The Undeniable Link Between Kayne West And Mercedes BenzLove him or hate him, we can’t deny the fact that Kanye has produced hit songs after hit songs that made a mark in the music industry and popular culture. And if there is one thing that Kanye West thrives on, that is change itself. But while Kanye continues to innovate and experiment with different elements all throughout his career, what remains unchanged is his love for the luxurious Mercedes-Benz. To this day, Yeezy has made more shoutouts to Mercedes-Benz compared to the countless references he has for other brands. A Benz has and continues to be Kanye West’s muse. He is open and persistent about using the brand as his source of inspiration. In all of his songs and albums, the Mercedes prevails as the ultimate emblem of success for Kanye. Earning a Benz, and driving one, signify to everyone how an individual has made it regarding financial independence and higher ranks in social status. And as a writer, Kanye has extensively made himself a subject of his works, and the Benz maintains a vital part in the image he builds in the music industry. In many scenarios, the Benz is an ever-present element that adds personality to Kanye’s dreams, bars, and even to his make-believe presidential portraits. Although it’s quite easy to conclude that Benz is convenient enough to use since there are plenty of words that rhyme with it, we can understand much of Kanye West’s career through his memorable and often revealing Benz quotes. Here are some of the songs with Benz lyrics Kanye penned that can help us probe into his psyche.
Last Call“Mayonnaise-colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips” is the line that helped jump start Kanye West’s career as one of the industry’s most famous rappers. As he explains in the outro of his piece titled “Last Call,” the lyric convinced Jay-Z that Kanye also has what it takes to be a hip hop artist. The track serves as The College Dropout’s narrative of the beginning of his influential position in the music scene. According to some interviews, Kanye was only around 21 years old when he came up with the line in front of Jay-Z. That was the moment when Kanye began formulating ideas for what the world would soon know as his debut album. So, yes, Kanye West’s career started with a Benz lyric. And he continues to drop Mercedes-Benz lines for fans and critics alike to encounter in more of his singles and albums. With the line, we get a glimpse of a typical Kanye with his wordplay on cultural references and praise for his favorite vehicle.
Breathe In Breathe OutWith this song, Kanye announced his presence as a rapper who can bring together unique sounds from different artists. To be the first to have a “Benz and a backpack” is telling of how Kanye is the rapper with both a grounded social consciousness and the bone for being a producer of mainstream music for life in the fast lane. Kanye West is the kind of artist who can blur the boundaries between the socio-cultural context and the industry-manipulated elements of a song. Doing so makes him one of the few rappers who paved the way for two distinct paths of rap to merge. It is also good to note that Kanye is probably the only artist who can get Bon Iver, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj together for a single or the only rapper who can work with Bon Iver, Paul McCartney, and Rihanna all at the same time. Again, for Kanye, it’s about working with both the Benz and the backpack.
Out of Your MindEven before Kanye defined the kind of artist he is, his fascination for the German automobile maker is already identifiable at the beginning of his career. In a demo he made back in 2001, Kanye displayed familiar rap themes like a casual misogyny and praise for expensive things. With lines comparing the love Kanye has for cars and girls, the demo shows another side of Kanye West. That is his incapacity to make relationships work. Loving something as fancy as a Benz will come easy for Kanye, but loving another person is the challenge for him. He finds it difficult to understand and value people, especially women. As for material possessions, he finds it easy enough to appreciate them that Kanye being Kanye will always choose the Benz over a woman. At least, that’s what the lyrics say.
LateIn less than one year in college, Kanye West was able to release three albums that many of us would gladly call our college life soundtrack. There was no mistaking the influence Kanye’s albums had on the youth. And it wasn’t just the songs that made a mark on the listeners. Kanye’s decisions to include a bear mascot and to wear Polo shirts as part of the package for the music he produced at the time were all signifiers of how he is a relatable figure to his audience. But, like what the lyrics say about making it from “student loans to a Benzo,” Kanye shows just how much he can connect with seemingly different listeners - the college students and the traditional audience of mainstream rap. Kanye knows who his markets are and how to pique the interests of every kind of audience. Like bringing together different musicians, Kanye can also make the diverse crowds pause for a while to listen to the same music and to what he has to say as an artist. In the end, his college trilogy produced more than just rap songs but also a generation of fans who grew up with his music and have come to appreciate hip hop.
Make Her SayCars aren’t the only things that Kanye loves to drop in his songs. He also makes references to historical figures he admires or thinks are comparable to himself. Kanye presents himself as the Steve Jobs, Picasso, Michael Jordan, Kubrick, Tesla, or even Disney of music. In Make Her Say, Kanye disses a bus and says his “Benz is parked like Rosa.” Here, we get another glimpse of his take on history and social reality which he uses for his music, not just as a form of expression but also as a means to build his status in the industry. Social awareness is a common element in rap, and to spit the lyrics the way Kanye did, again, heralds the Mercedes as a symbol of luxury and high station. To liken the Benz to Rosa Parks who was a civil rights activist who refused to yield her seat in a bus seat to a white passenger is telling. That was a way for Kanye to elevate even more the status of Mercedes-Benz as something comparable to a historical figure who inspired valuable changes in society. All while, in his way, cementing the high respect he has for Rosa and everyone else who, ironically, fought for equality.
OtisThough initially, Kanye found it difficult to enter the hip-hop industry because he did not conform to the status quo associated with the genre, he still found ways to incorporate one of the most common characteristics of rap music. He made an ode to affluence by rapping about starting from the bottom and then owning the top. Singing about his other Benz and his “other, other Benz,” only shows just how luxurious his life has become. With just two words, Kanye pulled off something that befits his now glorified celebrity status. Indeed, he has become the man who has so many Benzes, and it’s become impossible for people to track him or his wealth. Now, how many people can honestly say they have this kind of problem if it is a problem at all? Not everyone does, but with Kanye sharing a bit of his lavish lifestyle, aka one of his achievements, everyone can pretend and claim they have other, other Benzes.
Gold DiggerThe megahit song Gold Digger featuring Jamie Foxx also tackles the typical rags to riches theme in the automotive-driven world of the music industry (pun intended). When Kanye and Jamie rapped about someone making it big by going “into a Benz out of that Datsun,” they displayed yet again how ambition, a good dose of talent, and real hard work can take anyone out of an old Datsun and into a luxury car. It’s the metaphor for transformation, an economic and social success, that rappers commonly include in their songs. And more often than not, that is always the case for them when they make their mark in the hip hop industry.
Christian Dior Denim FlowAside from cars, historical figures, and social awareness here and there, Kanye is also passionate about fashion and being involved with people from that industry. On this particular song, released as a GOOD Friday single, Kanye drops the names of at least 15 models he wants to sleep with, all in one verse. Naming Esti Ginzburg and Bar Rafaeli, famous Israeli models, was just part of the era that Kanye has dedicated to the celebration of excess and indulgence. Saying he was in a Benz with Leonardo DiCaprio, who was dating Rafaeli at the time, displays the fantasies that Kanye had about living in the fast lane. The only thing is, those fantasies were not far from reality with the way Kanye was living and basking in the fame that comes with his success in rap. That is also evident in the knowledge he has of the fashion industry. One might even say that the way he talks about the industry shows just how deep his involvement is, and that is true since he began working on his Yeezy fashion line.
Hey MamaA tribute to his mother, Donda West, Hey Mama is perhaps the most emotionally-charged song Kanye West has released ever. The track will take us back to a time when Kanye still hasn’t arrived at the level of success and wealth he is enjoying now. It is a moment when Kanye makes a promise to his mother, saying he will give her “that Benzo” when he has accumulated enough money and fame.
Birthday SongDespite the initial connection and relatability value that he builds in his other music, the Birthday Song draws the difference between Kanye West and ordinary people, aka you and me. It’s a warning to anyone trying to touch or do anything destructive while enjoying a free ride in one of the Benzes Kanye owns. If anyone does anything Kanye doesn’t like, then that person might just go back to the level where he came from before he got to experience the Benz. Following our previous takes on a Benz as the metaphorical definition of success, the fast lane, or the high life, it can mean that Kanye is willing to let anyone in on his celebrity life just as long as that “pedestrian” doesn’t cross the line. Or the lyrics may also mean Kanye just doesn’t want anyone messing with one of his luxury cars. You know, being the usual reaction of a typical rich guy. If anyone of us owned a Benz, we’d pretty much do the same thing. But Kanye being Kanye, he probably means both as he, again, contrasts the Mercedes to a lower form of transportation, which is walking. Having a Benz or having a lifestyle comparable to one is the high way of living (again pun intended), while anything less than that is pedestrian.
On SightKanye West’s sixth solo album is the complete opposite of his My Beautiful, Dark Twisted Fantasy. The album initially has a harsh tone comparable to a blast of noise. And just as you consider taking shelter from all that sound, Kanye begins to rap. With On Sight, Kanye pushes his audience away from him first through the sound and beat of the song and then through the lyrics. Pulling up and parking his Benz before getting a woman who’s “shaking like Parkinson’s” is one of the lines that gives life to the villainous Yeezus-era of Kanye. The song is just one of the other singles on his album that display an even wilder persona that Kanye created. And while he continues to rap about his favorite Benz, his words turned into something foul, unagreeable, and rather toxic instead of describing the enviable and celebratory life he presented previously. Unsurprisingly, the lyric generated angry and negative reactions, especially from politically-correct people and advocates. And with that, the lyric, the song, and ultimately the album, might have just achieved its goal of filtering out the easily offended people. Here is Kanye showing just how little he cares about matters close to other people while he spawns a whole new, different persona.
Send It UpOn Send It Up, still a part of his Yeezus album, we get another dose of Kanye’s love for his Benzes. But this time, his love reaches a whole new level that some might dismiss as something absurd. Kanye talks about going on a date with a girl who asks him if he can get all of her friends inside the club. Again, Kanye compares people to his Benz. But unlike the Rosa Parks comparison, Kanye downplays the value he has for other people’s friends. Instead of inviting the friends, he compares them to his Benz, which he can’t bring inside the club. And so, he tells the girl to “park” her friends “outside ‘til the evening ends.” So, call Kanye conceited for all you want. That lyric was an arrogant display of power and is a different level of wordplay for Kanye. People will either love or hate that line. They will either cringe or cheer upon hearing it. And that drawing different reactions by raising himself to a stage that is above everyone else is what defines Kanye.
TakeawayNo one can deny the love Kanye West has for his ride with all the Mercedes-Benz references he made all throughout his music career and with the kind of life he lives ever since he became a famous rapper. Though some of us would hate to admit it, Kanye can be a representative of our deprived selves and our selfish and sometimes perverted impulses. All the Benz references he makes are suggestive of a vibrant and often overloaded celebrity life Kanye has. It’s something we’d want to emulate even when we love to hate it. Show me your grill! Ok another early 2000 rap reference. Our grills for Mercedes are hot right now!
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What You Need To Know About Kanye From His Mercedes-Benz Lyrics was originally published to Adsitco Team Blog
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