans on the verse. Chicago is often referred to as Haterville or the City of Hella Haters, so when residents began to take shots at Ye for no longer showing love to his hometown, he had to speak up.
Some on the Chicago scene believed that Kanye had ignored the talent in the Chi in favor of artists in other regions, and took his moves to LA and NY as a diss to the city that bred him. Kanye didn’t take this talk lightly—and he had to get a few things off his chest. On this song he professed that he “put on everybody that I knew from the ‘Go” and that he still puts on for his city “every night.” Just because he was no longer home didn’t mean he wasn’t representing.