I Wonder

I Wonder

Kanye West

Revered among fans, “I Wonder” is an emotional anthem that deals with the theme of finding one’s dreams.

This song is largely inspired by U2’s “City of Blinding Lights,” which the band often performed at live shows to much applause. Kanye went on U2’s The Vertigo Tour as a supporting act in 2006, and after witnessing the praise they received when opening concerts, he sought to achieve “stadium status” through anthemic music.

The soulful piano and vocals were sampled from Labi Siffre’s 1972 track “My Song,” off his album Crying Laughing Loving Lying. Although West used a soul sample, the production contrasts many of his former songs due to the layered electronic synths and loud drum patterns.

Kanye noted in an interview with Concrete Loop that he simplified the lyrics on “I Wonder” so his listeners could identify with the record:

I was like you know what? I don’t need to over rap and that’s how you get a song like ’I Wonder.’ […] I didn’t even try. I just zoned out, I’d go into the studio and vibe to the beat and it just came to me—God gave me the words.