“Heaven and Hell” by Kanye West

Heaven and Hell‘s singular verse commences with Kanye sounding like he’s ready to quit the game. He’s already made enough dough to go and live like anywhere he wants and do what he has to do. Moreover, it can be ascertained that he feels a sensation akin to a spiritual calling, with such being the main impetus to forsake the game, i.e. the primary goal being a genuinely pious life. 

But about midway through the subject changes, and emphasis is rather placed on the listener, i.e. the song containing a more general message. And that message, most simply put, is a call to repentance.

As far as the title goes, well first of all the intro features a sample of Heaven and Hell Is on Earth (1975) by the 20th Century Steel Band, a segment of a song that has been heavily sampled throughout the history of hip-hop. And what that segment is saying, conclusively, is that “everyone’s got to make a living” in their own respective ways.

As far as how Kanye utilizes the concept within his verse, well again, what he basically seems to be doing is admonishing the audience to pray. Or in an attempt to make sense of this all, let’s put it like this. Yes, “heaven” is achievable “on earth”. But reaching that destination would necessitate one making right with God.

So even though this piece doesn’t commence like a spiritual rap per se, by the time it concludes that’s the place Yeezus decides to take it.

Lyrics to Kanye West's "Heaven and Hell"

“Heaven and Hell” Details

Primary Artist(s): Kanye West
Album: “Donda
Release: August 29 of 2021

Credits

Kanye composed “Heaven and Hell” alongside the following:

  • Raul Cubina
  • Nabeyin
  • Farsi
  • Nizzy
  • BoogzDaBeast
  • Mark Williams
  • 88-Keys

West also produced it with a number of his co-writers, including Nabeyin, 88-Keys and BoogzDaBeast.

Samples

  • “Heaven and Hell Is on Earth” (1975) – 20th Century Steel Band
  • “Arena” – The Drum Broker

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