I Am a God

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"I Am a God"
Song by Kanye West featuring God
from the album Yeezus

"I Am a God" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Kanye West from his sixth solo studio album Yeezus. It was produced by West, Hudson Mohawke, Daft Punk and Mike Dean. "I Am a God" contains samples of "Forward Inna Dem Clothes", written by Clifton Bailey III and H. Hart, and performed by Capleton, features vocals from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and samples of Zindagi Hai Khel. The song credits God as a featured performer.[1]


Before it was officially announced that Kanye West's sixth studio album was titled Yeezus, it was rumored for it to be titled I Am God, which caused controversy.[2] Then it was revealed that there was a song titled "I Am a God".[2] West's camp said the title was a reference to Psalm 82: "I said, 'You are gods, / And all of you are children of the Most High."[3] West debuted the song at the 2013 New York Governors Ball.[4] On June 12, 2013, six days before the album Yeezus was released, a video was uploaded on West's website of him recording vocals for "I Am a God" with producer Rick Rubin and Mike Dean.[5]

In October 2016, a demo of the track, alongside one of "FML" from West's seventh studio album The Life of Pablo (2016), was uploaded to SoundCloud, which featured a new verse and synth line.[6]


Since its release, West has talked about the message of the song in numerous interviews. In an interview with W in June 2013 it was made known that the song was inspired by a 'diss' from a major fashion designer during Paris Fashion Week, where West was informed that he’d be invited to a widely anticipated runway show only on the condition that he agree not to attend any other shows. West responded by saying:

"So the next day I went to the studio with Daft Punk, and I wrote ‘I Am a God,’ Cause it’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix. You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show! To even think they could tell me where I could and couldn’t go is just ludicrous. It’s blasphemous—to rock ’n’ roll, and to music.” [7]

During a 2013 interview with Zane Lowe, West added another interpretation of the song saying:

"We got this new thing called classism, It's racism's cousin. This is what we do to hold people back. ... And we got this other thing that's also been working for a long time where you don't have to be racist anymore, it's called self-hate. It works on itself. It's like the real estate of racism. Where, just like that, when someone comes up and says something like, 'I am a god,' everybody says 'Who does he think he is? I just told you who I thought I was! A God! I just told you! That's who I think I am! Would it have been better if I had a song that said, 'I Am a Nigger?' Or if I had a song that said, 'I Am a Gangsta'? Or I had a song that said, 'I Am a Pimp'? All of those colors and patinas fit better on a person like me, right?" [8]

Then in 2015 during the course of an interview with Show Studio, West offered yet another explanation of the song stating:

The reason why I made the song 'I Am A God' is so those people that feel less than can turn it up and say it loud and embrace it for themselves, that God is inside all of us. It wasn’t about specifically me. It was about us as a race; that we are an extension of God, that we all have God inside of us.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

A masked Kanye West performing "I Am a God" at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City, 2013

Rolling Stone ranked the song at number 65 on their list of the 100 best songs of 2013.[10] NME positioned it at number 18 on their list of the 50 best songs of 2013.[11]

Media usage[edit]

  • "I Am a God" featured in the trailer for the 2018 video game UFC 3.[14]


Chart (2013) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[15] 9
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[16] 37


  1. ^ "'God' to Make an Appearance on Kanye West's New 'Yeezus' Album?".
  2. ^ a b Harling, Danielle (2013-03-27). "Kanye West's "I Am A God" Believed To Be Song Title, Not Album". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  3. ^ "Kanye West's 'I Am A God' Inspired By Fashion Week Diss". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  4. ^ "Kanye's Governors Ball Show: 'I Am A God,' 'On Site' And A Few Words (VIDEOS)". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  5. ^ "Kanye's 'I Am A God' Studio Video Shows 'Yeezus' Sessions With Rick Rubin & Mike Dean". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  6. ^ "Kanye West: Listen to unheard demos for 'I Am A God' and 'FML'". NME. 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  7. ^ Bagley, Christopher. "Kanye West, the Transformer, on his New Album Yeezus and Kim Kardashian". W Magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  8. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "Kanye West's BBC Interview: Five Things We Learned About The 'God'". MTV. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  9. ^ "In Camera: Kanye West". Show Studio. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  10. ^ "100 Best Songs of 2013: Kanye West, I Am a God". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  11. ^ "Pictures of NME's 50 Best Tracks Of 2013 - Photos". Nme.Com. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  12. ^ Abby Schreiber (2 November 2013). "Thanks to This Amazing New Trailer, We're Warming Up to Gina Gershon as Donatella". Paper Mag. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  13. ^ Gallagher, Caitlin. "The 'Assassin's Creed' Trailer Song Makes A Divine Boast Only One Artist Could Pull Off". Bustle. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  14. ^ Good, Owen. "EA Sports UFC 3 announced for Xbox One, PS4". Polygon. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 18, 2018.

External links[edit]