Kanye West: the narcissistic icon, pompous revolutionary and the man who wore a leather kilt. With a wired jaw and a collection of beats and rhymes, 'Ye came into the game in 2004 with his debut album, "The College Dropout." Nine years later and the artist has achieved national and international success, and has redefined rap music along the way.
From the luscious and intricate production to the lyrical themes, Mr. West's entire discography has been impressively consistent, challenging not only himself but listeners as well.
Since his 2004 debut, Kanye West has charted a total of 55 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 -- the third-most among all rap acts in history. (Only Lil Wayne, with 118 and Jay-Z, with 72, have tallied more.) And with his sixth studio solo album, "Yeezus," debuting on June 18, that 55 is likely to change.
In anticipation of "Yeezus," Billboard has ranked Kanye West's Top 20 Billboard hits. The ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked using an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value, and weeks at No. 100 earning the least.
"Swagga Like Us"
T.I. feat. Jay-Z, Kanye West & Lil Wayne
Hot 100 Peak Position: 5, Peak Date: Sept. 27, 2008
Centered around a sample from M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," "Swagga Like Us" became an anthem for swag in 2008. Considering "808s & Heartbreak" dropped the same year, it makes sense that 'Ye's verse is filled with Auto-Tuned rhymes. He surely stands out from his peers, earning the title of "Mr. Diversity" from T.I. himself. Regardless of a premature leak, the song peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100.
Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West
Hot 100 Peak Position: 12, Peak Date: Sept. 6, 2008
Similar to "Swagga Like Us," this single featured 'Ye utilizing Auto-Tune to the fullest. His verse works by contrasting with Jeezy's rugged delivery and adding additional melody to the Drumma Boy-produced track. "Put On" rose to No. 12 on the Hot 100, and became Jeezy's fourth top-twenty hit on the chart.
"All Of the Lights"
Hot 100 Peak Position: 18, Peak Date: May 14, 2011
Opulence through production, the fourth single from "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" shined with layered melodies.'Ye's qualms against personal and private matters become topics of discussion thereafter. It was a mini "We Are The World": Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Ryan Leslie and others, lending their voices to a song that inevitably became an anthem. (Regardless of its the dark themes Mr. West addresses.) The lights grew brighter and brighter, as "All Of The Lights" made its way to the No. 18 spot on the Hot 100.
"Through The Wire"
Hot 100 Peak Position: 15, Peak Date: Feb. 14, 2004
For most of us, "Through The Wire" was our first commercial introduction to Kanye. Sampling Chaka Khan's "Through The Fire," the lead single from his debut album, "The College Dropout," retold 'Ye's near-fatal car accident with a comedic spin: "Somebody orders pancakes, I just sip the sizzurp." But 'Ye truly turned tragedy into triumph: "Through The Wire" remained at No. 15 on the Hot 100 for five weeks.
Kanye West, Big Sean & Jay-Z
Hot 100 Peak Position: 12, Peak Date: Sept. 20, 2012
It became a mantra: "clique, clique, clique, clique." Backed by sinister and minimal production from Hit-Boy, the three rappers' braggadocio lines were more intimidating than usual. But it worked; the fourth single from the GOOD Music compilation album "Cruel Summer," made its way to No. 12 on the Hot 100.
Hot 100 Peak Position: 11, Peak Date: July 31, 2004
Built around a sample of "Walk With Me" sung by the ARC Choir, "Jesus Walks" foreshadowed the polarizing figure 'Ye would inevitably become. Through the eyes of sinners and saints, he discusses how Jesus "walks" with everyone, while also commenting on the media's ambivalence toward addressing songs that cover faith. It reportedly took 'Ye six months to draw inspiration for the second verse, but it paid off. "Jesus Walks" stayed on the Hot 100's No. 11 spot for two weeks.
Estelle feat. Kanye West
Hot 100 Peak Position: 9, Peak Date: Sept. 27, 2008
"American Boy" was destined for success. A driving dance beat, memorable chorus and Yeezy's cheeky humor pushed Estelle's first international single to No. 9 on the Hot 100. (And to think that this song originally began as a joke between Estelle and John Legend.)
Drake feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem
Hot 100 Peak Position: 8, Peak Date: Oct. 3, 2009
Featuring an all-star team of rappers (which makes sense, considering the song was made for LeBron James' "More Than A Game" documentary), this hit single showcased Drake's potential by having him stand among some of rap's MVPs. 'Ye struts across this Boi-1da beat with ease, addressing his newfound fame before handing the mic to Weezy. The song debuted at No. 8 on the Hot 100, and became one of Drake's highest debuts.
"All Falls Down"
Kanye West feat. Syleena Johnson
Hot 100 Peak Position: 7, Peak Date: May 22, 2004
Serving as the second single from "The College Dropout," this song features Kanye addressing self-consciousness and insecurity within the black community, and its connection to materialism. Interpolating Lauryn Hill's "Mystery of Iniquity" and featuring an incredible vocal delivery from Syleena Johnson, "All Falls Down" went way up on the Hot 100, reaching the No. 7 spot.
Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
Hot 100 Peak Position: 13, Peak Date: Aug. 4, 2012
Featuring heavyweights from all sides of the G.O.O.D. Music camp, "Mercy" was anything but merciful. Its minimal approach, sinister synths and down-the-line verses became a must-have in every portable music device, radio and club. Unsurprisingly, the song climbed to the No. 13 spot on the Hot 100, and made the summer of 2012 a little less cruel.