Kanye West ‘Never Liked’ His Song ‘Gold Digger’ Even Though It’s One of His Biggest Hits

Kanye West has released many songs throughout the years, but he’s undoubtedly the most known for his 2005 single, “Gold Digger.”

Though “Gold Digger” has been a fan favorite since its release, it turns out that West “never really liked” the song — despite it being one of his biggest hits to this day.

Kanye West
Kanye West | Theo Wargo/MTV1617/Getty Images for MTV

Kanye West reveals he wasn’t the biggest fan of ‘Gold Digger’

While speaking with Zane Lowe during an hour-long interview broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in 2013, West opened up about everything from “the glass ceiling” for black musical artists to his own ambitions in the music and fashion industries.

After speaking in-depth about his Yeezy collaboration with Nike, the rapper went on to say that he wasn’t a huge fan of his 2005 hit single “Gold Digger,” but recorded the song anyway because he knew it would make money.

“I never really liked that song, but I knew I would get paid for doing ‘Gold Digger,'” he told Zane Lowe.

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‘Gold Digger’ wasn’t initially written for Kanye West

This might come as a shock, but “Gold Digger” wasn’t initially intended for West. Instead, the rapper had written and produced the track for a female artist since the chorus was originally centered around a woman’s first-person viewpoint, “I’m not sayin’ I’m a gold digger / But I ain’t messin’ with no broke n—–.” 

This version of the song was offered to rapper Shawnna, but she decided not to use it for her 2004 debut album Worth Tha Weight.

Not wanting the song to go to waste, Ye kept the same beat but added lyrics expressed from a male’s point-of-view.

Since he had the second verse of “Gold Digger” already written — he used to rap the verse in early 2004 while on tour promoting his debut album, The College Dropout — he only had to add a first verse and record his vocals.

But, before the song was set to drop, West decided to write a different third verse, and in a week, the new track was recorded and mastered at Sony Music Studios in New York City.

Though ‘Gold Digger’ was conceived years before its release, West added in samples of Jamie Foxx singing an interpretation of the Ray Charles “I’ve Got a Woman” last minute.

The idea came after West watched Foxx star as Charles in the film Ray, which hit theaters roughly a year before “Gold Digger” went No. 1.

‘Gold Digger’ is one of Kanye West’s most popular tracks

Released as the second single from West’s second album, Late Registration, “Gold Digger” peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in September 2005.

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The song broke the record for the most digital downloads in a week and was also the fastest-selling digital download of all time. In 2006, the track was nominated for Record of the Year and won the award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

According to Billboard magazine’s ranking, “Gold Digger” came in at No. 9 for the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade. It’s also listed at No. 63 on Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of All Time, making it one of the most popular songs of West’s career.