“Gorgeous” sees Kanye describing the ugly nature of social injustice in America, ironically calling the nation “gorgeous” because of it.

Recorded during his self-imposed exile in Hawaii, West formed the track with elements from The Turtles’ 1968 single, “You Showed Me.” The lush and electric guitar riff present throughout the song stems from Enoch Light and the Glittering Guitars’ 1969 cover of the same Turtles' song.

West reclusively worked with artists he was familiar with during his time in Hawaii, leading to Kid Cudi singing the chorus. In an interview with MTV, Cudi revealed that he had to lie in order to get on the song:

‘Gorgeous’ was one of those records that, as soon as I heard the beat, I was like, ‘Man, this is the one.‘ […] I came up to him, and I was like, ‘Man, are you working on this record? Are you working on this beat?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, do you got an idea for it?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I might.’ I didn’t. I was lying like a motherfucker…

Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon initially had no interest to feature on the track. He was later convinced by RZA, who assisted on “Dark Fantasy" and “So Appalled,” to work with Kanye. Regarding the collaboration, Raekwon said:

The first thing I can tell you about Kanye West is that he’s a hard worker. When you look at him, you can tell that he still has that whole hip-hop thing in his bones.