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Gold Digger

by

Kanye West



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

A Gold Digger is a woman who wants a man only for his money. She is an undesirable character, since she will use deception and guile to get her way, then she will leave when times get tough and take whatever she can. Famous musicians, actors and athletes have to deal with Gold Diggers on a regular basis.
This samples the 1954 Ray Charles song "I Got A Woman." Quite the opposite of "Gold Digger," Charles sings about a woman who is real good to him and very supportive, so much so that she gives him money when he needs it. So throughout "Gold Digger," Ray Charles is singing, "She gives me money when I'm in need." It works because Jamie Foxx appears on the intro to "Gold Digger" where he channels Ray Charles but changes the lyrics to "She takes my money when I'm in need." Foxx was very adept at impersonating Ray Charles, and for the rest of the song, most listeners will hear Charles' sample as "She takes my money." In 2004, Foxx won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles in the movie Ray. Foxx is an accomplished singer and pianist, and spent a lot of time learning how to portray Charles for the movie.
This is the first song featuring a reigning Academy Award winning actor to hit #1 in the US top 100 charts during the so-called "Rock and Soul" era. Frank Sinatra won Best supporting Actor in 1953 for his work in From Here to Eternity and was beforehand a dominant mainstay in the swing and bebop-oriented US pop charts, hitting number one several times.
Kanye West for his part talks about other rappers and singers in his rap, including Busta Rhymes and Usher, most likely in jest.
This isn't the first Rap song to cover the gold digger topic. On their 1990 song "Gold Digger," EPMD rap about how they have to watch out for these women, whose goal is usually to get pregnant by a guy who is rich and famous.
This song is a prime example of an outright funny song that does not get labeled in the "novelty" genré for some reason. Other famous songs that escaped novelty are Elvis Presley's Hound Dog and the Beatles I Am The Walrus. (thanks, wik - Brooklyn, NY, for above 5)
The album version has West singing, "She ain't messin' with no broke nigga." In the radio edit, "Nigga" is replaced with "Broke."
West and Foxx performed this on the 2006 Grammy awards. They each led a small marching band on stage.
When West sings about a football player you can see "Any given Sunday," he's paying homage to a movie Foxx starred in with that title.
Kanye West found himself being sued in 2013 for using an unlicensed sample from the 1974 song "Bumpin' Bus Stop" by Thunder & Lightning on this track. The suit claimed that West borrowed a 13-second portion of the track in which band member David Pryor's voice can be heard exclaiming "Get Down" three times, echoing West's lyrics "Get down girl, get down, get down." Pryor's children, Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor, demanded several million dollars in damages as well as a block on future sales of the song.
West originally created this for rapper Shawnna's 2004 debut album Worth Tha Weight. When she didn't record it, he redid the hook from a female perspective to a male one and recruited Jamie Foxx as a featured artist.
Kanye West
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Comments (13):

( I always laugh when I hear this song, just once.) But I like to listen to it. It is a great tune.
- Tessa, Washingtonville, PA
I don't really like rap. And I don't want to get on a high horse or anything, BUT if you watch Jets' music video 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?' you'll notice that Kanye West ripped them off.
- Melissa, lorton, VA
I'm almost possitive foxx says "on yo knees" instead of "I gotta leave." It only makes sence because Kanye says "go head girl go head get down." Besides the fact it would sound bad if he said "Go ahead girl, go ahead get down" he's really asking the girl to get down, on her knees, and give head. It would be pointless for me to support my case any further.
- Jer, Closter, NJ
I really liked this song until I saw Tom Cruise singing it at a Kanye concert, and acting like the complete moron that he is!! I can't get the image out of my brain when I hear the song.
- Angel, somewhere in, AZ
This song won a grammy for best male rape vocal performance.
- guess, North Andover, MA
West has said in interviews that he wrote this for a female star (can't remember who) but when she dragged her heels at recording it, he put it out himself.
- Garrett, Nashville, TN
This wasn't the first song that Kanye West and Jaime Foxx collaborated on that went #1. The first song that they worked on together that went #1 on was "Slow Jams" which also features Twista. This song is on Kanye West's "The College Dropout" album and Twista's "Kamikazee" album, however Twista's version is different and they also have different videos for this same song. On Jaime Foxx's new album "Unpredictable", West and Foxx does it again with "One Night Estravaganza", I'm curious to see if this will go to #1 when it's released as a single.
- Nikki, Chicago, IL
Also, the song was nominated for a Grammy. If it had won in the category it was up for, this perhaps would have been one of the few times that an Oscar winner had in the next year won a Grammy.
- Jimoh, The Bronx NY, NY
Yeah Alex, that's true. Kanye really said that. What he should have said is "George Bush doesn't care about poor people."
- Eric, Denver, CO
Kanye's performance of this at the 2006 grammy's was hysterical. He and Foxx led opposing marching bands at halftime of a football game. There were also several "gold diggers" in gold bikinis and a number of "broke phi brokes" dancing.
- Emily, Abingdon, VA
Kaneya WEST SAID "george bush doesnt care about black people."
- Alex, Gaithersburg, MD
Now, you shouldn't go ahead and be badmouthing rap so vehemently. You have to qualify the statement. I certainly agree that some rap is terrible like 50 Cent, Fat Joe etc. But think about the rap that mattered back in the day. I'm talking about albums like Public Enemy's "It takes a nation of millions..." A Tribe Called Quest's "The Low End Theory," Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," Notorious BIG's "Ready to Die," Nas' "Illmatic." These are great albums which came from rap. I definitely recommend Jay-Z, Tupac, Outkast, De La Soul, and some of Eminem's stuff.

On this song, I like it because it's funky & funny. "She walk around lookin like Michael wit yo' money / Shoulda got that insured Geico for yo' money" I also enjoy Jamie Foxx's right on impersonation of Ray Charles.
- Sammy, New York, NY
this song is awesome thats why its on here, im the furthest thing from a new rap fan, but this song is great
- Pepper, Virginia Beach, VA
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