Kanye West Gold Digger

I remember giggling with happiness when I first heard “Gold Digger.” I was going down the highway at 80 miles an hour with the windows down, driving a friend of mine back from Sag Harbor on a Wednesday afternoon in the summer of 2008. She put this song on, and that was literally the first time I ever heard Kanye—I know that’s really embarrassing to say. I was like, “How did I miss this?”

For some reason, I always felt like I was too old for hip-hop. My mind was elsewhere. To the extent that I had listened to it, I listened to gangster stuff that was heavy and hard. At one point I got really interested in the L.A. riots, and I decided to listen to South Central hip-hop. It’s dark; it seemed even more depressing than the depressing music I normally like. And I couldn’t take the politics. I’ve been writing about race for a long time, and there was a heaviness to that angry hip-hop that I couldn’t escape. Then I heard Kanye and realized, “Oh, hip-hop can be hilarious and high-spirited.” It blew my mind. I brought this up with Rick Rubin, and he was like, “You know, Kanye would consider that song a throwaway. He didn’t think of it as a serious song.” Which is even better, like, even the stuff he doesn’t care about is that good.

Malcolm Gladwell über die Musik in seinem Leben