They've been through a lot.
When love fizzles out, art is forever. Such is the case with Kimye, who called it quits earlier this year. In February, reports that Kim filed for divorce from Kanye emerged, and since then, the Donda rap enigma has reportedly already started dating around. But even though the seven-year marriage between the two entertainment moguls is donezo, West’s discography will ensure its legacy (drama and all) lives on. If you’ve yet to truly dive into all of Kanye West’s lyrics about Kim Kardashian, then you’re in for a *wild* ride.
Kimye was no fling, so it makes complete sense that West has written a slew of songs about his soon-to-be ex-wife. Before they tied the knot in 2014, the power couple had been dating for two years, starting in 2012. But, waaay before that, they were already in each other’s social circles — in a 10th anniversary special for Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2017, Kardashian actually remembered meeting West as early as the aughts.
“I met him I think in 2002 or 2003,” she said. “He was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend. I vividly remember hanging out with him and then they did a video together, so I’d see him a few times. He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was.”
OK, so it is sort of hilarious that West didn’t know who Kardashian was back then — or even how to pronounce her name. (To be fair, the Kardash crew didn’t get their big break until 2007, when KUWTK first aired, so his cluelessness was pretty valid!) The point is that Kimye was a long time coming, so it’s no surprise Kanye was up in his feels when he penned these bars.
“Digital Girl” (2009)
Believe it or not, West was rapping about Kardashian ages — okay, maybe not ages, but three years, at least — before the two made things #official. In 2009, he was featured on “Blame It” singer Jamie Foxx’s 2008 album, Intuition, and along with Foxx and his fellow rapper, The-Dream, West laid down mad bars on a track called “Digital Girl.” The song is as cringe-worthy as most late-Y2K rap. But it’s *so* worth listening to when you realize West had the hots for Kardashian even then. Aww.
Plus every good girl wanna go bad / And pose in the mag like Stacey Dash / Or Kim Kardashian and be a lady addict
From 2008 to 2010, West dated model and former music video actress Amber Rose. The duo only lasted for two years, and both entertainers eventually moved on to new lovers: West to Kardashian and Rose to “See You Again” rapper Wiz Khalifa.
In “Cold,” West raps about not only Khalifa and Rose but Kardashian and her own ex, Kris Humphries, whom he was briefly married to in 2011. The song shades Humphries, in particular, who used to play for the Brooklyn Nets — aka the New York basketball team formerly owned by Kanye’s old BFF Jay-Z. Talk about a small world!
And the whole industry wanna f*ck ya old chick / Only n*gga i got respect for is Wiz / And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim / 'Round the same time she had fell in love with him / Well, that's cool, baby girl, do ya thing / Lucky I ain't have Jay drop 'em from the team
If you weren’t listening to “Clique” on repeat in 2012, what were you doing with your life? Actually, don’t answer that — because whether or not you’re familiar with “Clique,” featuring Jay-Z and Big Sean, its lyrics are especially juicy when you listen to them post-Kimye.
Referring to Kardashian’s unique rise to fame (which involved a sex tape with Ray J going viral) and the duo’s power-couple aura, West really snapped on “Clique.”
Break records at Louis, ate breakfast at Gucci / My girl a superstar all from a home movie / Bow on our arrival, the un-American idols
“Bound 2” (2013)
You can’t talk about Kimye without talking about “Bound 2.” It’s one of West’s most popular tracks from Yeezus, and it’s all about Kardashian. West’s lyrics have never been particularly romantic, but this bop’s always had a refreshingly heartfelt vibe to it. Plus, its music video features Kardashian and West riding off into a sunset on a motorcycle, which is inarguably iconic.
Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures / One good girl is worth a thousand b*tches
From 2013 to 2016, West hunkered down and recorded The Life of Pablo, his first album since Yeezus three years earlier. By the time The Life of Pablo dropped in February 2016, he was in the thick of his romance with Kardashian, who he tied the knot with in Italy in 2014. (Swoon!)
But, even though the sex tape fiasco went down in 2002 — a decade before Kardashian went official with West — the “Famous” rapper still fired shots at Ray J on the seventh track from The Life of Pablo, “Highlights.”
I bet me and Ray J would be friends / If we ain't love the same b*tch / Yeah, he might have hit it first / Only problem is I'm rich (I'm rich, I'm rich, I'm rich)
“Wouldn’t Leave” (2018)
I know, I know — everyone would rather forget that one time in which West tastelessly insisted slavery was a choice. But his stans and critics weren’t the only ones pissed off about the comments; Kim was, too, and on “Wouldn’t Leave,” the fourth track off 2018’s Ye, West closely detailed his wife’s reaction to his behavior.
They said, "Build your own" I said, "How, Sway?" / I said, "Slavery a choice, " they said, "How, Ye?" / Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day / Now I'm on fifty blogs gettin' fifty calls / My wife callin', screamin', say, "We 'bout to lose it all" / Had to calm her down 'cause she couldn't breathe / Told her she could leave me now / But she wouldn't leave
Considering the two stars are no longer together — and Kardashian’s dissatisfaction reportedly played a *major* part in their divorce — “Wouldn’t Leave” is a tad awkward to listen to now. But it’s nice to know Kardashian stuck around even throughout some of West’s toughest years.
“Violent Crimes” (2018)
West may be framed as an unpredictable mastermind, but with touching songs like “Family Business” (2004) and “Violent Crimes” (2018), he’s always proven himself to be a family man at heart. With the latter cut, in particular, West raps about the family he’s started with Kardashian.
Together, the former power couple share two daughters and two sons, and “Violent Crimes” reveals the musician’s protective side (while lightheartedly poking fun at Kardashian).
Don't you grow up in a hurry, your mom'll be worried, aw / N*ggas is savage, n*ggas is monsters / N*ggas is pimps, n*ggas is players / 'Til n*ggas have daughters, now they precautious / Father forgive me, I'm scared of the karma / Don't do no yoga, don't do pilates / Just play piano and stick to karate / I pray your body's draped more like mine and not like your mommy's / Just bein' salty, but n*ggas is nuts / And I am a n*gga, I know what they want
Fast forward to 2021: the demise of Kimye. Thanks to conversations captured on KUWTK, the couple’s biggest stans know quite a bit about why Kardashian decided to call it quits. However, the public has yet to hear West’s side of the story — until now.
After throwing two listening parties for his tenth, not-yet-released album, Donda, Kanye has shared tons of new songs with his fans, and — OMG — quite a bit of them seem to be about Kardashian. Although the titles of these tracks haven’t been announced, their reported lyrics alone speak volumes about everything: how West views the divorce, his family, and Kardashian, in particular.
I'm losing my family / I'm losing my family / I'm losing my family / Writing on the wall / That thought was only / She's screaming at me / Honey, why could you leave? / Darling, how could you leave? / Come back tonight, baby / Darling, how could you leave?
Feeling like you ain't been happy for me lately, darling
At the August 5 Donda listening party, listeners suspected that some of his bars were a direct reference to Kardashian, who attended the event that night.
Time and space is a luxury / But you came here to show that you're still in love with me
On a more lighthearted note, Daily Mail reports that Kanye actually compared his relationship with Kardashian to everyone’s fave fast-food chains, which is... somewhat endearing, I guess?
Best collab since Taco Bell and KFC / When you used to come around and serenade me
On that note, it’s safe to say Kimye was as culturally significant as Baja Blasts. Long live Kimye!