Kanye West
Jesus Walks
*Slang *Grammar/Contractions*Cultural References
Original Translation

Yo!
We at war

We at war with terrorism, racism,
But most of all...we at war with ourselves

(Jesus walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus walks with me, with me, with me, with me, with me)

Yo! Pay attention
We at war
We are at war




the devil trying to break me down the devil is trying to defeat me

You know what the midwest is?
Young and Restless
Where restless niggas might snatch your necklace
And next these niggas might jack your Lexus
Somebody tell these niggas who Kanye West is.

midwest the middle of the US, from to Ohio to Iowa and including states to the north.
Young and Restless reference to long running American daytime soap opera of the same name
niggas black men (highly offensive, especially if used by whites) snatch your necklace steal your necklace
jack your Lexus steal your Lexus luxury car

I walk through the valley where the shadow of death is.
Top floor of the view alone will leave you breathless
Try to catch it ... it's kind of hard
Getting choked by detectives yeah yeah now check the method.
They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying, "We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast."
Huh? Y'all eat pieces of shit? What's the basis?
We ain't going no where but got suits and cases.
A trunk full of coke, rental car from Avis.
My momma used to say only Jesus can save us.
Well momma I know I act a fool
But I'll be gone till November. I got packs to move I hope.

I walk through the valley where the shadow of death is. from the 23rd psalm in the Bible ("Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.")

catch it catch your breath

They be They are
We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast. You are worthless little men
Huh? Y'all eat pieces of shit? What's the basis? What? You eat feces for breakfast? Why would you do that? (using the word shit literally instead of figuratively as it is used in the previous sentence.)
We ain't going no where we aren't going anywhere suits and cases double meaning: suitcases/lawsuits and court cases
coke cocaine
act a fool act foolish (possible reference to title of 2003 Ludacris song, although this expression is fairly common)
gone till November reference to 1997 song of the same name by Wyclef Jean

CHORUS
(Jesus walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus walks with me)
The only thing that I pray is that
my feet don't fail me now.
(Jesus walks)
And I don't think there's nothing I can do to right my wrong
(Jesus walks with me)
I
wanna talk to God but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long
(I want Jesus)

REPEAT CHORUS
 





my feet don't fail me now. A runner's slogan ("Feet don't fail me now") popularized by track and field star Bruce Jenner in the 1976 Olympics. Jenner wore the message on a sweat shirt and went on to win the Decathlon. The phrase later appeared in George Clinton's One Nation Under a Groove (1978), a positive song that also included the line "Nothin' can stop us now!" In 1997, Ice Cube incorporated this influential song in his rap Bop Gun. The expression was originally the catchphrase of Birmingham Brown (played by Manton Moreland), the manservant of Charlie Chan in 1930s detectives movies. Like the character of Chan himself, Brown was a racial stereotype. He always uttered this phrase in exaggerated fear when preparing to run from danger. This reference was also used by Eminem in Lose Yourself. (Thanks to astute reader Jim P. for the Moreland reference!)



wanna want to we ain't spoke we haven't spoken

To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers
even the strippers...
(Jesus walks with them!)
To the victims of welfare
feel we living in hell here, hell yeah!
(Jesus walks with them!)
Now hear ye hear ye wanna see thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
'Cause we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers is role models we rap we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheist into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis that's the way I need Jesus
So here go my single, dawg, radio needs this
They said you can rap anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, videotape
But if I talk about God my record won't get played
Huh?
Well if this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope it take away from my sins
And bring the day that I'm dreamin 'bout
Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out,

("Jesus walks.")

CHORUS

 





hell yeah! Absolutely

hear ye hear ye Everybody listen! - old fashioned way of getting people's attention at meetings from US Colonial days (1700s) wanna see thee more clearly line taken from Day by Day, a song sung to Jesus in Godspell, the 1971 pop musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew

'Cause because

argue about his facial features Many minorities are offended by the fact that Jesus is commonly (but obviously not realistically) shown in pictures as a fair skinned, blue eyed, European-looking man.


The way Kathy Lee needed Regis Kathy Lee Gifford suffered major career problems after leaving the highly rated morning TV show Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, which she co-hosted with Regis Philbin until 2000.
single single CD dawg used for emphasis, like boy or man

guns, sex, lies, videotape reference to the 1989 cult film, Sex Lies and Videotape, directed by Steven Soderbergh

Huh? Why is that?
if this take away from my spins If rapping about Jesus means my records are not played as often
take away from my ends keep me from earning as much money

'bout about

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