2008 Song of the Year - "Flashing Lights" by Kanye West

by Paul Siciliano

"Flashing Lights" by Kanye West is a first for Song of the Year winners - it is the first hip hop song to win the award.  Yes, it may be bit of a stretch to claim the song to be hip hop.   It really is pop.  But, at a certain point, rap became pop.

Even though West can be an asshole at times (like when he speaks), his music is excellent.  He also keeps it real.  He doesn't pretend to be a gangsta' because he is not.  As a result, many of his lyrics focus on "middle class" problems, as well as race and social issues.  There is nothing "hood" about it.  Not that that would matter to me. 

West is excellent at production and creating a sound.  He does stretch for rhymes but the lyrics are generally tight.  What is hot about "Flashing Lights" is the beat.  It is close to electronic perfection.  The sound will also be similar to the 2010 winner (when we get to that). 

The video is hot, though I don't like that it ends without completing the song - but I will survive.   And, Kanye features in the video as the man bound and gagged in the trunk, which is a positive for some people.