Kanye West - Gold Digger - 2005


Gold Digger is a song recorded by American rapper Kanye West, featuring guest vocals by Jamie Foxx. Released in 2005, it comes from West's second album, Late Registration. The song samples Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" and was produced by Kanye West himself. It became one of West's most successful singles, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning critical acclaim for its production and lyrical content, which addresses the themes of relationships and financial matters.

History and Background

The creation of Gold Digger involved the innovative use of samples and a collaboration with Jamie Foxx, who reinterpreted Ray Charles' vocals from "I Got a Woman." This marked a significant moment in hip-hop, showcasing West's skill in blending different musical elements and genres. The song's immediate success highlighted Kanye West's influence in the music industry, further establishing his reputation as a producer and artist.

Lyrics and Themes

The lyrics of Gold Digger explore the dynamics of a relationship where a man is exploited for his financial status. Kanye West uses sharp wit and satire to discuss societal attitudes towards wealth, romance, and fidelity. The chorus, famously performed by Jamie Foxx, echoes the sentiments of individuals wary of opportunistic partners.

Music Video

Directed by Hype Williams, the music video for Gold Digger features stylized performances and visual effects. It complements the song's themes by portraying various scenarios where characters are involved in disputes over money and relationships.

Critical Reception and Legacy

Gold Digger received widespread acclaim for its catchy hook, engaging storyline, and Kanye West's production. It won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance and has been included in numerous lists of the greatest songs of the 2000s. The track significantly impacted popular culture, becoming a reference point for discussions about relationships and financial security in music.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Gold Digger" released? (2005) (!2004) (!2006) (!2007)

Who provided guest vocals for "Gold Digger"? (Jamie Foxx) (!John Legend) (!Ray Charles) (!Ludacris)

Which Ray Charles song does "Gold Digger" sample? (I Got a Woman) (!Hit the Road Jack) (!Georgia on My Mind) (!Unchain My Heart)

Who directed the music video for "Gold Digger"? (Hype Williams) (!Spike Jonze) (!David Fincher) (!Michel Gondry)

What award did "Gold Digger" win at the Grammy Awards? (Best Rap Solo Performance) (!Record of the Year) (!Best Rap Song) (!Best Music Video)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In which album is "Gold Digger" featured? (Late Registration) (!The College Dropout) (!Graduation) (!My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)

How many Grammy Awards has Kanye West won? (Over 20) (!Less than 10) (!Exactly 15) (!About 18)

Besides music, what other industry has Kanye West been successful in? (Fashion) (!Film) (!Sports) (!Literature)

What is Kanye West's fashion brand called? (Yeezy) (!Kanye Wear) (!West Fashion) (!Yeezus Apparel)

Which of the following is NOT a theme explored in "Gold Digger"? (Love conquers all) (!Relationships and financial matters) (!Exploitation for financial status) (!Societal attitudes towards wealth)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

Which famous line repeats in the chorus of "Gold Digger"? (She take my money when I'm in need) (!Money can't buy me love) (!All that glitters is not gold) (!Rich girl wants more)

The song warns against a partner who is only interested in what? (Money) (!Looks) (!Fame) (!Family)

In "Gold Digger," the man is portrayed as a victim of what? (Financial exploitation) (!Physical abuse) (!Emotional neglect) (!Social isolation)

What does Kanye West criticize through the lyrics of "Gold Digger"? (Societal materialism) (!Loyalty in friendship) (!The music industry) (!Political corruption)

How does Jamie Foxx contribute to the song's theme? (By reinterpreting Ray Charles' vocals) (!By playing piano) (!By directing the music video) (!By writing the lyrics)


Kanye West Late Registration
Jamie Foxx I Got a Woman Sample
2005 Gold Digger Release Year
Hype Williams Music Video Director
Grammy Award Best Rap Solo Performance

Open Tasks


  1. Research the impact of "Gold Digger" on Kanye West's career: Look into how the song's success influenced Kanye West's music and public perception.
  2. Explore the history of sampling in hip-hop: Investigate how artists like Kanye West use samples to create new music.
  3. Analyze the themes of "Gold Digger" : Discuss how the song reflects societal attitudes towards wealth and relationships.


  1. Create a cover version of "Gold Digger" : Record your own version of the song, focusing on its musical or lyrical aspects.
  2. Design a new music video concept for "Gold Digger" : Come up with a modern interpretation for the song's visual representation.
  3. Write an essay on the evolution of Kanye West's musical style : Examine how Kanye West's sound has changed from "The College Dropout" to his latest work.


  1. Debate the ethical implications of sampling in music : Prepare arguments for and against the use of samples in creating new songs.
  2. Analyze the portrayal of gender in "Gold Digger" : Critically examine the song's lyrics and video in the context of gender representation.
  3. Explore the intersection of music and fashion in Kanye West's career : Research how West's involvement in fashion has influenced his music and vice versa.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the significance of "Gold Digger" in the context of 2000s hip-hop: What does the song represent in the evolution of the genre?
  2. Explain how "Gold Digger" uses satire to comment on societal issues: How does Kanye West employ humor and satire in the song?
  3. Evaluate the impact of Jamie Foxx's contribution to the song: In what ways did Jamie Foxx's performance enhance the message and appeal of "Gold Digger"?
  4. Analyze the role of music videos in shaping a song's message: How does the "Gold Digger" video contribute to the song's themes?
  5. Explore the relationship between music, culture, and technology in "Gold Digger": How does the song illustrate the interplay of these elements in modern music production?

OERs on the Topic


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