“All Falls Down”, written by Kanye West and interpolating Lauryn Hill’s “Mystery of Iniquity” in the chorus, appears on West’s debut album “The College Dropout”, released in 2004.
West originally used the original “Mystery of Iniquity” but failed to acquire the legal clearance to use the original sample, therefore asking American R&B singer Syleena Johnson to sing the relevant portions of Hill’s track.West had previously released an earlier version of the song titled “Self Conscious (Poetry-Style)”. The song focuses on examining society’s actions and insecurities, primarily in the black community. With lyrics such as “the prettiest people do the ugliest things”, and “we buy out of jail, but we can’t buy freedom / we’ll buy a lot of clothes, but we don’t really need ‘em”, the track consistently throws out truths about society’s self-obsessed and image-conscious ways.
The music video was directed by Chris Milk, and was shot at Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. If shows West taking his girlfriend (Stacey Dash) to the airport to catch her flight. However, what makes the video different is that it is shot in the first-person perspective, showing the airport through West’s eyes. The video was uploaded to Kanye West’s official YouTube channel on the 24th December 2009, and has over 40 million views as of April 2019.
Release Date: 24th February 2004
Songwriter/s: Kanye West, Lauryn Hill
Producer/s: Kanye West
Label/s: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Music Video Release Date: 24th December 2009
Music Video Director: Chris Milk
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Awards: “All Falls Down” went to #7 in the US Billboard Hot 100, but also #2 in the US Billboards Hot Rap Tracks. The track also made it to #10 in the UK, #7 in Belgium, #23 in Ireland, #19 in New Zealand and #85 in the Netherlands. The track received Platinum certification in the US, and Silver in the UK. “All Falls Down” also won two awards at the 2005 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, the “Award Winning Rap Songs” and “Award Winning R&B/Hip-Hop Songs”.