“Good Life” by Kanye West (ft. T-Pain)

The “good life”, as defined on this song, is one in which its partakers are basically paid enough to enjoy their heart’s desires. And both Kanye and T-Pain have apparently reached such a point. And what seems to be the most-expressed reason they are celebrating this lifestyle is because it gives them access to women and for Yeezy in particular sexual adventure.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Kanye West's Good Life at Lyrics.org.

But that being noted, the lyrics aren’t really braggadocious, nor are they materialistic per se. Rather, in addition to celebrating his own success, it’s more like Kanye is trying to encourage those who haven’t really made it yet that there is indeed a “good life” waiting for them. And as such they should continue to strive for it. 

Also he uses the opportunity of this tune to give a shoutout to quite a few major cities.  Additionally he acknowledges that with achievement comes haters. But as 50 Cent advised on “In Da Club” (2003), the focus should be on making money, not entertaining rivals. 

And overall the feel of the track (despite its wording being money-based), comes off more as an appreciation of life in general (for instance the music video isn’t based on wealth).  Indeed many people who enjoy this song may not even know what Kanye & co. are saying in depth.

Music Video

The music video to “Good Life”, which was partially an animated affair, had the pair of Jonas & Francois as its directors.

Creation of “Good Life”

“Good Life” was produced by the trio of Kanye West, DJ Toomp and Mike Dean.

Toomp and Kanye are also co-writers of the song, as is T-Pain.

Additional co-writers are Quincy Jones and James Ingram (1952-2019). They are credited since “Good Life” samples Michael Jackson’s 1983 track “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, which the two of them wrote.

R&B superstars Ne-Yo and John Legend contributed background vocals to this song. And legendary music producer Timbaland was also involved, serving the role of the drum programmer.

“Good Life” meets with Success

And “Good Life” did go on to become one of Kanye West’s most-recognizable hits. For instance, it achieved triple-platinum certification in the U.S., also topping Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs list (and reaching 7 on the Hot 100).

Additionally it earned Kanye and T-Pain, whom he just began collaborating with in 2007, two 2008 Grammy nominations, whereas they took home the one for Best Rap Song. Also the track earned the distinction of being named Best Collaboration at the BET Awards of that year.

Kanye is Sued

An obscure musician called D’Mystro (Dayna Staggs) sued Kanye West, Jay-Z (his label boss) and others under allegations that “Good Life” illegally copies one of his own tracks entitled “Volume of Good Life”. This is a song he says he released when Kanye was “only… six or seven years of age”. Moreover he was allegedly an associate of Kanye and Jigga, even going as far as to claim he worked on “Graduation”, the album from which this track is derived. Ultimately his lawsuit was credible enough to be taken somewhat seriously in court. However, in the law’s eyes, D’Mystro did not have sufficient proof to support his claim.

Release Date of “Good Life”

This track was officially released on 2 October 2007 as the third single from “Graduation”, a project that was put forth by Def Jam Records and Roc-A-Fella Records.

The unusual cover art to “Good Life” was designed by “the Warhol of Japan” Takashi Murakami, who was the main figure behind all of the colorful artwork associated with “Graduation”.

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