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Champions (Paid in Full song)

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Song by Dame Dash, Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, Cam'ron, Young Chris and Twista
from the album Paid in Full
ReleasedNovember 26, 2002
GenreHip hop
  • Dash
  • West

"Champions" is a collaborative song by hip hop artists Dame Dash, Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, Cam'ron, Young Chris and Twista. It is listed as the first track on the second disc of the Paid in Full soundtrack. The song includes a sped-up sample of "We Are the Champions" by Queen. It was originally scheduled to be a bonus track on West's album The College Dropout (2004).

Background and composition[edit | edit source]

On the original track listing of West's debut studio album The College Dropout (2004), "Champions" was listed as a bonus track.[1] Dash introduces West's verse with the line: "I bet niggas didn't know you could rap huh?" because back in 2002, when the soundtrack album was released, West was only recognized for his talent as a producer and not viewed as a credible rapper.[2] Throughout the entirety of the track, a sped up sample of highly famous 1977 Queen single "We Are the Champions" is used and the rappers state themselves as being of importance.[3][4] Dash revealed that he asked West to flip the track's beat after Just Blaze wouldn't do so and West reacted quickly to this, which gathered the approval of Dash.[2]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

Billboard viewed the track as being one of the Paid in Full soundtrack's highlights.[3] Its presence on the soundtrack album was looked at by Jason Birchmeier of AllMusic as being one of "some promising ideas here" and an example of where "some of the beats are on point".[5]

Commercial performance[edit | edit source]

In March 2003, around four months after the soundtrack album had been released, the song peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and spent a total of nine weeks on it.[6]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

When Complex listed the 77 best rock samples in rap history in October 2012, around ten years after "Champions" had been released, the Queen sample within it was placed at number 41.[7] Jesse of HipHopDX voiced the opinion towards West being one of the lead artists on 2016 GOOD Music single "Champions" that: "It makes little sense for Kanye to title another song 'Champions,' especially one that can't live up to the Queen sampled Roc-A-Fella posse cut or track two on Graduation."[8] In May 2018, Revolt listed the track as one of 6 songs that prove Queen and hip-hop are a match made in heaven.[9]

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2003) Peak
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[10] 9

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Garrison, Lucas (January 25, 2016). "Kanye's Early 'College Dropout' Tracklist Will Blow Your Mind". DJBooth. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ahmed, Insanul (February 10, 2014). "The Making of Kanye West's "The College Dropout"". Complex. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Paid in Full/Dream Team". Billboard. December 7, 2002. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  4. Crawford, Byron (September 10, 2014). "Dame Dash Owes Everyone Money – Byron Crawford". Medium. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  5. Birchmeier, Jason. "Paid in Full [Universal] [Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  6. "Kanye West Champions Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  7. Serwer, Jesse (October 16, 2012). "The 77 Best Rock Samples in Rap History". Complex. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  8. "Ranking The Verses on Kanye West's "Champions (Round and Round)"". HipHopDX. June 9, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  9. Bristout, Ralph (May 15, 2018). "6 songs that prove Queen and hip-hop are a match made in heaven". REVOLT. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  10. "Kanye West Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]

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