No one man should have all that power

from Kanye West (Ft. Dwele) – Power Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

In addition to being part of the King Crimson sample, this is a reference to Malcolm X. Following the Johnson Hinton incident, police commented to reporters that “no one man should have that much power.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Uoy6xy5AFM

This is the “centerpiece” of the album. He first begins admitting that he shouldn’t even be where he is right now (given so much money and fame at the expense of so many broken people). He knows he’s becoming a powerful beast, but no one is stepping up to make the changes needed for society (especially black society). So, he says that things will continue to be grime until someone or something steps in (this is why the sample is altered at the end to say “we’ll see” ). This is also his realization that through attacking one of White America’s most beloved figures he became on of the most powerful forces in American conscious even beyond all the hate. He’s trying to tell us it’s something much bigger; “You got the power to let power go?” He explains to us that the platform he is on makes his words and actions that much more power, such is the price of fame. (a side note I noticed just now… the question that he asks is actually one that can’t be answered with ease; on one hand if you let power go you relinquish power to another force… on the other hand if you keep power well…. watch the POWER video)

Fun Fact Kanye also used the same line in an unreleased version of his song Livin' In A Movie back in 2002: (around 6:50 you can hear the original lyrics and original beat before the sample was added!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MDnc5fG5ZI&list=PLBF6DDE1C53106E6A

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