Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

The very first time you hear the opening chants of "Power," you knew you were in for something special. While the first verse set the tone with the mix of humor ("We rollin'/With some light-skinned girls and some Kelly Rowlands") and politically charged introspection ("In this white man world/We the ones chosen") that would define the song, it's the second verse that turns it into a classic. Here, Kanye gets intensely personal, pouring it all out. After taking on his critics (the SNL cast's got "joooooookes!") and showing off a bit ("You short-minded niggas's thoughts is Napolian/My furs is Mongolian/My ice brought the goalies in...") he reaches his climax when he's able to reflect on his fame and humanize himself. "Reality is catching up with me," he says. "Taking my inner child/I'm fighting for custody." A grown-ass kid—it's that childlike voice that Kanye follows. His artistic ambition. But it doesn't make him childish, it makes him powerful. Insanul Ahmed