The 100 Best Opening Lines in Rap History, Part 1: 100 - 51

51. "I had a dream I could buy my way to heaven/When I woke I spent that on a necklace." - Kanye West

Song: "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (2007)
Album: Graduation

For any self-made man who broke the rules and succeeded on his own terms, there's an unquestionable arrogance that comes along for the ride. "Can't Tell Me Nothing"-arguably the greatest Kanye West song, full stop-is both the soundtrack to that feeling, and a fully-realized recognition of the psychic cost of it. In the opening lines and the prelude to all of the ruminations on this idea to come, 'Ye revists a familiar theme: His inner-demons battling each other, fighting over whether to follow his most virtuous ideals or submit to superficial pleasures in order to soften the perpetual pain of crippling self-conciousness, as he dreams of greater things, and then finds himself, on waking, still drawn to earthly, stupid, superficial delights, and laying bare a crucial truth to who he fundamentally is: Someone with a weakness that more often than not wins out over what he knows to be right.

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