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Power Ranking Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour Setlist

I love Kanye West (almost) as much as Stan loved Eminem. Okay, not really, but I have to give the man credit — he’s largely responsible for a brand of confidence no one can take away from me.

No matter what, this Friday at the BJC will be nothing short of a God dream. Still, I’ve been struggling with something these past few weeks — should I look at the setlist?

On one hand, I could get excited about what he will play and adjust my expectations accordingly. On another, the element of surprise is a lot of fun.

Curiosity got the best of me and I looked. I’m not disappointed at all, but I do have a few qualms — only three songs off My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a crime. Below is a power ranking of the Saint Pablo Tour setlist (excluding the songs actually on The Life Of Pablo, because obviously he was going to play those), then five songs I wish made the cut:

20. Pop Style

A subpar Drake song with a mediocre Kanye verse has no place on this setlist.

19. Only One

Sorry, I know this song is supposed to be a touching testament to fatherhood, but I just don’t like it. “FourFiveSeconds” would’ve been a better choice.

18. THat Part

This song is fun but I’d rather hear a better Kanye original…like “Dark Fantasy.” Kanye, if you’re reading this (which you’re decidedly not), please play Dark Fantasy.

17. Mercy

Mercy isn’t nearly as good without Big Sean and Pusha T. That’s the magic of G.O.O.D. music. Still, Ye goes off in his verse in the aggressively arrogant tone he’s seemed to drop over the past few years. I miss it and can’t wait to see it live.

16. Good Life

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. How pumped are you to scream “if they hate then let ’em hate and watch the money pile up” with Kanye in a few days? People will disagree with me on this, but goofy Kanye is my least favorite Kanye and that’s why joints like this are at the bottom of this list.

15. Gold Digger

Of course I like this song and of course he kind of has to play it, but I don’t think he really enjoys it. The song itself is fun but people like my grandma took a silly little ditty too seriously and hate Kanye for no reason because of it. I get the feeling Yeezus is over Gold Digger, which makes me less excited to see it live, but the seventh grader in me can’t hardly wait.

14. All of the Lights

All of the Lights is my least favorite song on my favorite Kanye album. MBDTF is perfect and it fits in with the rest of the album great, but without the interlude, it doesn’t stand alone too strong for me — especially when Rihanna and Kid Cudi won’t be there.

13. Don’t Like

G.O.O.D. music is unstoppable as a unit, but the best part of it is five or six of my favorite artists going in on the same track. This will still be amazing to hear — it’s one of my favorite songs of all time — I will just close my eyes and pretend the whole squad is there, I guess.

12. Jesus Walks

IMAGINE KANYE PERFORMING THIS ON HIS FLOATING STAGE! The fact that this is still far down on my rankings elucidates the strength of this setlist.

11. Flashing Lights

Kanye loves this song because it was a huge moment in revolutionizing rap from old school to new school beats. It’ll be cool to watch him perform a song he loves so much and reflect on all he’s done for music.

10. All Day

All Day is one of the most underrated Kanye songs. The beat alone was crafted for a live performance. Watch this and get excited.

9. Heartless

The biggest hit from the public dispair that is 808s & Heartbreak will be really interesting live now that Kanye seems to be at peace, in a loving relationship with two beautiful kids. He said it himself, he’s invented so many Kanyes and we get a little taste of them all on Friday.

8. Touch the Sky

The optimism and candidness in this one is just so fun. “Any pessimists, I ain’t talk to them” is a mantra I’ve strived to live by since I first heard it.

7. Black Skinhead

Mad Kanye is good Kanye.

6. Stronger

Stronger is underrated because people think it’s overrated. But I don’t give a f*ck what they all say, right?

5. Blood on the Leaves

I’m spending my week mentally and physically preparing for when this beat drops.

4. Can’t Tell Me Nothing

Like a lot of folks, Can’t Tell Me Nothing is the song that really turned me on to Kanye. I finally get to see what started my Beautiful Dark Twisted Fandom live. Who doesn’t love an unapologetic, bad decision anthem?

3. Ni**as In Paris

This would probably be number one if Jay-Z were to show up, but this isn’t the Watch the Throne tour. This song is larger than life.

2. Runaway

Runaway’s theatrical, over-the-top drama is made for a live performance. I’ll probably cry seeing this calculated, chaotic apology live. Kanye has never been more honest than he is in this song.



Needless to say, I am fired the heck up for this concert. If I had to pick five songs to replace the bottom five in my ranking, though, I’d pick “Dark Fantasy,” “Devil in a New Dress,” “Homecoming,” “Good Morning,” and “Paranoid.”

What’s on your dream Kanye setlist? Let me know in the comments, and maybe our discussion can even drown out the inevitable “I hate Kanye” comments!

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About the Author

Sara Civian

Sara Civian is one of Onward State's three ridiculously good looking managing editors, a hockey writer at heart, and an Oxford comma Stan. She's a senior majoring in journalism, minoring in history, and living at Bill Pickle's Tap Room. Her favorite pastimes are telling people she's from Boston, watching the Bruins, and meticulously dissecting the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. She's seen Third Eye Blind live 14 times. If you really hate yourself, you can follow her at @SaraCivian or email her at [email protected]

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