clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Friday Free Kick: FML is a Top 10 Kanye West song, history may push to Top 5

One of the standouts from The Life of Pablo deserves praise for its themes and composition.

Matt Detrich-USA TODAY Sports

Let's just get this out of the way for the people who read this blog who don't like Kanye West and probably have strong negative opinions about him:

1. Yes, this is another story about Kanye West.
2. If you are reading this you already clicked on the story and gave us traffic so there is no point in going further if your best opinion about Kanye West is "I hate him."

Now that we've cleared that up, here are the top five Kanye West songs in no particular order: Gold Digger, All Falls Down, Can't Tell Me Nothing, Blood on the Leaves, and Heard 'Em Say.

That list isn't debatable (get out of here with your MBDTF opinions), but there is something very similar to almost all of these songs. The songs deal with topics that are generally not discussed in public and uncomfortable and have a killer hook.

Enter: FML on Kanye West's new album The Life of Pablo. The song is pretty stripped down comparative to other songs Kanye has done, and contains the two key ingredients for a killer track: an amazing hook and uncomfortable subjects.

The Weekend, who is having a tremendous run right now, shows off his whole vocal range on the hook, which like the song's nature is stripped down and a cappella. The song's subject is mental illness, something that remains taboo in 2016 despite society doing a better job at trying to communicate the dangers of leaving it undiagnosed, and how supportive your support system will be if you seek out help.

Writers note: if you ever are having thoughts that you recognize troubling and need someone to talk to, I am here. I have struggled with anxiety and bouts of depression in my life and have at points almost looked into that void and did not make it out. Reach out, there is always someone to listen.

There's one line that stood out to me when I first listened to the new mastered version of the album, it comes in Kanye's second verse:

One last thing I need to let you know
You ain't never seen nothing crazier than
This n***a when he off his Lexapro

Lexapro is a common antidepressent, and it is refreshing to see Kanye West normalize taking it, through mentioning it in a song on his album. It is not perfect that Kanye references the drug in a panic attack from being off his medication, and it is not great that he calls himself crazy for doing so. Still, this is a unique reference that most rappers couldn't pull off.

A big part of the song is it's self-deprecating humor aimed at Kanye's haters. For me, this song meant a lot because of the logic I would use to internalize my own struggles in the face of other people. I would talk myself down but remind myself that I am overcoming a lot more than they realize and they won't ever get it. I wished I would fuck my own life up, but I always knew they could not get to me.

Hopefully history is on the right side of FML and people in time appreciate the themes Kanye was trying to communicate. The song peers into your soul and forces you to confront a lot of feelings most people don't tap into. For that, it is an amazing track. Top 10 for sure.