12/23: Kanye West – Family Business

I was an early adopter of The College Dropout. Impressed with Kanye’s I’m Good mixtape, I snatched up the album as soon as it became available. As we all know, it became an instant classic in the legend and infamy that is Kanye West and there are several tracks that I hold dear to my heart.

I loved “Family Business” from the first time I encountered it. The vocal sample and the piano immediately invites you to see the world through young Kanye’s eyes as he describes his family and different situations he’s been in. It’s also a beautiful setup for the album closer “Last Call”, as it slows down the album so that the listener is prepared to handle the almost 13 minute last track. A 13 minute song on your debut album… only Kanye.

When my grandmother passed away, I played this and “Roses” back to back and cried for days. I never saw “Family Business” as mournful but it just reminded me of my own memories and what I had lost. Kanye had already released 808s & Heartbreak by the time I lost my grandmother; there’s nothing that says timeless more than old music having an impact on you in the present.

And yes, I still miss the old Kanye.

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