Posted by: Nick | July 8, 2008

Ben Sollee Beefs With Kanye West

Step aside 50-Cent, a new artist has beef with Kanye. Ben Sollee has a new song out directed at Kanye West, appropriately titled, “Dear Kanye.” As you all are aware, the fans at this year’s Bonnaroo had a problem with Kanye starting two hours late and then cutting his set short. Kanye issued this ‘untitled’ explanation. You will notice a clear parallel between Kanye’s excuse and Sollee’s lyrics (below). Most notably “You don’t need a light show / Just good flows.” In a message about the song from Sollee he stated simpy “because this is what folk music is about.” Listen for yourself and let us know what you think…

HERE is an open letter Ben recently wrote addressing his decision to write the song…

Ben SolleeDear Kanye

Here are the lyrics…

Dear Kanye
You’re letting me down
You got the biggest bat in the game
But you can’t hit the ball
It’s the heavy weight match
And you’re off in the corner punchin’ at the wall

Dear Kanye
Don’t let us fall
You’re at the diplomatic dinner
With fine china and all
A silver fork in your hand
But still you spit and gnaw
Greatness is a glass elevator, and so you are, if I recall
So use it make some real change not just advertisements at the mall

No one needs a light show
Just good flows
You don’t need a light show
Just good flows

Dear Kanye
Keep icin those knees
And when your paycheck comes
Will you remember your busted screen
Your crown of thorns is sensational
But it’s not what makes you bleed
Cause there’s a young man
His rhymes set him free
He loves what you do but he can’t seem
To shake the septic sanction of the streets
He’s reading your blog and all he finds are commercials
For stuff he’ll never need
You have a good idea now put some shoes on its feet
And try to make your Loop Dreams a real priority

You don’t need a light show
Just good flow
No one needs a light show
Just good flow
You don’t need a light show
Just good flow

Dear Kanye
It’s time to let go
You’ve gathered the moss of
More than a dozen sullen stones
People want music on a real stage
Not the one you bring along

Flashing Lights. Kanye at Bonnaroo 2008


  1. you don’t need a light show, just good flows….couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. Love it. I think the bigger the light show the smaller the talent.

  3. bull. of course you don’t NEED a light show, but Kanye is so passionate about his performances that he has to present it the way he thinks it will be best seen. If he didn’t care about his audience he would just say “fuck it” and come out and perform right away instead of wasting his own time by waiting for the stage to be set up right. He posted a page long rant in all caps on his blog about how hurt he was from the media and how much he cares about his fans

  4. Can it be mentioned, too, that Ben worked his ass off at Bonnaroo? I saw him at least twice (with Sparrow Quartet) in the fucking hot sun… no lights, not pizzazz… just great music. I also waited until 4am for Kanye, gave up, watched another show for 30mins and heard a little of Kanye as I drifted to sleep in my tent. I’m glad I caught Ben… not sorry I missed Kanye.

  5. Well, if this event was all Kanye all day then I would dig a fabulous light show too, but it was a festival of hundreds of different artists. I fully understand the entertainment value of huge stage productions, but I just don’t think it was necessary at Bonnaroo. If I paid 65 bucks to see Kanye at Madison Square I would surely love a Funkarific performance.
    In his defense I guess Kanye got the bad end of an already-running-late-day’s-worth-of-shows.
    I think people over-reacted (hippies revolt!), Kanye may love his fans, but this was a mess.
    I wouldn’t put Kanye very high on the list as an MC anyway (his flow is unique, but the cadence gets old after a while). So if he doesn’t feel whole without a big stage show, so be it. But when you sign your idiology over to the dollar bill and become a brand name, learn to bend a little for your fans. You don’t need gold chains or light shows to earn their respect…Sometimes they just want you to show up.

  6. This is not a beef. I read it as a call to Kanye to get back to fundamentals.

  7. This is what folk music is about? That’s weird I had hoped that it would be about something that fucking matters. Who gives a godamn about Kanye or his hissyfits? Also, this song is actually heinous. I’m sorry, I think Mr. Sollee is talented but his talents would be better served by the editing faculty that sounds like this inside an artist’s head,
    “Huh. That’s an idea. It’s not a very good one though. Guess I’ll just wait for a different one”

  8. singing about kanye and his issues is kinda shallow, no? i mean he’s an indulged perfectionist…i expect him to do what he does but
    there are other issues that could be highlighted via song.

    but of course since it’s a free country
    ben sollee can do his thing and so can kanye.

  9. F**k u Ben…Ye is the best though i still enjoyed the show without him

  10. I love Kanye to death. He was spectacular at Lollapalooza and I’m sorry that Ben has to write a song about Kanye getting on the stage to try to get a little bit of publicity since no one has any idea who he is. The fact of the matter is that Ben Sollee sucks. That is the chant that should of been going at Bonnaroo.

  11. i really dont like kanye i use to when he first came out but now he think he all that and he trying to sing now and we all kno he cant sing and their making he’s vocie sound better even on Saturday night live he sounded bad i mean his songs r hot like heartless but no one would like the songs if he waz singing with his real voice he’s trying 2 do 2 much he should jus stick 2 rapping and stop being so concided cuz he’s not even hat nice so i’m glad somone made that song about him

  12. Kanye is great f**k you ben solleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee why dnt u get up on the stage and do his job i garentee you couldnt live a month of kanye’s life u

  13. wow….some of you really don’t understand…..obv. Ben loves Kanye, too. In the song, he’s merely asking Kanye to be a sincere activist and not a poser…….duh.

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