Thursday, December 13, 2018

Life Is Good, This Is A Good Life

It is time to go on a living spree. Perhaps you've heard the cliche "life's too short." While this phrase's overuse is mostly contributed to the dynamic of material culture in our society today, some individuals seem to embrace this notion. One individual, cultural icon Kanye West, has made this his life's motto. In his song "Good Life," which was the third single on his third album, 2007's Graduation, Kanye tries to get his audience to see that life really is good. Kanye stresses that we tend to fixate on what is wrong in our lives when we really should be embracing the good. We tend to think that life really isn't that good because we are afraid to live. We are afraid to be present. We are afraid to become our full potential.

"Good Life" is a hip-hop/electro-hop song. Its uplifting tone and strong, charismatic beat help to develop the overall theme that life is good. However, according to Kanye, there are some specific things in life that make it good.

                Welcome to the good life!
                Where we got girls who ain't on ain't on TV
                'Cause they got mo' ass than the models
                The good life, so keep it comin' with the bottles

Kanye's use of repetition of diction and punctuated use of a rhyme scheme helps articulate that perhaps, in Kanye's world, the good life consists of attractive women and alcohol.

               Have you ever popped champagne on a plane, while gettin' some brain
               Whipped it out, she said "I never seen snakes on a plane"
               Whether you broke or rich you gotta have this
               Havin' money's not everything, not havin' is

In Kanye's ideal "Good Life," he envisions himself on a plane, with some champagne, receiving oral sex. Kanye proposes that in this lifestyle money won't make you happy, but it will afford you the outrageous opportunities that those who don't have money will never have. Kanye's use of a starting consonant pattern and variation in possession of one word helps to accentuate the outrageousness of his fantasy lifestyle.

               The good life, let's go on a living spree
               Shit, they say the best things in life are free.

Kanye flips the idea of a 'killing' spree into a 'living' spree - carefree enjoyment of what actually inspires happiness. The 'good life' has its origins in the writings of Aristotle. Aristotle contemplated the 'good life' as a result of 'virtuous living,' but somewhere along the way the phrase was appropriated to mean 'living in luxury.' Kanye takes the term back to its roots.

The best things in life are free. However, life is free. So wouldn't that equate life being the best? We are never cognizant to the fact that life is free. Kanye wants you to start living. Will you?


  1. This is a very good analysis of how Kanye West is able to bring the perspective of living an optimistic lifestyle, but also realizing that although his life is easier, because of his fame and wealth, but that everyone can find happiness in a situation. His use of rhyme schemes and word choice, like you wrote about, is a very effective way to get his message across to the listeners.

    1. Thank you for your insight, Patrick! Very cool.

  2. Love the song choice! I usually just vibe with the beat and the chorus of this song but you did a good job of finding a deeper meaning. Makes me want to listen to it more closely.