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In recent years, Kanye West has said numerous things that are offensive beyond belief. During West’s early career, he said something far less controversial — that he could not make an album better than The Beatles. He revealed what it would take for another band to outperform the Fab Four. The “I Love It” rapper explained what made him stand out from the competition.

Kanye West said Beatles albums had connected with people their whole lives

During a 2008 interview with MTV, West had the gall to criticize other artists for displaying too much bravado. “Whenever bands come out and say, ‘This album is better than The Beatles,’ it is impossible to make an album better than The Beatles unless you’ve got 30 years,” he explained. “Beatles records — people have known them their whole lives … hopefully five years from now people still play ‘Love Lockdown’ and people still play the records that I’m doing right now.” 

“Love Lockdown” came out in 2008. In 2024, it’s still a famous song. Who knows if it’ll still be prominent in 2038 like West wanted. What we do know is that “Love Lockdown” inspired a lot of other rappers. Artists like Drake and Childish Gambino followed the blueprint of the song to create other tunes about heartache with sparse synthesizer beats.

West had a coherent theory as to why he was so popular. “The reason why I’m one of the big artists is I was always interested in that melody,” he said. “I was like,” Yo, let me stop f****** around, I’m just gonna, like, make it be all melody. My lyrics are from the same perspective. It’s not no R&B get-down-on-your knees-and-beg-a-girl type bulls***. It’s still, like, guy music, but it’s swag on it.”

The “Heartless” star also revealed what his intentions were as a musician. “I’m trying to make those songs that are just classic songs,” he said. 

Kanye West worked with a Beatle but here’s why he might not overshadow the group

West would later try to make Beatles songs of his own by collaborating with Paul McCartney on the tracks “FourFiveSeconds” and “Only You.” The former became a huge hit, while the latter barely received any attention, considering its star power. 

The real question is this: Has West made an album as good as a Beatles album? That’s a question of taste. However, The Beatles, even at their most inflammatory, were never as offensive and hateful as West. Considering all the horrid things West has said recently, it’s not out of the question that his songs will fade into obscurity within the next few decades. 


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How ‘Love Lockdown’ performed

“Love Lockdown” became a big hit. It reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 23 weeks. It remains one of the rapper’s biggest tunes. The track appeared on 808s & Heartbreak, which is arguably his most important and influential record. 808s & Heartbreak topped the Billboard 200 for a single week, staying on the chart for 39 weeks. A lot of 2010s music was inspired by 1980s synth-pop, and that whole revival can be traced back to 808s & Heartbreak.

West remains one of the most impactful rappers ever, even if he’s never made an album better than Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.