Toppa Top 10: Kanye West’s Most Jamaican Moments

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June 18, 2013

5. Through The Wire (2004)

Kanye’s Jamaican Moment: The doctor said I had bloodclots, but I ain’t Jamaican, man.

In the half century since Jamaica’s independence, much of its culture—food, music, language—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 “bloodclot”—one of the most emphatic Jamaican terms—your natural response is, well, “What the bloodclot did he just say?”And it wouldn’t be Kanye, if he didn’t preface the line right by saying he was laid up “in the same hospital Biggie Smalls died,” who we recently had to large up as the greatest rapper from Brooklyn with Jamaican roots.