The Chicago rapper’s breakout hit, “Through the Wire,” detailed his near-death experience.
In ‘03, they told me not to drive
I bleached my hair for every time I could’ve died
But I survived, that’s on God
Back in 2003, his Chaka Khan-sampling hit, “Through the Wire,” detailed the near-death experience. As Genius user @NSRE points out, the impact fractured his jaw, which was subsequently wired shut for six weeks. But that didn’t stop him from recording the song:
I spit it through the wire, man
There’s too much stuff on my heart right now, man
I’d gladly risk it all right now
It’s a life-or-death situation, man
Y’all, y’all don’t really understand how I feel right now, man
He previously spoke about how the incident inspired his breakout single:
Well, the only thing this accident’s is saying is, “I am about to hand you the world, just know at any given time I can take it away from you.” To nearly lose your life, to nearly lose your mouth, your voice, your whole face, as a rapper… and I had to be on TV! My face looks crazy to me now… But I have to just thank God for the situation that I am in.
The self-described “Christian innovator” also notes his aversion to taxes (which has drawn criticism from listeners):
Off the 350s He supplied
The IRS want they fifty plus our tithe
Man, that’s over half of the pie
I felt dry, that’s on God
That’s why I charge the prices that I charge
I can’t be out here dancin’ with the stars
No, I cannot let my family starve
He recently talked to Beats 1’s Zane Lowe about how he views Sunday Service as a “church,” even though it’s not being run as a non-profit. “If tithing is 20 percent, Sunday Service has definitely cost me 20 percent,” he said, referring to expensive merch drops. “But it’s an iteration. We haven’t completely solved it. So we’re praying on it.”
Genius user @isaaclikeafox pointed out that West claimed to be $53 million in debt in 2016. Fast-forward to August, when Forbes estimated that his pretax income amounted to over $150 million over the past year.
Elsewhere on the track, he resuscitates an old controversy, doubling down on his desire to overturn the Thirteenth Amendment:
And all my brothers locked up on the yard
You can still be anything you wanna be
Went from one in four to one in three
Thirteenth Amendment, gotta end it, that’s on me
Listen to the song above and read all the lyrics to Kanye West’s “On God” on Genius now.