Kanye West - Through the Wire (2003)
The hook is such a huge part of this song that the writers of that song get credit on this one.
Written in the wake of a near fatal car accident, Kanye actually performed this song with his jaw still wired shut. West was a Grammy nominated producer before being signed as a performer. Soon after he was announced as the newest member of the Roc-A-Fella label the accident put him in the hospital. This is the first single by the now dominant rap star.
The hook though the whole song is Chaka Khan's hit Through the Fire. West produced his own album, and the pitched higher/speed up old soul groove was his signature move for a while.He adds a bass line, and some percussion, including bongos and several people snapping their fingers together. The song is broken up at a few points to include a friend of Kanye's rapping about losing an arm, and Kanye and Jay Z at the concert where West was introduced as a performer for the label. I think that distracts from the song as a whole.
Lyrically the song is about the accident and the aftermath. The list of references to people, both real and fictional, that Kanye drops in this song is extensive. Biggie Smalls died in the hospital that he was brought to after the crash. The crash was so bad that people thought he was burnt up like Michael Jackson. His girlfriend was concerned that he was dead, or his face would be so messed up he would resemble murdered child Emmett Till. He even references Mr. Glass from M.night Shymalan's Unbreakable. My favorite rhyme is right near the beginning. He rhymes dessert, syrup and berserk in three straight lines.