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We All Fall Down Song Analysis Essays

[Hook: Syleena Johnson + Kanye West]
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
Yeah, this the real one, baby
I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
Uh, Chi-Town, stand up!
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
Southside, Southside
We gon' set this party off right

I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
Westside, Westside
We gon' set this party off right

Oh, when it all

[Verse 1: Kanye West]
Man, I promise, she's so self-conscious
She has no idea what she doin' in college
That major that she majored in don't make no money
But she won't drop out, her parents'll look at her funny
Now, tell me that ain't insecurr
The concept of school seems so securr
Sophomore, three yurrs, ain't picked a carurr
She like, "Fuck it, I'll just stay down hurr and do hair."
‘Cause that's enough money to buy her a few pairs
Of new Airs, ‘cause her baby daddy don't really care
She's so precious with the peer pressure
Couldn't afford a car, so she named her daughter Alexis
She had hair so long that it looked like weave
Then she cut it all off, now she look like Eve
And she be dealin' with some issues that you can't believe
Single black female addicted to retail, and well

[Hook: Syleena Johnson + Kanye West]
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
And when it falls down, who you gon' call now?
I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
C'mon, c'mon, and when it falls down
Oh, when it all

[Verse 2: Kanye West]
Man, I promise, I'm so self-conscious
That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches
Rollie's and Pasha's done drove me crazy
I can't even pronounce nothin', pass that Ver-say-see!
Then I spent four hundred bucks on this
Just to be like, "Nigga, you ain't up on this."
And I can't even go to the grocery store
Without some Ones that's clean and a shirt with a team
It seem we livin' the American Dream
But the people highest up got the lowest self-esteem
The prettiest people do the ugliest things
For the road to riches and diamond rings
We shine because they hate us, floss 'cause they degrade us
We tryna buy back our 40 acres
And for that paper, look how low we'll stoop
Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe

[Hook: Syleena Johnson + Kanye West]
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
Come on, come on
I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
And when it falls down, who you gon' call now?
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
Come on, come on
I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
And when it all falls down

[Verse 3: Kanye West]
I say, "Fuck the police," that's how I treat 'em
We buy our way out of jail, but we can't buy freedom
We'll buy a lot of clothes, but we don't really need 'em
Things we buy to cover up what's inside
'Cause they made us hate ourself and love they wealth
That's why shorty's hollerin', "Where the ballers at?"
Drug dealer buy Jordan, crackhead buy crack
And the white man get paid off of all of that
But I ain't even gon' act holier than thou
'Cause fuck it, I went to Jacob with 25 thou
Before I had a house and I'd do it again
‘Cause I wanna be on 106 & Park, pushin' a Benz
I want to act ballerific like it's all terrific
I got a couple past-due bills, I won't get specific
I got a problem with spendin' before I get it
We all self-conscious, I'm just the first to admit it

[Hook: Syleena Johnson + Kanye West]
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
C'mon, c'mon
And when it falls down, who you gon' call now?

I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
C'mon c'mon, and when it falls down
Oh, when it all, it all falls down
Southside, Southside
We gon' set this party off right

I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
Westside, Westside
We gon' set this party off right

Oh when it all, it all falls down
Chi-Town, Chi-Town
We gon' show 'em how we get down

I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down
Now, Syleena, you just like a safe belt, you saved my life
C'mon

Oh when it all, it all falls down
I'm tellin' you all, it all falls down

[Produced by Kanye West]

And It All Falls Down?

In his single "All Falls Down", Kanye West hits hard on the topics of (1) industry and (2) industriousness to keep up with what the industry portrays as the perfect lifestyle. The subject of societal standards is addressed in the first stanza, with the narrator addressing a female confused in her identity in the world. One national example used is the failure of finding one's interest in the college they attend (I use the word "national" as it can be applied to people all over the nation). The female is too preoccupied with satisfying her parents' desires that she begins to lose track in pursuing what she wants out of life. One can view such preoccupation as (1) the female's belief that her parent's belief is the utmost thing to achieve in life, or (2) the parent's belief that college education will always lead to success. Either way, someone is lost in what has been established by society as the "right" way to live, which could differ from individual views and lead to "some issues that you can't believe."

Kanye West creates a story that attacks the matter of industry in both the second and third verses. In the second verse, the concept is tied to the narrator's "road to riches", as they partake in different activities in response to societal reactions. Such competition in the industry leads the narrator to also be competitive, just to note to others that "you ain't up on this." Thus, the narrator loses the opportunity to perform actions for the simplicity of one's own desire, rather to establish a hierarchy of which they dominate. In the third verse, the most influential line seems to be "and a white man get paid off all of that." Thus, no matter how much individuals seem to succeed in life, it seems that the white man has a hand in part of this success (benefiting without any effort).

Through this song, in its entirety, Kanye West creates a story that inevitably sends a wake-up call to all those on the "road to riches", to forewarn them that sacrifices will be made to follow success as the industry portrays. But does all fall down as the title suggests? Is Kanye referencing success by the industry as "all" that one can achieve in life? There is an ambiguity to what Kanye references in the title of this song as "all", and I would like to get an idea of what you guys believe this reference is explicitly.

Lyrics can be found underneath the YouTube video in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihpcN_vns0k