Song Analysis “Gone” – Kanye West

Wished I had told
Ooh was (the) only one
But it’s too late, it’s too late
He’s gone

You sweat her, and I ain’t talkin ’bout a Coogi
You a big L, and I ain’t talkin ’bout Cool J
See me at the airport, at least 20 Louis
Treat me like the Prince and this my sweet brother Numpsay
BROTHER NUMPSAY! Groupies sound too choosy
Take ’em to the show and talk all through the movies
Says she want diamonds, I took her to Ruby Tuesdays
If we up in Friday’s, I still have it my way

[Coogi is a brand of apparel, known for its distinctive sweaters.
LL Cool J is a super-cool rapper. 20 Louis (Vuitton) is a kind of high-end luggage.
Numpsay is a character from an obscure Eddie Murphy movie, “The Golden Child.” Kanye complains about his women being too demanding.
They want jewelry and he takes them to a chain-restaurant. He puns on the double meaning of ruby.
“Have it my way” is an allusion to an old Burger King slogan. Friday’s is another chain-restaurant.
Kanye is saying that all the expensive things he has haven’t changed who he really is.]

Too late, we, gone – we strivin home
Gone – we ride on chrome
It’s too late

Y’all don’t want no prob from me
What you rappers could get is a job from me
Maybe you could be my intern, and in turn
I’ll show you how I cook up summer, in the win-turr
Aaron love the raw dog, when will he learn
Caught somethin on the Usher tour he had to “Let it Burn”
Plus he already got three chil’run
Arguin over babysitters like, “Bitch – it’s yo’ turn!”
Damn ‘Ye, it’d be stupid to diss you
Even your superficial raps is super official
R-R-R-Roc Pastelle with Gucci on
With TV’s in the ride, throw a movie on
Said he couldn’t rap now he at the top with doobie long
Cause the dookie’s on any song that they threw me on, gone

[Chrome refers to chrome hubcaps found on custom cars. Kanye asks if other rappers want
to be his interns, then plays on “intern” and “in turn.” He talks about bringing summer in the
winter, a metaphor for bringing in energy when those around him are taking it easy. The
part about Aaron is a rather vulgar diss about a fellow rapper getting an STD. He paints
a tragicomic scenario where Aaron is arguing with his s.o. about parenting duties. Pastelle
is Kanye’s own clothing brand, and Gucci is a well-known fashion brand. TV’s in the ride
refer to screens on the passenger side of vehicles that play TV and sometimes DVDs.]

We strivin home, gone
[Cam] I ride on chrome…
We strivin home, gone
[Cam] Killa, I ride on chrome

Knock knock, who’s there? Killa Cam, Killa who?
Killa Cam, hustler, grinder, gorilla true
Oh my chinchilla blue, blue you ever dealt with a dealer
Well here’s the deal ma we goin to the dealer booth
No concealin, no ceiling I don’t need a roof
Act up, get out, I don’t need you poof
Poof, be gone, damn tough luck dag
Dag, niggaz still doin puff puff pass
Pull the truck up fast and I tell ’em
Hey, back in a touched up Jag, shit
Y’all niggaz want Killa Cam, cerebellum
An old man just gon’ tell ’em (too late, he, gone)
Then I see how y’all gonna react when I’m (gone)
My last girl want me back then I’m on
Fine stay, you got the grind hey
Came back, read what the sign say (too late, he, gone)
Yes I know you wanna see my demise
Yeah you church boy actin like a thief in disguise
Ain’t leavin my side, see the greed in my eyes
Ask Abby y’all hustle for a week to the Chi, shit
And that ain’t leavin alive, please believe me
Gave Weezy a piece of the pie, and
You can ask George or Regina
The whole Westside I explore with the Beemer now

[The speaker plays on the word “deal” which can refer to selling drugs, talking about something, or marketing cars.”Doing puff, puff, pass” refers to smoking marijuana in a group. A Jag here is a Jaguar. When he says that people want Cam’s cerebellum, he’s giving props to his collaborator, Cam’ron and his agile brain.
Abby means “Dear Abby,” the syndicated advice column. “Gave Weezy a piece of the pie” is an allusion to “The Jeffersons,” a 70’s sitcom featuring black actors.
Weezy is also the nickname of Lil Wayne. The Westside is a tough area of Chicago, where Kanye was raised.
A Beemer is a BMW. Kanye is talking about returning to the place he grew up with expensive clothes and luxury cars.]

We strivin home, I ride on chrome
Listen homeboy move on
That’s your best bet, why’s that?

Uhh, uhh, yo, yo
I been pourin out some liquor for the fact that my pal’s gone
And tryin to help his momma with the fact that her child gone
And since we used to bubble like a tub full of Calgon
Guess it’s only right that I should help her from now on
But since they got a foul on, what coulda gone wrong
Now they askin Cons, how long has this gone on
And maybe all this money mighta gone to my head
Cause they got me thinkin money mighta gone to the feds
So I ain’t goin to the dread, but he’ll go on up to bed
And when I came the next mornin he was gone with my bread
And with that bein said, I had gone on my instincts
And gone to the spots where they go to get mixed drinks
But lookin back now shoulda gone to the crib
And rented “Gone With the Wind,” cause I’da gone about 10
But I had gone with my friend, and we had gone to the bar
And heard a nigga talkin shit so I had gone to the car
And now the judge is tellin me that I had gone too far
And now we gone for 20 years, doin time behind bars
And since I gone to a cell for some petty crimes
I guess I gone to the well one too many times, cause I’m gone

[Calgon is a discount detergent. Why Kanye mentions “Gone With the Wind” is a mystery to me. West talks
about getting drunk, killing a guy, then going to jail for it. This is only in his imagination. He has no prison record.]

Uh-uh-uh uh uh onnn, uh uh-uh onnn
Uh-uh onnn, uh uh-uh I’mmmm
Ah-head of my time, sometimes years out
So the powers that be won’t let me get my ideas out
And that make me wanna get my advance out
And move to Oklahoma and just live at my Aunt’s house
Yeah, I romance the thought of leavin it all behind
Kanye step away from the lime-
-light, like, when I was on the grind
In the “One, Nine, Nine, Nine”
Before, model chicks was bendin over or
Dealerships asked me Benz or Rover, man
If I could just get one beat on Hova
We could get up off this cheap-ass sofa
What the summer of the Chi got to offer an 18-year-old
Sell drugs or get a job, you gotta play gyro
My dawg worked at Taco Bell, hooked us up plural
Fired a week later the manager count the churros
Sometimes I can’t believe it when I look up in the mirrow
How we out in Europe, spendin Euros
They claim you never know what you got ’til it’s GONE
I know I got it, I don’t know what y’all on
I’ma open up a store for aspiring MC’s
Won’t sell ’em no dream, but the inspiration is free
But if they ever flip sides like Anakin
You’ll sell everything includin the mannequin
They got a new bitch now you Jennifer Aniston
Hold on I’ll handle it, don’t start panickin, stay calm
Shorty’s at the door cause they need more
Inspiration for they life, they souls, and they songs
They said sorry Mr. West is gone!

[“Uh-uh-uh” is an imitation of fellow rapper Slick Rick. “One, Nine, Nine, Nine” is an allusion to a song but also to the year 1999, when
Kanye was struggling to make a name for himself. Benz and Rover are two luxury cars, Mercedes Benz and
Range Rover. “Hova” is a nickname for Jay-Z, who grew up in the
Jehovah’s Witnesses. Anakin is the given name of Darth Vader who switched from
good to evil. Kanye mentions Jennifer Aniston because in 2005, Aniston and Brad Pitt divorced. Kanye uses
Aniston as an example of a jilted woman. West is saying that he came from the bottom and rose to the top of
the rap world.]

  1. #1 by Teaching Quality Discussion on February 15, 2011 - 11:30 pm

    Your post is very interesting. I’ve read your blog for few days now and I trully enjoy your blog. Thank you for your great work!

  2. #2 by ... on March 4, 2011 - 1:11 am

    Kanye doesn’t rap the second and thrid verses. The second verse is Cam’rom and the third is Consequence. Kanye didn’t rap or write those verses, so they aren’t from his point-of-view. For example, since Cam’ron not Kanye raps “Y’all niggaz want Killa Cam, cerebellum,” Cam’ron is bragging about himself in the third person. Kanye isn’t “…giving props to his collaborator, Cam’ron…”

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