Toppa Top 10: Kanye West’s Most Jamaican Moments

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June 18, 2013

5. โ€œThrough The Wireโ€ (2004)

Kanyeโ€™s Jamaican Moment: โ€œThe doctor said I had bloodclots, but I ain’t Jamaican, man.โ€

In the half century since Jamaicaโ€™s independence, much of its cultureโ€”food, music, languageโ€”has been exported into the mainstream of the United States. When it happens, to this day, we still celebrate it because of how far it travels. Hearing Kanye deliver a punchline on “Through The Wire,” (his debut solo single, which he rapped with a broken jaw and his teeth wired together) with a pun incorporating โ€œbloodclotโ€โ€”one of the most emphatic Jamaican termsโ€”your natural response is, well, โ€œWhat the bloodclot did he just say?โ€And it wouldnโ€™t be Kanye, if he didnโ€™t preface the line right by saying he was laid up โ€œin the same hospital Biggie Smalls died,โ€ who we recently had to large up as the greatest rapper from Brooklyn with Jamaican roots.