First Impressions: The 50 Best Album-Opening Songs in Rap History

20. Kanye West "Good Morning" (2007)

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


From the vantage point of 2013 "Good Morning" looks like the exact midpoint of Kanye West's career. He was still proving himself and had chosen an anime teddy bear as his latest avatar. The sun was setting on the era of chipmunk soul samples and the opening song on Graduation grabs the last of that light. (Before you smoke one to that sweet Delfonics sample be advised that you are actually listening to a sped-up version of Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life.") At the same time, you can feel the future closing in with all its uncertainty. So many changes and more on the way; how could that little bear have predicted that within a few years Kanye would be wearing balaclavas made of feathers and making babies with the world's most famous Armenian? More than ever "Good Morning" feels like the vessel for the trepidations of youth as symbolized by that teddy. This is his song. â€”Sam Sweet

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